Work permits: Governor gets tough

PHUKET: With effect from yesterday, a new multi-department committee will vet all work permit applications in Phuket, Provincial Governor Pongpayome Vasaputi announced today. The committee will also check extensions and renewals, and all information will be added to a central database accessible to all the departments whose chiefs are members of the committee. These departments are the Commercial Registration Office (CRO), the Revenue Department, the Immigration Police, the local office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the three Phuket district offices and the Employment Services Office (ESO). Gov Pongpayome has appointed Vice Governor Amnuay Sanguannam to chair the committee. “Effective now – actually, right after yesterday’s meeting – all issues relating to work permits will no longer be under one department’s consideration [that of the ESO], but will be overseen by all relevant offices,” the Governor explained. He added that the ESO will act as the committee’s secretariat, with all information on applications being received and collated there before being sent to the relevant departments for inspection. The Governor insisted, “I’m not anti-foreigner, but I think it really is time for Phuket to screen [working foreigners] carefully. “This place has become more than a holiday destination for tourists – it has become a gold mine [for foreigners]. When it comes to these people living here, we have to make sure that only good people, of good behavior, stay with us – people who will share the benefits of their business with Thais and who will help develop the island.” The three district offices have been given the task of helping the ESO by inspecting companies that apply for work permits, extensions or renewals. Any company applying for a work permit will also be examined by the CRO and the Revenue Department, and by either the Immigration Police or the TAT, depending on what business they are in and the nationalities involved. “After the inspection process is complete, applications will be discussed at the next meeting of the committee. “The decision on whether to approve the application or not will depend on whether the company is a real, working company, and on whether it is efficiently run, as well as on the qualifications of the employee they wish to hire.” The new structure is unique to Phuket, he added. “The Provincial Government here needs to work harder than elsewhere, in order to enable us to determine how well-qualified individual foreigners are to have a work permit, and to keep track of them,” he explained.

Phuket News
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