“After negotiations between the Burmese and Thai governments, both sides agreed to provide legal status for illegal Burmese migrant workers. [In order] for Burmese migrants to travel back to their hometowns in Burma, or to the Thai-Burma border, the embassy issues them travel recommendation documents, if they do not have their national ID cards and household documents with them in Thailand, so that they would not be arrested on the way back to Burma“, said Burmese ambassador to Thailand, U Tin Win, in an interview with IMNA.
Burmese migrant workers are required to go to the Burmese embassy in person, along with their national ID card, household documents, and two passport-sized photos in order to apply for passports at the embassy.
The ambassador continued that Burmese migrant workers who have their national ID cards and household documents with them in Thailand can apply for passports at the Burmese embassy; however, those who do not have their ID cards and documents must travel back to Burma and retrieve them. In order for them to travel, Burmese migrant workers are required to receive travel recommendation documents from the embassy, as well as from Thai Immigration; they may also obtain the Thai immigration’s recommendation documents from the Burmese embassy.
One Burmese migrant worker voices his concern in traveling from where he lives to the Burmese embassy in Bangkok when he asks, “It is very far from the district [in which] we are working, to the embassy; so, how can we go to the embassy and apply for the passports?”.
In response to such concerns, according to KIC news agency, Burmese migrant workers working in the Tak Province districts of Mae Sot, Mae Ramat, and Phop Phra can apply for travel recommendation documents, free-of-charge, at local One Stop Service centers. Burmese migrant workers living in these three districts are not required to travel to the Burmese embassy in Bangkok, and instead, can request travel recommendation documents in Mae Sot, on the Thai-Burma border.
Migrant workers holding pink cards are charged 500 baht to apply for passports, 1030 baht when their passport is issued, as well as another 70 baht for employee witness cards. In total, migrant workers are charged 1600 baht, and will be fined 2700 baht if they lose their passports.
Burmese migrant workers must go to one of the kingdom’s three One Stop Service center, located in Mae Sai, Mae Sot, and Ranoung, with their passport and employer’s employment document to sign a contract between the employer and migrant worker. The migrant worker must then go to corresponding authority departments in the province in which they are employed, and apply for work permits.