The Cabinet on 26 January 2021 approved the revision of guidance for foreign worker management during the new wave of COVID-19 infections in Thailand.
According to the Ministry of Labor, the resurgence of COVID-19 and quarantine measures have affected the management of foreign workers. For instance, their medical check-ups and visa renewal are unlikely to be carried out on time. The suspension of trans-provincial labor mobility has also delayed the repatriation of foreign workers.
There are altogether more than 2.33 million foreign workers in three target groups. The Ministry of Labor proposed the revision of the management of these groups, as follows:
1. Pink card holders, comprising 1.4 million foreign workers.
– The period of medical check-ups and visa renewal for foreign workers, in accordance with the Cabinet resolution on 20 August 2019, will be extended for another six months until 30 September 2021.
– The period of medical check-ups and visa renewal for foreign workers, in accordance with the Cabinet resolution on 4 August 2020, will be extended for another six months until 31 July 2021.
2. Foreign workers under MOU, comprising 434,784 persons.
There are two groups of these workers who are in the process of seeking medical check-ups and visa renewal. The period for their medical check-ups and visa renewal will be extended for another six months.
3. Foreign workers in accordance with the Cabinet resolution on 29 December 2020, comprising 500,000 persons.
These workers are in the process of seeking registration. Biometrics will be collected by 16 April 2021, the same period as their COVID-19 tests. The Immigration Bureau will send the biometric data of these workers to the Department of Employment, so that it will issue work permits for them.
4. Foreign workers waiting for repatriation, comprising 500 Cambodian, Lao, and Myanmar nationals in quarantine.
They are now staying in quarantine and are allowed to work as manual laborers until 13 February 2021, when they are scheduled to return to their countries.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department