In a recent move aimed at supporting migrant workers, Thailand has granted a stay extension to migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam while they undergo work permit applications, the Thai Ministry of Interior announced on 14 November. They are now allowed to stay in the country until 20 January 2024. The previous cabinet resolution allowed them to stay only until September 30.
The ministry issued two announcements granting special permission to these migrant workers to allow them to continue working legally in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reported.
According to the first resolution, migrant workers’ children receive an automatic stay extension, and those who turn 18 are provided an extra 60 days from their birthday to apply for legal work authorization in Thailand.
The second ministerial announcement specifically addresses a particular set of migrant workers hailing from Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. These individuals currently reside and work in Thailand under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) established between the Thai government and the governments of these three neighboring countries.
The recent announcement further extends the residence permits of these MoU migrant workers from the tri-nation group. Originally, their four-year work permits were slated to expire on December 31, but the extension now pushes the deadline to April 30, 2024. To ensure continuity in their employment status, employers are required to submit a work permit application on behalf of the migrant workers.
As of September, Thailand had a reported total of 2,593,439 foreign workers. Around 1 million workers are still in the process of submitting their work permit applications.
To promote legal employment and address problems associated with illegal immigration, the Thai government has recently announced a fee reduction for inspections and work permits applicable to foreign workers from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.