Work visas getting easier for teachers

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Work visas getting easier for teachers

The government will ease regulations to exempt foreign language instructors from having to submit documents and update their visas every time they change employers, the Prime Minister’s Office said yesterday.

Foreigners with E-2 teaching visas will also be allowed to stay longer than allowed at present, the office said.

The measures were decided to help eliminate inconveniences experienced by foreigners while living in South Korea, the office said.

Under the measures expected to go into effect next year, foreigners can join domestic Internet sites by using their foreigner registration number or passport number, it said.

The government will also change the current system requiring foreign suspects to provide prints of all 10 fingers every time they are investigated. Only their thumb prints will be collected from the second time, according to the office.

In addition, the government will lower requirements for Korean language ability and minimum income when granting permanent residency. Foreigners who have been staying more than 10 years will be allowed to substitute the Korean-language test with an interview, the office said.

Other changes include making more space on government documents for foreigners with long names.

However, the government decided to retain the current system obligating foreign language instructors to get an HIV test, citing a public survey in which the test was supported by 80.7 percent of ordinary citizens.

The measures were based on ideas suggested by about 100 foreigners in an open contest hosted by the Prime Minister’s Office in March.

Six of the contestants won prizes for their proposals in a ceremony Monday.

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