The Labour Ministry said on Friday that the Cambodian and Thai governments have agreed to allow Cambodian workers in Thailand to return home during Khmer New Year without the need of visa reapplication.
The announcement came during a press conference by the Labour Ministry last week in regards to Cambodian workers in Thailand eager to come home to spend the new year at home.
“All workers must pass through the same international border checkpoints and all participants must return through the same border checkpoints,” the ministry said.
Sin Nam Yung, deputy director of migrant worker coordination in Poipet city, said that there are thousands of workers in Thailand and many of them come back during the holiday to spend time at home.
“It is good for the government to facilitate such an exodus. They make it easy for workers to come back. Soon there will be many Cambodian workers visiting for the holiday,” she said.
Dy Thehoya, a program officer with labour rights group Central, said that during the last few years, he noticed a similar announcement being made by Thai authorities.
“Before, the workers would need to apply for a re-entry visa. Now, between the 5th and 30th of April, they won’t need a re-entry visa,” he said. “It will make it easy for them to visit for Khmer New Year.”
According to the Labour Ministry, nearly 100,000 Cambodians were sent to work overseas in 2017, an increase of 12.6 percent compared to the previous year.
In 2016, 85,000 Cambodian workers migrated to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea.