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 Home > Open Board > News Release > 62,000 foreign workers will come to Korea in 2013 (an increase of 5,000 laborers over 2012)

    62,000 foreign workers will come to Korea in 2013 (an increase of 5,000 laborers over 2012)
    Admin     2012/10/04 10:25 am

62,000 foreign workers will come to Korea in 2013 (an increase of 5,000 laborers over 2012)

62,000 foreign workers will come to Korea in 2013 (an increase of 5,000 laborers over 2012)

The Korean government will expand the quota for foreign migrant workers next year to facilitate earlier entry to Korea to relieve industrial labor shortages and improve economic vitality.

The government finalized the 'Plan for Introduction and Management of Foreign Labor in 2013' during a meeting of the 'Foreign Workforce Policy Committee' on September 13th.

The decision to introduce foreign workers 3 months earlier in 2013 compared to previous years was made out of the government's commitment to promptly provide foreign labor to small manufacturing and agro-livestock industries suffering from a shortage of manpower and to boost the economy.

Under the plan, the quota for foreign migrant workers (E-9 visa holders) for 2013 will increase by 5,000 laborers to 62,000. This increase reflects additional demand for 23,000 more workers due to the lack of on-site manpower which doesn't include the 39,000 foreign workers who will be returning to their home countries after completing their employment contracts in Korea.

Unlike regular foreign laborers (E-9 visa holders), overseas Koreans with working visit visas (H-2 visa holders) can stay in Korea for the full period that their visa is valid. As H2 visa holders primarily work in the construction, food service, and hospitality industries, there is criticism that they take away jobs from socially-vulnerable Koreans. Therefore the government has decided to issue only 303,000 working visit visas in 2013, the same as last year.

Given the uncertainty over the future economic environment, domestic employment conditions, and the number of illegal foreign migrant workers, the quota for foreign laborers in 2013 (E-9 visa holders) may be flexibly adjusted, if necessary.

Earlier introduction of foreign laborers will require the government to begin immigration processes several months in advance by issuing employment permits starting in October 2012. In addition, the government will promote practical measures to support foreign workers living in Korea and protect them from unfair treatment by employers. At the same time, the government will strengthen penalties against employers that hire illegal aliens and countries that send many migrant workers who stay illegally in Korea.

The 'Scoring System' for the allocation of new foreign manpower will be expanded to all industries to encourage companies to comply with the law by giving preferential treatment to law-abiding firms.

Lee Chae-pil, Minister of Employment and Labor said, "We will encourage businesses to legally hire foreign laborers to help improve economic vitality while also taking stern measures against illegal employment. At the same time, the ministry will expand its job placement services to increase employment opportunities for Korean workers".

Source: Korea International Labour Foundation (Sept. 28, 2012) (http://www.koilaf.org/KFeng/engLabornews/bbs_read_dis.php?board_no=7787)

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