Gov’t Vows Strict Enforcement of Work Permits for Foreigners

Speaking during a meeting with the European Union’s ambassador to Cambodia on Friday, Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng said the government would next year begin aggressively enforcing a longstanding law requiring foreign nationals employed in the country to hold work permits.

Mr. Sam Heng said at the meeting at the Labor Ministry that workers without permits would be fined $177. The Labor Ministry had previously said anyone without a work permit would also be fined an additional $100 for every year they have been working in Cambodia without the document.

“From 2015 on, we will strictly enforce this procedure,” Mr. Sam Heng said.

“Our inspectors will collect the money…and issue a receipt,” he said. “If you are not happy about it, you can file a complaint.”

Mr. Sam Heng added that some 20,000 foreign workers have already received work permits this year.

“This year, we have seen that an increasing number [of foreigners] are getting work permit cards, double compared to last year,” he said.

The labor minister also outlined procedures that companies and other employers of foreign workers would soon have to follow.

“Every year, at the third quarter, each enterprise must submit a request to the Labor Ministry and notify us about what kind of skills they need from foreigners and for what positions,” he said.

Work permits currently cost $100 per year, and an employment contract for a foreign worker can last no more than two years, he added.

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