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Lao workers allowed to continue to stay and work in Thailand

The Thai government has allowed Lao workers to continue to stay and work in Thailand along with their fellows from Cambodia and Myanmar as it is reopening the country to accelerate economic recovery amid Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Lao Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Ministry of Interior of Thailand on Nov 5 announced that illegal workers can work in Thailand until Dec 7, 2021 and those whose employers have applied for work permits from the Thai authorities can work in Thailand through Mar 11, 2022, according to the Lao embassy.

In a letter, sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare on Nov 12, the Lao embassy calls on the ministries to come up with measures including patrolling along Lao-Thai common border, and negotiation with Thai authorities on reactivating formal labour recruitment mechanism, to prevent illegal migration of Lao workers into Thailand claiming that Thailand’s reopening will worsen labour shortage in the country.

Right now the labour market in Thailand is in need of over 400,000 workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar for local businesses, factories, and sectors not attractive to Thai workers, according to the embassy.

Misunderstanding that Thai authorities has allowed workers from neighbouring countries to continue to work in Thailand, some 342 Myanmar workers illegally migrated into Thailand with the help of labour brokers. Each of them paid the brokers THB25,000 in exchange for their facilitation of their illegal migration.

Since Nov 1, visitors from 63 countries who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, have been able to enter Thailand without undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Source: Lao News Agency