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Delays within government departments in Myanmar hamper migrant work program with Thailand: New MoU developed to speed up process


Delays have been frequent within Myanmar governmental departments managing a work permit program with Thailand. The process to obtain a work permit has been  very bureaucratic with  about 20 distinct steps, commented Min Maung Oo, a migrant worker in Mahachai.

” Actually, the services of the departments in Myanmar are poor. We do not want to see such a process. In the last five years, governmental services  have improved to some extent. It has taken a long time. The latest process takes about 20 steps,” he said.

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He added that relevant departments need to improve and speed up their services. The current political changes have led to even more delays in services.

A representative with Siam Hongsa Co. Ltd, a Myanmar/Thai labour agent company  said, “that at least one employer we work with has tried to access migrant labour from Myanmar and it has taken anywhere from 4 months to a year.  We would like to suggest that the relevant authorities make the MoU as smooth as possible.”

The company representative  added that if a legal route is easy and smooth, there will be no reason for Myanmar workers to enter Thailand without documentation.  A streamlined MoU must be developed.

Although a new MoU has been discussed with the two countries, on November 12, the new system will cost extra money and there are still delays, according to Min Oo, who is in-charge of labor at the Education and Development Foundation in southern Thailand.

“The MoU is a two-way process, so it takes a little time and a lot of money. We have heard that the Thai side will call for it. It will be up to the two governments to open the border,” he said.

Min Oo  added that If Myanmar and Thailand can work well together, Burmese workers will be able to enjoy greater employment security.

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