Cambodian migrant workers living in Thailand will be allowed to stay there until March 2022, according to an announcement made by the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Thai employers must sort out residence visas and work permits before the end of October.
The announcement applies to four classifications of Cambodian migrant workers.
Group 1 workers are employees who have contracts expiring within four years. Group 2 workers are employees who have invalid documents or those who have been fired or suspended. Group 3 are employees with expired documents which were not renewed by their employers. Group 4 are migrant employees who return to Cambodia each night after their shift.
The embassy said: “For Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3, they are permitted to stay temporarily from early August 2020 until January 31, 2021. However, in order to receive permission to stay and work until March 31, 2022, employers or their representatives have to request to continue the residence visas and permission cards before October 31, 2020.”
For Group 4, they are permitted to stay and work temporarily until October 31. They can stay until March 31, 2022, if their employers or renew their residence visas and permission cards.
Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
The Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights (Central) executive director Moeun Tola told The Post that while this is important for Cambodians working in Thailand, there are some points that the government must think about as Thailand continues to close its border.
He said Thailand’s economy has not recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic as some companies either closed or reduced workforces.
“I think our government must consider helping Cambodian workers who lost their jobs and incomes in Thailand by providing various support such as food and money. Also, it should help lower their family’s burden [in Cambodia] who owe money to banks or other people. It should [push for] lower interest or loan rescheduling for a while.
“The government should negotiate with Thailand to give opportunities to all Cambodian workers,” he said.
Tola suggested that Cambodian migrants work in shops selling things to Thai citizens temporarily during the pandemic.