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Foreigners working in Cambodia face permit fines

Officials check the documents of Chinese workers in November 2016 in Phnom Penh. Officials have warned delinquent foreign workers to obtain documentation. National Police
Officials check the documents of Chinese workers in November 2016 in Phnom Penh. Officials have warned delinquent foreign workers to obtain documentation. National Police

Foreigners working in Cambodia face permit fines

About 100,000 foreigners working without permits will be fined after Khmer New Year and potentially face jail time and deportation if they fail to get paperwork or pay their fines, the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labour announced yesterday.

Speaking to the press after a meeting with Immigration Department General Director Sok Phal, Labour Ministry official Seng Sakda said those who have previously been working in the Kingdom without a permit would have to pay 400,000 riel, or about $100, for each year they are found to be noncompliant. There would also be a fine for anyone who does not apply for a work permit by Khmer New Year in mid-April.

“We have not fined yet, and we give one month until Khmer New Year and we will review . . . Once they do not come and make the card and work permit . . . we will fine them based on the Labour Law,” Sakda said. This fine, he said, would range between $600 and $900.

Phal said foreigners who refused to pay the fine could face up to three months in prison and deportation, “or they will be deported directly without imprisonment”.

“Foreigners working and investing in Cambodia at enterprises and all casinos . . . We could see in 2017, they have not fulfilled the obligation [to apply for a work permit],” he said.

This announcement comes a few days after Kem Sarin, the head of administration at the Immigration Department, announced that about 57,000 workers – 30,000 of them Chinese – had received a work permit but that about 100,000 were still without. He added that many companies were uncooperative.

“They continue to employ and hide foreign workers illegally without reporting the number of workers,” he said, adding this caused a loss of about $23 million in government revenue.

According to an annual report from the Immigration Department, 1,389 foreigner workers were fined last year for not having a work permit.

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