The Thai cabinet has endorsed guidelines for the management of migrant workers, agreeing to allow those who complete the nationality verification process by this month to work for another two years after their work permits expire in March next year, according to the Bangkok Post on March 5.
Thailand has a large formal and informal migrant worker sector employing 2-3 million migrant workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and other countries. The new ruling appears to apply to about 700,000 migrant workers, assuming they follow the instructions.
Thai Deputy government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said workers who cannot complete the verification process this month must report to authorities during April 1-June 30 or face legal action and deportation. Oncethey register with the authorities, the workers will be issued with a one-year work permit that is valid until March 31 next year. If their verification process is completed in this period, they will beallowed to stay for another two years after March next year.
Major General Sansern said workers who fail to report by the deadline will be arrested and deported.
Children of migrant workers aged under 15 are also required to report to authorities for permits to stay in the country by June 30 or face deportation.
Under the current MoUs, the workers are required to return to their home countries after having worked in Thailand for four years and they must then wait at least three years before re-applying to work in Thailand again.