Foreigners flouting draft law could face immigration trouble
FOREIGN workers in breach of a law awaiting passage could face penalties, immigration officials say. The labour ministry is finalising a draft law for submission to the Office of the President that seeks to more tightly regulate foreign workers in the country.
The draft incorporates comments already received from the Attorney General’s Office last month, the last stage in its drafting.
Labour and immigration ministry spokesperson U Nyint Win told The Myanmar Times, “We’re making the final adjustments to the text in light of the Attorney General’s Office’s comments before sending it on to the president.”
The introduction of work permits for foreign workers has been in the pipeline for eight years, while the government has been negotiating with Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) members.
U Nyint Win said the adoption of the law would open the way for the government to take action against people working here illegally.
“We can calculate from statistics how many qualified foreign workers are required in each industry, and identify and take action against illegal labour,” said U Nyint Win, adding that the law would not affect local workers.
Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population U Thein Swe said the law would include rules for foreign workers and international investments. “Foreign workers will have to follow the law once it is enacted,” he said.
Foreign workers are working under many types of visa, which means fewer job opportunities for local residents. As the volume of foreign investment rises, more workers are expected to arrive from abroad. Therefore, the foreign workers law should be subjected to regulation, said labour analyst U Aung Lin.
“We warmly welcome this development, which is long overdue. Many foreign workers are already here working. The labour ministry should take this up with the President’s Office to bring out the law as soon as possible,” he said.