1. Number of foreign workers (on the basis of work permit or worker registration) August 2011

Number of foreign workers by permit 2012.jpg

(Please click on table)

Source: A Situation Analysis on Health System Strengthening for Migrants in Thailand, by Chalermpol Chamchan and Kanya Apipornchaisakul, IPSR, Mahidol University, 2012

 2. Numbers of Migrants in Thailand according to ID status

Nbr migrant workers by ID 2011.jpg

 (Please click on table)

Source (1): The number of migrants is on the basis of civil/residential registration in April 2011 from Bureau of Registration administration, Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA), cited in Bussayarat Kanchanadit, (2011)

Source (2): The estimated number of migrants in Thailand cited and summarized by Supang, (20011) and Suchada and Bongot (2011) in International Migration Center (MMC) Newsletter 2nd Edition

3. Numbers of Migrants by permit from 2001-2011 

Foreign workers with permit in thailand 2001-11.jpg

(Please click on table)

Source: Office of Foreign Worker Administration (Work Permit)

  For more information see A Situation Analysis on Health System Strengthening for Migrants in Thailand, 2012




The following tables are taken from a series of Papers prepared for the Migration Information System in Asia (MISA)  on Assessing the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on International Migration in Asia, 2010.  The following reports provide information on migrants from Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar in receiving countries in Asia.

Source: MISA, 

Impacts of the Global Economic Crisis on Migrant Workers in Japan

This report examines how the global economic crisis has impacted the number of migrant workers in Japan. It also reviews the diverse impacts among different working statuses given to foreign nationals. In addition, this report refers to the government policies reacting to migrant workers in today’s economic turmoil and shrinking employment opportunities.

Numbers of foreign trainees supported by JITCO, by sex and nationality

Nbr of foreign trainees supported by JITICO_Jap.jpg

 Number of trainees who switch to internship program by sex and nationality

 Nbr of trainees who switch to tech inten prog_Jap.jpg

Trainees to technical interns, by industry

 Trainee to technical Inter Yr on Yr by industry_Jap.jpg

Japan Full report

The Global Financial Crisis And International Migration In The Republic Of Korea

This paper examines trends in the employment of foreign workers and the Korean labor market since the global financial crisis took place in September 2008 and the implications of these trends on Korea’s low-skilled foreign labor policy.

 Number of foreign workers with visa by nationality

 Nbr of foreign workers with visa by nationality_korea.jpg

Korea Full report

Impact of the Economic Crisis on International Migration in Asia a Year After: Country Report for Malaysia

This paper provides an overview of Malaysia’s economic performance in the aftermath of the recent global financial crisis and examines its effects on international labour migration. Malaysia is both a labour sending and labour receiving nation, but in terms of magnitude, it is a relatively large destination country for foreign labour, especially low and semi-skilled foreign labour. As such, its foreign worker polices have been heavily skewed towards limiting the inflow of low-skilled foreign workers following the economic downturn. The paper traces the recent policy responses to control and manage the reliance on low-skilled foreign labour and the implications of these measures for labour migration in Malaysia.

Number of Foreign Workers in Malaysia

The number of foreign workers in the country has gradually declined from a peak of about 2.1 million registered workers in the country as at December 2008 (Table 2) to 1.8 million as at December, 2009. About 200,000 of them were repatriated to their home country upon expiry of their work permits. About 39.0 per cent were employed in manufacturing, followed by plantation (14.0 per cent), construction (19.0 per cent), services (10.0 per cent) and domestic workers (12.0 per cent). The remainder 6.0 per cent were employed in agriculture. The main sending country was Indonesia (50.9 per cent), followed by Bangladesh (17.4 per cent), Nepal (9.7 per cent), Myanmar (7.8 percent and India (6.3 per cent). Based on estimates reported by the Minister of Home Affairs, there are about 1.5 million undocumented migrants in the country (Bernama News Agency, December 10, 2009). In other words, the total number of migrants (documented and undocumented) at the end of 2009 was around 3.3 million or about 28 per cent of total employed.

In addition to low-skilled workers, there were a total of 33,601 expatriates or skilled workers mainly from India (18.8 per cent) and China (8.6 per cent). The majority were employed in the services sector (70.5 per cent), while the rest were mainly in manufacturing (24.0 per cent) (Economic Report, 2090/2010, p. 78).

Foreign workers with work permit by sector

 Foreign workers by occupation_Malaysia.jpg

Currently, there are some 280,000 foreign maids working in Malaysia of which Indonesians make up more than 90%, 15,000 are from the Philippines and between 1,000 and 2,000 each from Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Malaysia Full report

Taiwan’s Labor Migration Policy and the Impact of the Financial Crisis on Migrant Workers The Situation of Migrant Workers In May 1992 with the implementation of “The Employment Service Act” the Taiwanese government officially started the policy of importing foreign labor force from several Asian countries namely: Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. In addition, Taiwan also searched other countries like Indonesia (1996), Vietnam (1998) and Mongolia (2004) as new source of migrant workers. Originally, the migrant workers were invited in to solve the so-called “labor shortage,” However, there was no real labor shortage but it was simply the employers who wanted cheap labor because the local laborers were no longer willing to perform the so called “3 D’s: difficult, dirty and dangerous” jobs under the old unpleasant conditions.

