There was a new law passed recently at the Ministry of Labour. All passport photos for new work permits must now show the recipient wearing a collared shirt – no singlets, no t-shirts, not even a polo shirt. A button-down, collared shirt is the only attire deemed acceptable when posing for passport photos to be glued inside the magic blue book.
Now obviously this only applies to you boys – we girls can wear whatever we want 😉 Now let’s take a look at what this law is really saying (screaming) – “We don’t like scruffy Farang and if you don’t dress nicely then we won’t help you”. Oh yes readers – I can hear the collective sighs of indignant scruffy Farang, but as you all know – they are holding all the cards and you are holding nothing but 3100 Baht and a sheave of paperwork that our poor underpaid civil servants have to wade through instead of chatting to Somjai on Facebook.
Now boys – feel free to disregard my advice for perhaps I’m wrong, but here are some hints that I think could be of value to anyone needing to visit either Krabi Immigration or the Ministry of Labour. Change out the singlet with a picture of a marijuana leaf for a nice clean (preferably ironed) shirt, leave the board shorts for when you get home and actually suffer the heat (I know it’s hard) with a pair of long pants, leave your flip flops by the door and put a pair of shoes on, have a shave, brush your hair, put on your best “I love Thailand and really want to stay here forever” face, and practice your “Sawaadii Krap”.
Ladies – I was in the Labour Department just the other day where I came across a bewildered Philippine lady being ignored by everyone except the afore mentioned Farang gentleman. He was able to offer little in the way of assistance however, though was blatantly admiring her low-cut blouse, tiny mini-skirt, 6 inch heels and sultry (but still bewildered) pout.
I dropped in my half dozen work permit applications, chatted to the staff, used the copy machine, had a coffee, made some phone calls, filled in a few forms and was on my way before Miss Sexy Philippines and Surfer Dude Farang had even had their presence acknowledged. I did feel a little bad but not much.
So ladies – no you don’t have to wear a button-down, ironed shirt, but turning on your brain and dressing like you are at a government office and not a job interview to be the newest dancer at Suzy Wongs would be a pretty good idea. So to wrap this up – here is what I would suggest. Dress nicely, be polite, wait patiently, use whatever Thai you have – even if it is only “Hello” and “Thank you”, and act as though you have all the time in the world and don’t mind for the staff to finish Facebooking before actually doing their job and assisting you. That’s what I do and it works every time. Oh – and don’t forget to wai.
Of course the best thing is to consult Krabi Visa before visiting either of the aforementioned, venerable institutions and get everything right from the start. Next month we’ll be looking at the holy grail of visas – The Residency Visa – for those who are truly committed to The Land of Smiles and can stomach the 180,000 Baht fee for the honor of applying…….