The government is set to tighten its control over migrant construction workers’ visas and reduce their visa period to a maximum one-month stay after their assigned public work is complete.
The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong, reveled on Saturday that the authorities will cut 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 stated that 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,” The secretary 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,” He the said. secretary.
Regarding the 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 – usually from the mainland – won’t reside 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.