Thursday, June 20, 2013

Documents for Work Permit

And so they changed the law recently within the last two years. We now have to get a medical certificate in order to get our work permits renewed. For the past decade, I have never needed one for the immigration. It's hard to confirm which regulations are for real and which are just there for the sake of making regulations looks like someone had put effort to come out with them. So here I am sharing my experience and this should hold valid for this year at least. Some say that we needed a chest x-ray and a whole onslaught of test which fortunately excludes anal probe. But the truth is, we only need a simple letter from the doctor, which for some reasons, we must also undergo a mandatory Syphilis test. Have we foreigners been rampantly importing Syphilis or what? As for the chest x-ray and such, the honest nurse told me, no it ain't true. All doctors here evolved from dolphins. She said the doctors have acute sonar capabilities which could detect tuberculosis just by listening and that will be enough. So my certificate which included a 45 minutes wait for the confirmation if my body is crawling with Syphilis cost THB750. I do not have Syphilis.

Photographs. My admin told me that I will need to provide 2 fresh 4 x 6cm of meself and warned me I must not used that which was used the previous year. Well, truth is, I had been getting away with it. I have been using that same photo from my stockpile which I acquired since many work permit cycles ago. The other set of photos required is that which shows you working in your office. So I had my HR take snapshots of me while I groped my female colleague's ass in front of the company signboard.

It's true, the "Notification of Residence Must Be Made Every 90 Days" chop in your passport. I never got to know how to notify them about my residence and so I can't share how that's done. As such, I was fined in one of the renewals some years back. But if you are a frequent traveler, every trip in and out of the country equates to a "notification" already when you get your passport chopped at the immigration. There is no need to sing the Thai national anthem in front of the immigration officer when he or she interviews you, this believe is for another type of renewals not related to work permits. They just need you to be present and see your face. There are actually two places we foreigners gets our work permit renewed. The one at Chamchuri Square can be reached by going to the Sam Yan BTS. This place is however meant for manager levels and above titles only. Ironically these are the same positions which the graduates who are produced from the Chulalongkorn University located immediately behind are known to expect and only accept.

The one at Chaengwattana is for all other lower levels and is notorious be very crowded. How to get there? Taxi. Chaengwattana is not in Bangkok, it's in another province called Nonthaburi. Whichever place you go, just make sure you go early, very early. Lots of government institutions here prefer the nostalgic approach and stick to paperwork. It can take up to 30 minutes for one number in the queue to be processed. Fortunately, for big companies, we outsource our work permit renewals. Our representative was there to take the queue number for us way earlier before the doors opened. There is no such efficient thing as drop your filled forms and come back another day to pick your renewed permit up because they have not taught about it.

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