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Macau to tighten control over migrant workers visas

The government will tighten its control over migrant construction workers’ visas and cut their visa period to a maximum one-month stay after their assigned public work is complete. The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong, revealed on Saturday that the authorities will shorten the workers’ permitted period of stay, three months prior to the […]

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:49 am

The government will tighten its control over migrant construction workers’ visas and cut their visa period to a maximum one-month stay after their assigned public work is complete.

The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong, revealed on Saturday that the authorities will shorten the workers’ permitted period of stay, three months prior to the construction’s projected completion; the workers will then be requested to leave Macau within one month upon the completion of their duties.

Leong said the authorities previously approved one-year visas for construction workers, as they did not know when projects would be finished.
“For instance, turns out [the project] might be finished in only three months, then wouldn’t they be able to stay another nine months in Macau? It’s possible that [the workers] won’t leave on time and thus generate some negative effect to society,” he explained.

“Therefore, now we won’t allow that anymore. If you [contractors] really know it will take three months to finish the work, I won’t renew your visa automatically for one year; at maximum I’ll give you one month [grace period] to solve all the procedures required in the exit mechanism, such as salary payment,” said the secretary.

In regards to this matter, the Labor Affairs Bureau’s Human Resource Office and departments of Transport and Public Works have recently established a regular information exchange to ensure construction workers – often from the mainland – won’t linger in the city longer than needed.

Leong further stated the exit mechanism for migrant workers needs to be improved and implemented, so that it can also sort out labor disputes and handle compensation affairs effectively.

Some 60 imported Chinese construction workers working on the Parisian project gathered last Friday and Saturday afternoon in front of the Chinese Liaison Office Building to seek help regarding dismissal compensation, having being sacked by their boss.

Last Friday, the construction workers, who had been hired by Hsin Chong Engineering (Macau) Limited to work on the construction project of Sands China’s Parisian, said that more than 200 Chinese workers working on the main construction of the project were suddenly fired last Thursday.

DSAL said that some of the workers had demanded more than the statutory dismissal compensation and were not willing to send representatives to negotiate. The Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) claimed on Saturday night that the workers had accepted the compensation proposed by the contractor. (macaunews/macaudailytimes)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:49 am

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