Ministries to Tighten Checks on Foreign Workers

The ministries of Labor and Interior met on Thursday to outline the government’s plan to more strictly enforce measures for employers of foreign nationals to ensure that their staff has proper documentation.

Seng Sakada, director-general of the Labor Ministry’s labor department, said previous efforts have not been effective in ensuring that foreigners are registered and working with the proper paperwork.

“We need to pay attention to fining foreigners…all foreigners who come to work in Cambodia and do not have working cards,” said Mr. Sakada, who added that the number of foreigners entering the country to work this year has already surpassed last year’s total number of 8,000.

A joint statement signed on Saturday and presented at yesterday’s meeting states that institutions that employ foreigners have an obligation to implement relevant laws—ensuring that employees have relevant visas, passports and working cards—to ease the work of inspectors.

Sok Phal, director-general of the Interior Ministry’s department of immigration, said more must be done to ensure that those coming to the country to work pay the necessary taxes.

“The rise in foreigners who come to work and do business and make money in Cambodia have the obligation to pay tax,” said Mr. Phal on Thursday. “Along the Vietnam and Thai border they never pay tax and if we do not take action it will continue to increase.”

Mr. Phal added at the meeting that any workers that failed to have the correct documentation could be fined up to 500,000 riel, about $125, or be deported from the country entirely.

“If they are a foreigner working in any place, they have to hold a passport, visa and identity card to work,” he said. “If they do not, we will implement the immigration law and could request [Interior Minister Sar Kheng] to expel them.”

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