Work Permit System In South Korea

From this post, we will continue to cover foreign employment management. We will look into what is the foreign employment permit system.
November 30, 2023

Let’s learn more about the foreigners’ work permit system in Korea. Statistics show that the number of foreign workers staying in Korea exceeds 800,000 and the total number of illegal aliens is over 1.2 million.

According to the November Labor Market Trends based on Employment Administration Statistics released by the Ministry of Employment and Labor, 41.2 percent of the new regular subscribers to employment insurance are foreign workers who entered Korea under the Employment Permit System after receiving a work visa. Many foreign workers are working in many domestic industrial sites through the Foreign Work Permit System.

In particular, about 90% of foreign workers working through the employment permit system were found to work in the manufacturing industry. On the other hand, the number of Koreans employed in the manufacturing industry continues to decline.

Due to the low birth rate trend and the advancement of the industry, the employment of foreign workers by manufacturers is expected to increase. From this post, we will continue to cover foreign employment management. With the first post, we will look into what is the foreign work permit system.

What is an employment permit system for foreigners?

  1. A system that allows “small and medium enterprises that have failed to find domestic human resources” to legally employ “non-professional foreign human resources” with permission from the government
  2. Introduction and management system of non-professional (E-9) and visiting (H-2) visas among the status of residence under Article 18 (1) of the Immigration Control Act (“For foreigners to get a job in the Republic of Korea, they must obtain a status of residence to engage in employment activities as prescribed by Presidential Decree”)
  3. It is possible to utilize foreign personnel while guaranteeing employment opportunities for Koreans first

In other words, what is the work permit system for foreigners,

It is a system that allows workers with qualifications (staying status, Korean language proficiency test, etc.) required by the Republic of Korea to be employed at the national level for a temporary period (basic three years) in a set industry and business size (small and medium-sized enterprises).

What should I keep in mind when applying for the employment permit system for foreigners?

When hiring employees using the Foreign Employment Permit System, there are several things to note.

  1. Prohibition of designated placement: The company cannot personally enter into a labor contract with foreign workers or hire a workplace changeer without going through a competent employment center
  2. Only foreign workers in designated countries (16 countries): Indonesia, Nepal, Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Philippines, Pakistan, Myanmar, East Timor, Vietnam, Thailand, Mongolia, China, Laos
  3. Limit the initial employment period to 3 years
  4. However, re-entry is possible after a certain period of time when leaving the country after employment in Korea, but re-entry and employment are possible after a certain period of time
  5. Short-term employment, so family members are not allowed
  6. Limit the number of workplace changes (three times during the first three years of stay, two times for inventory extension)

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  1. Hi sir,
    I’m Bangladeshi citizen. I live in Malaysia as a general Worker. Actually i want to apply for Korean work permit.

  2. We would like to immigrate to South Korea and work and live there. We have the professions of baker, assistant cook, or cook. We have the news. Do not say, “You are three years old.” We do not have a university degree or a language certificate. Thank you.

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