The Ministry of Labor has indicated that there are currently more than 27,000 foreign laborers, whose work permits have expired, reminding them of legal punishment if no extension is sought.
Labor Minister Chalermchai Sri-on disclosed that work permits had expired on 20 January for over 39,000 alien workers in Thailand; however, only 11,800 of them had their documents extended during the advance application period, starting from 1 December 2010. As a result, there are presently about 27,393, mostly with Burmese, Lao and Cambodian nationalities, carrying expired permits.
Some of the workers have already contacted the authorities for extension, but the process is likely to be delayed due to insufficient papers.
Work permits of another portion of foreign employees, totaling almost 900,000, are also about to reach their expiration date on 28 February. A little over 37,000 of them have extended their permits in advance while more than 855,000 others have not.
Mr Chalermchai thus advised all concerned employers to bring their employees with expired documents to the nearest office of employment to undergo the extension process before the deadline. Any employers who fail to comply would face punishment of 10,000-100,000 THB fine while their illegal workers would be subject to a jail term of up to 5 years and/or a fine of 2,000-100,000 THB.