Thailand’s ‘little ghosts’ have until end-Feb to leave South Korea
Thais working illegally in South Korea are being offered one last chance to return home without having to pay a huge fine, the government announced on Friday.
Deputy government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek said more than 100,000 Thai illegal workers, referred to as “Phi Noi” (little ghosts), are working in South Korea and Seoul has set February 28 as the deadline for them to return home.
She added that illegal workers can contact South Korean immigration authorities or visit www.hikorea.go.kr to organise their return.
She said if the workers return within February, they will not have to pay the 30 million won (about 800,000 baht) penalty.
“South Korea opened channels for Thai illegal workers to return home since November 7 last year,” she said.
She said Thais who wish to continue working in South Korea should follow the regulations set by the Department of Employment.
“People should not accept invitations to work illegally in South Korea as they will not be granted welfare,” she said.
She added that illegal workers are open to exploitation, low wages and are forced to lead lives in the shadows.
“If illegal Thai workers return home under this offer, then they will be able to return to South Korea again,” she said, adding that if they do not take the correct steps, they will face difficulties in the future.
For more information, call the South Korean Immigration Contact Centre at 1345 (Thai interpreters are available) or the Royal Thai Embassy in Seoul: +82 10 6747 0095, +82 10 3099 2955, email: [email protected], or visit the embassy’s Facebook page.
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