Ministry to ease burden on re-entering foreign workers

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Ministry to ease burden on re-entering foreign workers

The re-entry process for some foreign nationals previously employed in Korea should become easier due to changes announced by the Ministry of Employment and Labor yesterday.

The ministry said it would begin offering Korean exams at least four times a year for foreign nationals who came to Korea on certain employment permits and then returned to their home countries after their employment authorizations expired. Should these workers pass the test - a requirement to obtain their employment permits - they will be allowed to return to Korea right away.

Currently, these foreign workers must leave Korea at the end of their employment, which cannot exceed four years and 10 months, and wait six months before returning. Re-entering workers have also been required to take the same Korean test as workers looking to come to Korea for the first time, a time-consuming process since the test is administrated irregularly.

The ministry will begin administering the exams to returning workers starting from next month in Vietnam and Thailand and will expand to other countries from next year. “We expect that the number of foreign nationals who are sojourning in the country illegally will decrease and it will become easier for businesses to recruit skilled employees,” said Lee Jae-gap, who works on employment policy at the ministry.


By Sarah Kim, Yonhap [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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