passed a bill to raise the cost of an extended work permit from Baht
1,000.- to Baht 10,000.-. The cost of a second-class permit would
increase from Baht 300.- to Baht 3,000.- baht and the fee for a change
of job or workplace would rise from Baht 500.- to Baht 5,000.-. The
cost of an application would rise to Baht 100.-.
Minister Dej Boonlong said the decision had been made in light of a devalued
Thai Baht and economic changes over the past years. Present fees had
been set in 1978.
number of foreigners working either legally or illegally in the
country had risen considerably, although it had been officially
reported to be only about 120,000. Many foreigners had slipped into
the country and been illegally employed, especially in the provinces
lying around the capital, he said.
MPs commented that those foreigners, believed to in the millions, could
be arrested on charges of illegal entry and deported at any given time;
Pirapan Saleerathavipak (Dem) said the new fee was only a "slight"
increase, compared to fees charged in the United States and frequent
devaluations of the Thai Baht.
illegal workers had paid kickbacks of between Baht 500.- and Baht
10,000.- each to corrupt authorities in exchange for being provided
with lodging and jobs, said Suvaroat Palang (Dem). "They
can even buy themselves a bogus id card. They send thejr children to a
school where they may graduate with a secondary level of education,
though they will remain foreigners without Thai nationality," he
said. "Some end up working in the flesh trade or committing
Bangkok Post, April 19, 2001
© 2000 Trade