Thursday, February 2, 2012



Measure aimed at helping companies retain skilled workers

By Kim Rahn

The Ministry of Employment and Labor announced a revision to the Law on Foreign Workers’ Employment Wednesday, which will allow migrant workers who leave Korea after their visa expires to return after three months if a former employer wants to rehire them.

The revised law will take effect on July 2 and is designed to help companies retain skilled workers, while preventing those with expired visas from staying here illegally.

Under the current law, migrant workers with E-9 visas can work here for four years and 10 months, but then have to leave — they can only return after six months.

“Currently, migrant employees can return to Korea if they receive a new visa. But it is not easy because the authorities in their countries tend to give chances to other people. Even if they manage to return, it is unlikely that they can go back to their previous workplace. They also have to take the Korean language test and receive job training again as newcomers,” a ministry official said.

With the visas of some 67,000 foreign workers expected to expire this year, there have been lingering worries that companies may lose skilled employees and such workers may refuse to return home and stay here illegally.

Now the revision will allow foreign employees to have new visas and return to work after only three months, and without having to take the language test or job training.

“The new rule will enable migrant workers, whose return was almost impossible in reality, to come back, benefiting both the employees and the employers,” the official said.

Employers who want their foreign workers to return should apply to regional job centers before the workers leave Korea.

The measure will benefit employees who have stayed at one workplace without changing site, which about half of all migrant workers have done so, the official said.

“If we permit all such workers’ return, the number will be too large. So the ministry’s committee for policy on foreign workforce will soon designate businesses where such returns will be allowed,” he said.

The revision will also ease the restriction on changing workplaces.

Currently, migrant workers are allowed to change worksites up to five times, and when they change site because companies close or employers violate contracts such as with payment delays, this counted as a move. But that will not be the case under the new law. The exact standard on what is a valid change will be announced later.


Anonymous said...

I hope the put into consideration to allow rehiring those who atleast for more a year proir the expiration of visa.especialy to smal and medium business that have less than 5 migrant workers.

rajkumar adhikari said...

hi im eps worker holding e-9 visa im working korea since 2 year, but now i want to change company, becouse in this company my body problem, such as, my eys poor, so i talk with sajangnim , i want to change company, but he refuse, how can i change, company plz inform me.

Post a Comment


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More