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ResourcesCorporate and Tax AdvisoryThailand Corporate LawIs a Consolidated Work Permit Database on the Horizon in Thailand?

Is a Consolidated Work Permit Database on the Horizon in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are discussing Work Permits and the possibility of tracking Work Permits and Work Permit holders via a Consolidated database here in the Kingdom of Thailand.  

It recently came to my attention from one of my staff basically was going through some of the old copies of The Royal Gazette. There was a recent one that was issued, order of the NCPO, number 49 / 2 5 6 0. This is a translation so this should not be taken as a definitive explanation of what is in this particular order in the Thai version.  I am simply reading an English translation by one of our staff.  

Quoting directly, "A large number of persons are able to enter Thailand to work both legally and illegally but the data which is used to confirm and prove the identity of foreign labor is not kept in a Central Data System but is kept in a scattered manner and under the responsibility of different Agencies and Departments which also use different systems making it difficult for the Government to make use of the information.  It has therefore become necessary to set up a Committee to determine a method to collect and store the data on the individual migrant workers so as to compile a registry of all the migrant workers who enter Thailand to seek work.” Quoting directly, this is according to section 265 of the Constitution and section 44.  Quoting further, "The Employment Department is permitted to continue to use their existing data system until the Committee advises otherwise."  

So what are we talking about here? Well is going to happen immediately with respect to this but as we have seen with some other systems like PIBICS and APPS and other things like the closer coordination between the various agencies associated with immigration to the United States for example recent information has come to light which would seem to suggest that Royal Thai Immigration is more closely coordinating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who issues visas abroad to sort of maintain a better database and keep a better idea of who is coming and going and via what forms of travel documents.  I think it's safe to assume we are going to see a more consolidated database associated with work permits and work authorization here in the Kingdom and although I don't see this really having any kind of detrimental impact in and of itself, It stands to reason that where in the past, things could fall through the cracks, one consolidated database would imply that it's not going to be possible to particularly fall through those cracks anymore although when exactly those cracks are going to be sealed up, for lack of a better term, remains to be seen. 

I think it's fairly safe to assume it's going to happen relatively quickly as it has become very clear that the Thai Immigration apparatus and sort of the overall enforcement apparatus associated with foreigners living and working in the Kingdom is becoming increasingly stringent and for this reason I think it is safe to assume probably this Consolidated Data base will come into effect and it  will probably have the impact of those who are issuing work authorizations possibly being able to see people's immigration status as well as their past prior status with regard to work authorization which in certain cases might result in detrimental impacts for those who had problematic work authorization in the past and were sort of hoping that it wouldn't come to light in the future.