Tips for Migrants

Every day many Cambodians, just like you, cross the border to find employment in Thailand. Many work and receive salary without problems. They take holidays and have health insurance.

Some, unfortunately, are less lucky: employers take their passports away, do not pay their wages, force them to work extra hours with no pay. Even worse: some migrants find themselves prisoners, with no one to call for help.

The more you know about your rights, the more prepared you are before you leave. The more you know, the better and the safer your working experience will be!

REMEMBER: Regardless of your present legal status in Thailand (if you are documented or you crossed the border without proper documents), you are entitled to the respect and protection of your rights to live free from harassment and exploitation.

Before you Migrate:

Prepare yourself before you migrate. Follow our checklist:

Prepare your documents. Make sure you have: 1. Passport (of travel document), 2. Overseas Cambodian Worker Card 3. Visa (type: L-A) 4. Employment Contract. In Thailand you will apply for another 3 documents: 5. Work permit book (Blue passport) 6. Health Card 7. Work permit card

Find more information about important documents

Make a copy of all your documents and leave it with your family or a trusted friend in Cambodia. Keep a spare copy for you and take a picture of your documents and keep them on your phone. Take care of your original documents, do not hand them to your employers.

Find out the name of your employer and the name of the company, its address and contact number. Give this information to your family or a trusted friend in Cambodia

Print or make a copy of a list of IMPORTANT NUMBERS [ Give a copy to your family members ]

Stay in touch with your family or a trusted friend. Call them regularly or contact them via social media

Check if any expenses or accommodation costs are being paid by the employer or the recruitment agency. Ask if you are required to pay the costs back and calculate how you will pay this. Get all of this information and any agreements in writing.

Read about your rights, know your obligations, as listed below:

Your rights in Thailands

As a migrant you are always entitled to protection, regardless if you are documented or not. You have the right to complain and seek protection. If you feel that your employer cheated you or has refused you any of the rights listed below – seek help, file a complaint. Please visit the IMPORTANT NUMBERS section of this website to seek assistance.

In Thailand you have the same rights as Thai workers. You are also entitled to the same salary of Thai nationals doing the same job. You are entitled to earn a minimum wage (it varies from province to province and is between 308 to 330 Baht, including overtime, per day). Women and men have the right to receive the same wages.

Know your other rights:

Documents and Contract

You have the right to keep your documents. Keep your passport, visa and employment documents with you all the time. Never give the originals to your employer or your recruitment agents (a part from the recruitment process at the beginning) even if they say it is for safekeeping.

You have to sign an employment contract, written in a language that you understand and clear to you. Your employer should sign and stamp this contract and you have to have a copy of your

Read more about what an employment contract is and what it looks like

Working time

Your working hours are specified in your employment contract. Thai Labour Law states that each worker can work 8 hours a day – 6 days a week – except the work that is deemed harmful to health and safety of employee, as prescribed by the ministerial regulation, working hours shall not exceed 7 hours a day and 42 hours a week. 

Additionally, according to the Thai law, you have the right to rest at least 1 hour per day during your shift. This rest time must be offered at least 5 hours after you started work. However, due to the hard-working conditions, fishermen and domestic workers should rest least 10 hours per day.  

You have the right of one day off per week. If you agree to work on this day, you are entitled to overtime payment.


Working overtime is optional, you have the right to refuse to work overtime. The maximum working time is 48 hours per week. Your total working time cannot exceed 12 hours per day.

If you agree to work longer than normal, your employer has to pay you extra:

  • For overtime in working days you should receive 1.5 times your normal wage
  • For overtime during holidays or weekends you should receive 2.0 times your normal wage

Payment an Payslip

You have the right to receive payment once per month and in cash, if you wish so. Details of your payment are included in your work contract – read them. If you need more regular payments, you have a right to negotiate it with your employer.

You have the right to get paid for work completed even if you are arrested, if you quit your job or if you are fired. You can also claim for pay for unused leave days. And your employer cannot withhold your wages under any circumstances.

Together with your salary, you should receive a payslip, a ‘receipt’ from your employer. If the money is transferred to a bank account, you should receive a notification from the bank.

If you are not paid part of your wages or unpaid at all, deducted additional payments, not specified with your employer, if you do not receive a payslip or it is not written clearly, you have the right to file a complaint.

Annual Leave and Public Holidays

You have the right to days off.

  • You are entitled to 13 days off per year, these are Thai public holidays. If a holiday falls on a weekly rest day, you have a right to take the following working day off. If you are required to work on a public holiday, you are entitled to extra payment (see overtime section)
  • You are entitled to 6 days of paid annual leave per year
  • You have a right to 30 days of paid medical leave per year:
    • If the medical leave is for 3 working days or more, you must get a medical certificate from a registered doctor
    • You have the right to receive your income during a period of sickness
  • Women are entitled to 98 days paid maternity leave and receive 50% of their regular salary. The hospital fees for the labour are covered: 50% by your employer and 50% is covered from a Thai social security fund

Employment termination and Changing of employer

You have the right to receive notification if your employer wishes to terminate your employment, when this date is not specified in your contract.

However, according to the current law in Thailand, you still cannot change the employer freely.

You can only change the employer in the following situations, if:

  • Your employer dies
  • Your contract is cancelled or the company is closing down
  • You are abused by your employer (for example your freedom of movement is restricted, you are abused physically or mentally)
  • Your employer is not complying with the labour protection law (for example does not pay your salary on time, does not accept your leave days, forces you to work overtime with no extra payment, etc.)
  • Your new employer agrees to compensate to your former employer

For Non-Thai identification card (Pink Card) holder, in order to change employer, new employer must register you at Department of Employment within 15 days after the termination of the former job, which is also communicated with notice of leaving by former employer.

You may also change an employer on the discretion of an official at the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour.

Your new employer must offer you the same kind of work. Your old employer must also sign a transfer form allowing you to work for another employer within 7 days.

Freedom of Movement

You have the right to move freely in and out of the workplace and you have the right to go out of your workplace during your free time. Your employer cannot restrict your movement to the workplace. Your employer does not have the right to lock your room, but you have the right to lock your room from the inside.

Your Obligations


Do not leave your employment without notice

If you experience problems at work, speak with your family or a trusted friend. Talk to your employer or to the recruitment agency, which supported you with finding the workplace.

If this does not solve the problem, contact a Thai Government authority, an NGO, or Cambodian Embassy in Thailand: find their contact number here.

Report your leave

If you want to take leave, inform your employer beforehand. Make sure you inform your employer beforehand. If you suddenly disappear from work or extend your leave without notice, this might be a ground to terminate your contract.

Inform about sickness

If you are sick and cannot go to work, inform your employer as soon as possible. It might also be a good idea to get a medical certificate, especially if your sickness extends over three working days.

Do not overstay

You have to report every 90 days to the nearest immigration office. Complete a form with your
current address. This process is free of charge.

Also: check your passport and visa stamps and remember until when are they valid.

If you overstay in Thailand, you will be fined THB 500 per day. If you overstay more than 90 days you will be arrested and deported without possibility of re-entry for 1 year.


OVERSTAYING TIME Re-entry ban (exclusion period) for:
Over 90 days 1 year
Over 1 year 3 years
Over 3 years 5 years
Over 5 years 10 years


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