Foreigners Reminded to Get Their Work Permits

The head of the Interior Ministry’s general department of immigration issued a statement on Wednesday reminding foreigners working in Cambodia that they are required to hold a work permit—and will face fines if they do not.

General Sok Phal, who signed the statement, said that while many foreign workers have applied for and received work permits, many others have not.

“There are some enterprises and foreign employees who do not pay attention and do not fulfill their obligations under the law,” Gen. Phal said in the statement.

“The [department’s] inspection teams advises them and gives them time to fill out the forms to get the legal documents, but they still do not do it,” he added.

According to Gen. Phal, teams from the immigration department are continuing to inspect businesses that hire foreigners.

“When they find foreign employees who work and do not have valid passports, visas or work permits, the inspection teams will fine them according to the law,” he says.

Nouv Leakhena, deputy director of the immigration department, reiterated Thursday that foreigners found without work permits would be required to pay a 500,000 riel (about $125) fine.

They will then have three months to apply for a work permit at the Labor Ministry or face an additional fine, he added.

Lieutenant General Leakhena said that without a work permit, foreigners could only extend an E-Visa—previously called a business visa—one time, for up to a year.

If a foreign worker has not been issued a work permit by the time the visa expires, the worker will be required to leave the country, he said.

Lt. Gen. Leakhena added, however, that a new E-Visa can be received upon re-entering the country.

“But if we inspect your visa and find you were staying in Cambodia for one year or two years, and we find you were working, you will be fined,” he said.

The Labor Ministry, which issues work permits, could not be reached for comment. In January, the ministry said it would fine foreigners 400,000 riel (about $100) for every year they had worked in Cambodia without a permit.

(Additional reporting by Chhorn Chansy)

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