My (almost) year-long pursuit of a Thai work permit
16.02.2010 32 °C
Eleven and a half months into my job, I have finally been approved for a Thai work permit. The human resources department informs me this is actually pretty quick moving. In order to finish processing my application, the Ministry of Labour needs a certificate stating that I am medically fit to work in the Kingdom.
What requirements must I meet to be deemed medically fit? I need to be free of leprosy, tuberculosis, elephantitis, and syphilis. I can’t be a drug addict or an alcoholic. Well, apparently they could tell all that just by looking at me.
Ok to be fair, the uber-posh medical establishment I will not here name, did in fact conduct the most perfunctory of examinations. The nurse weighed me and took my blood pressure. The doctor put his stethoscope on my clothed chest and listened to my breathing. He pulled my bottom eyelid down and looked in my pupil. One of them.
Five minutes and twenty bucks later, sunshade held aloft by a valet, I waited for the next taxi in line, medical certificate in hand!
Let’s not even talk about the ridiculous measures it took to get me to this point! REAMS of paperwork. In triplicate. In Thai (God bless the good people of the human resources department!) A criminal record check. A name search through the INTERPOL database for the love of Buddha!
A trip clear across town to the police station so the boys in brown could “interrogate” me. Truth be told, they seemed waaaaaay more interested in quizzing me as to whether I had a boyfriend back in Canada than they were in investigating my criminal past (A direct quote from the officer in charge - “No boyfriend? What? Are all the men in Canada blind??”)
The Ministry folks even disputed the photocopies of my Bachelors and Masters degrees and asked if I had the originals. Uh-huh. In a frame. In a box. In my parents’ basement. In Canada. They grumbled but made due with the photocopies.
Armed with my medical certificate, HR is making the final onslaught for the long-awaited work permit. Today I was presented with another mass of documents, elaborately tabbed with those little arrow stickies where I need to sign. Fingers crossed, it should only be a few more months.