Foreigners told to renew work permits

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Foreigners told to renew work permits

Hefty fines for those who fail to comply

Employers and migrant workers wait for their turn to submit documents at the Labour Ministry in Bangkok in 2018 to register migrants and obtain work permits. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Labour Ministry is warning Lao, Myanmar and Cambodian migrant workers to have their work permits renewed before the Oct 31 deadline passes, or else they may face stiff punishment and be immediately deported back to their countries.

These migrant workers are required to submit their work permit renewal applications before the end of this month and there will still be a number of more processes to get done before their work permit renewals are actually approved, said Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin on Thursday.

Due to Covid-19 and Thailand’s shortage of migrant workers these workers are being allowed to stay on in the country even though their work permits have expired, he said.

These migrant workers are divided into four groups, he added.

The first group is Cambodian, Lao and Myanmar migrant workers who have come to work in Thailand under four-year memorandums of understanding (MoU) on labour cooperation signed between the Thai government and its Cambodian, Lao and Myanmar counterparts, he said.

The second group is other Cambodian, Lao and Myanmar migrant workers who were permitted to live and work in Thailand between Sept 30 last year and June 30 this year after they had passed the verification of their nationality and who hold a proper passport, travel document and certificate of identity, he said.

The third is Cambodian, Lao and Myanmar workers who have come to work in Thailand under the same MoUs as in the first group but who later left their contracted employers but failed to find a new employer within 30 days as required by the migrant worker administration law, he said.

The fourth group covers Cambodian and Myanmar migrant workers who hold a border pass for travelling to Thailand for seasonal jobs and whose permits to stay in the country had already expired, he said.

“Please come and apply for the work permit renewals early [to allow sufficient time] for all other processes so that you will be able to live and work in Thailand legally,” he said.

As of September, 61,193 such migrant workers had already applied to renew work permits, said Suchat Phonchaiwisetkun, director-general of the Department of Employment.

Migrants who fail to apply for the renewal in time may face a fine of up to 50,000 baht and deportation, while an employer hiring an illegal migrant worker may face a fine of up to 100,000 baht per illegal migrant worker hired.