Korean govt out to redesign work permit for migrant workers

2017.02.27 11:57:02 | 2017.02.27 13:46:58
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The South Korean government will redesign the alien workers’ visa system to better protect job infringement in construction and services areas that legally are off-limits to foreigners with visiting or special visas for unskilled work category.

The Ministry of Employment and Labor has recruited outside consulting to come up with updated design on immigration policy on foreign workers after in-depth study on the influence of migrant workers with visit visa (H-2) or special visa for Korean descent (F-4) on the domestic job market, according to government sources.

The outline will reexamine the work permit system to reassess the scope of job availability for foreign workers. It will also include a proposal for stronger welfare and retraining program for ethnic Koreans working in Korea.

Once the outline is finalized, it will be coordinated with the justice ministry so that a new system would be ready in June, the sources said.

Korea has much more illegal than legal foreign workers. The majority of them are ethnic Koreans from China. The documented arrivals on F4 jumped 58 percent to 372,500 last year from 236,000 in 2013. Of them, 275,000 are from China, taking up 74 percent of the total.

The F-4 visa, dubbed as overseas Korean visa, allows Korean descendants who live abroad to stay in Korea for up two years with an option to extend the period of stay. The F-4 visa holders are permitted to work in almost all job segments except for the unskilled manual labor jobs.

By Seo Dong-cheol

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]

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