Two-year stay allowed for illegal migrant workers

Two-year stay allowed for illegal migrant workers

Officials check the data of migrant workers at the Central Shrimp Market in Samut Sakhon province last Thursday. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Officials check the data of migrant workers at the Central Shrimp Market in Samut Sakhon province last Thursday. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The cabinet on Tuesday approved the registration of illegal migrant workers from three countries who can stay in the country for two years in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus.

Deputy government spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul said online registration, set for Jan 25 to Feb 13, would allow Cambodian, Lao and Myanmar migrant workers to work in the country for two years, or until Feb 16, 2023.

The resolution was reached to cope with the new round of Covid-19 outbreaks, she said.

According to the deputy government spokesperson, many migrant workers were found to be infected in the new outbreak. When the government tried to test more of them in at-risk areas, many employers who had hired illegal migrants moved them to other areas and abandoned them there for fear of legal action.

Several illegal migrant workers also voluntarily left the areas for fear of prosecution. This made it more difficult to contain the spread of the disease, she said.

For the new round of registration, an illegal migrant worker who does not have an employer must find one within 90 days.

After the online registration, health officials will conduct a physical checkup and Covid-19 tests on them. The costs of the tests and the required two-year health insurance, totalling 7,200 baht, will be paid by the workers or their employers.

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