The Foreign Worker Policy Management Committee meeting agreed on four topics to assist business operators employing migrant workers, accelerate the preparation of the MOL and MOI notifications, and relevant supporting laws before the proposal to the Cabinet.
On May 19, 2022, Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin chaired the meeting of the Foreign Worker Management Policy Committee No. 2/2022. Secretariat to the Labour Minister, Mr. Suthep Chitvong, Assistant Minister from the Prime Minister’s Office performing duties for the Ministry of Labour, Mr. Suthi Sukosol, the Ministry of Labour’s Spokesperson (on politics), Mrs. Thienrat Navamawat, the Department of Employment’s Director-General, Mr. Pairoj Chotiksetian, and relevant agencies also joined the meeting. Mr. Suchart said that today, the Foreign Worker Management Policy Committee approved four considerations as follows:
1. The management of migrant workers after February 13, 2023. Migrant workers whose work permits expired on February 13, 2023, were divided into two groups: 1. The group that has received a visa or is allowed to stay in the Kingdom within August 1, 2022. If they want to continue working, they must apply for a work permit and proceed according to the prescribed procedures before the original license expires. The renewal will allow them to work for another two years (February 12, 2025) and 2. The group that has received a visa or permission to stay in the Kingdom within August 1, 2022. If they want to continue working, they must apply for a work permit and proceed according to the prescribed procedures before the original license expires. They will be allowed to work for one year at a time, totaling two times, until February 13, 2025.
2. The management of aliens with illegal status, whereby employers who employ migrant workers of 4 nationalities, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam, who have no legal status, will be able to submit a list of requests to the Department of Employment online. After completing the steps, they will be able to work and stay until February 13, 2023. If they want to continue working, they must apply for a work permit and proceed according to the prescribed procedures before the original license expires. They will be allowed to work for one year at a time, totaling two times, until February 13, 2025.
3. The determination of visa fee rates. The Ministry of Interior and the Immigration Office will join in drafting the relevant ministerial regulations to reduce the visa fee from 2,000 Baht to 500 Baht.
4. The establishment of the center for the start and end of employment at Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi Airports for use in document verification or other forms of evidence and the issuance of work permits. This will support bringing in migrant workers by air via MOUs (for Myanmar nationals).
“Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha and Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, who oversees the Ministry of Labour, have emphasized for the Ministry of Labour to work with relevant agencies to plan and solve the shortage of migrant workers. It focuses on reducing the impact on business operators who employ migrant workers, in line with the country’s opening policy to drive the government’s economy. As the Labour Minister, I continually listen to the problems of entrepreneurs. Efforts have led to the proposal of all four topics. All agencies participating in the meeting today will go back and fix the rules or the law in the relevant part to push the resolution of the meeting to Cabinet next,” said the Labour Minister.
The Department of Employment’s Director-General, Mr. Pairoj Chotiksetian, said that Mr. Suchart Chomklin, as chairman of the Foreign Worker Management Policy Committee, has assigned the Department of Employment and responsible agencies for drafting the Ministry of Labour’s announcement, the Ministry of Interior’s announcement and other relevant laws to be completed, to proceed immediately once the Cabinet has approved.
“The whole process will take time. In the meantime, I encourage employers and business operators that employ migrant workers to pay attention to the legal use of workers. If an offense is found, employers who have employed foreigners to work without a work permit will face a fine from 10,000 to 100,000 Baht per foreigner. Repeated offenses are punishable by imprisonment, and offenders will be prohibited from hiring foreigners to work with them for another three years. Foreigners who illegally work without permission are punishable by fines ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 Baht. They are then repatriated out of the Kingdom and will not be able to obtain a work permit until the sentence has been passed for two years,” the Director-General of the Department of Employment reiterated.
Division of Public Relations
19 May 2022