The categories of blue-collar workers allowed to enter are:

1) Caregivers / Domestic Helper

2) Factory Worker

3) Construction Worker

4) Fishermen Number of blue collar migrant workers in Taiwan

Nbr of blue collar migrant workers in Taiwan since 1992.jpg

The number of foreign workers has been growing steadily. As of November 2009, there were 349,433 blue-collar foreign migrant workers in Taiwan, which accounts for 1.5 percent of the total population and 3.2 percent of the total labor population. As shown in Table 1, about half of all blue-collar migrant workers are caregivers, while 48 percent are in the manufacturing industries. The majority of migrant workers come from Indonesia while the other migrant workers are from Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam whose number range from 60,000 to 80,000. Malaysia, which used to be a source country of origin in the 1980s, has ceased to be a major sending country of workers to Taiwan. Population of blue collar migrant workers by nationality

 Population of blue collar migrant workers in Taiwan 2009.jpg



The Plight of Foreign Spouses Since the 1990s, the number of intermarriages between Taiwanese nationals and foreigners has increased. About one in every five marriages in Taiwan is between a Taiwanese man and a foreign woman. The Ministry of the Interior said that as of September 2009, there were 426,297 foreign brides, of whom 271,054 were from Mainland China (Table 3). These women are usually married to Taiwanese men who are relatively less well-off and who would otherwise find difficulty in marrying local women. This relative lack of economic resources means that foreign brides face great economic pressures in Taiwan. Many foreign brides end up as nurses, caregivers or full-time homemakers. Since they are mostly from economically less prosperous regions in the Chinese Mainland or Southeast Asia, they tend to be stigmatized in mainstream society. Foreign brides in Taiwan

 Foreign brides in Taiwan 2009.jpg


Taiwan Full report


1.  Migrant registration 2010

  All migrants who were registered in Thailand as of 28 Feb 2010 and eligible for Nationality Verification Number of migrants who have submitted their Intention to do Nationality Verification Form and are in the process Migrants who have already completed Nationality Verification (Have Cerficiate of Identity (CI)/Temporary Passport (TP) and Received Work Permit
Total 1,315,932 924,475 104,518
Myanmar 1,079,991 756,733 14,059
Cambodia 124,902 81,601 41,433
Lao PDR 111,039 86,141 49,026

Workers who have been imported pursuant to MOU

Country Quota Demanded by Employers People have actually come
Myanmar 11,862
Cambodia 58,380 17,456
Lao PDR 75,229 10,753
Total 145,457 28,191

2. Report of Migrant Work Permits for Burmese, Laotian and Cambodian in Thailand in 2008
Number of Work Permits by Occupation (PDF 322KB)
Number of Work Permits by Provinces (PDF 523KB)
Office of Foreign Administration Department, Ministry of Labour, Thailand
adopted by MAP Foundation

3. Number of Migrant Workers in Thailand Came Through MOU (WORD 485KB) Thai only
Office of Foreign Workers Administration, Thailand Released in January 2008

4. Number of Migrant Workers in Thailand as of February 2008 (PDF 185B) Thai only
Ministry of Labour, Thailand Released on March 26, 2008


5. Number of Documented Migrant Workers (Burmese, Cambodian and Laotian) in Thailand (2007)

1) Regular registration policy (Number of migrant workers)

Registered in February 2007(Period of work permit: March 2007-February 2008)

Myanmar 121.448
Cambodia 10,322
Lao PDR 9,519

Registered in June 2007(Period of work permit: July 2007-June 2008)

Myanmar 367,834
Cambodia 14,469
Lao PDR 12,140

2) MOU process

a. Came through recruitment agencies as of January 2008 (Number of migrant workers)

Cambodia 8,173
Lao PDR 6,374

b. Documented through the nationality verification scheme (Number of migrant workers)

Cambodia 47,982
Lao PDR 48,000
*Cambodia November 2007
*Lao PDR February 2007

3) Special registration scheme in the southernmost provinces

Registered in February 2006 (Period of work permit: March 2006-February 2007)

Myanmar 314
Cambodia 31
Lao PDR 8

Registered in June 2006(Period of work permit: July 2006-June 2007)

Myanmar 1,012
Cambodia 121
Lao PDR 17


Source: government statistics

For more details of Thai registration policy, see MAP Foundation


Total Stock (Number) of MIgrants(WORD 386KB)

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