Foreign workers granted 2-year extension

Foreign workers granted 2-year extension

Nearly 1.7 million registered foreign workers initially allowed to work until Feb 13, 2023 will be granted extensions to work for another two years.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said the cabinet approved on July 5 a work permit extension for 1.69 million migrant workers to Feb 13, 2025.

The workers include 410,000, approved by the cabinet in Dec 2020, 930,000 in July 2021, and 350,000 in Sept 2021.

The government expects the measure to help speed up the economic recovery as these workers play an important role in the agriculture industry as well as production of processed foods including frozen food.

They're also key in the construction and tourism industries. The exceptional measures have been implemented to meet demands of the business sector, he said.

Pairoj Chotikasathien, director-general of the Department of Employment, said migrant workers who are allowed to work until Feb 13, 2023 will be divided into two groups.

In one are those whose visa will expire on Aug 1 this year; they will be allowed to apply for renewal to February next year, he said.

The other group are those with a visa expiring after Aug 1 and they must renew before expiration, he said.

Under ministry regulations, if workers want to continue working in Thailand they must seek permission from a registration officer at the Labour Ministry, he said.

According to Poj Aramwattananont, vice-chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, demand for workers has surged since the government lifted almost all remaining Covid-related restrictions.

"Labour is considered a key machine in propelling Thailand's entire economy from the export-orientated industries, manufacturing, processing and construction to tourism and service-related sectors," Mr Poj said.

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