Employment for Foreigners

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Ministry of Employment and Labor website : www.moel.go.kr (Available in English) ☏1350


Foreigners may gain employment according to their received visa type which is determined by their purpose for entering Korea. Foreigners who enter Korea with a Spouse Visa (F6) acquired through marriage with a Korean national are legally permitted to work in Korea.

Employment Permit System for Foreign Workers

The employment permit system enables small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have failed to hire local workforce to legally hire non-professional foreign labor by obtaining an employment permit from the government.
Businesses intending to employ foreign workers must correspond to 'a business type authorized to employ foreign labor' and 'a business or workplace eligible to employ foreign labor.' Also, they must meet certain requirements such as 'make efforts for 14 days or more to recruit locals' etc. before they may employ foreign workers on a Non-professional Employment Visa (E-9) or a Working Visit Visa (H-2) within the range of employment visas.

※ For more information on the types of businesses permitted to employ foreign workers and the
    number of employed workers permitted for each business type (limits on new employment), visit
    the Ministry of Employment and Labor website, Employment Permit System (www.eps.go.kr) →
    Information on Employment Permit System

※ Employment Permit System Language Support (15 sending countries under the system)
    ① Filipino, ② Mongolian, ③ Sri Lankan, ④ Vietnamese, ⑤ Thai, ⑥ Indonesian,
    ⑦ Uzbek, ⑧ Pakistani, ⑨ Cambodian, ⑩ Chinese, ⑪ Bengali, ⑫ Nepali, ⑬ Kyrgyz,
    ⑭ Burmese, ⑮ Tetum (East Timor)

General Employment Procedures for Foreign Workers

    Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK)
    ⇨ Creation and submission of job seekers' roster (Human Resources Development Service of Korea)
    ⇨ Signing of standard labor contract
    ⇨ Preliminary training
    ⇨ Entry to Korea and employment training
    ⇨ Assignment of foreign workers to workplace

▶ Under the employment permit system, a foreign worker (E-9) enters Korea on the terms of 'a labor contract with
    a local employer' and thus a change of employer is in principle not allowed.
    However, in cases where it is difficult to continue a normal employer-employee relationship with the existing
    employer due to certain reasons, a change of employer is allowed for a maximum of 3 times during the first 3 years,
    and twice during re-employment.
    · Application to change employer must be made within 1 month from the termination date of the labor contract.
      A foreign worker who applied for a change of employer must gain new employment through a job center within
      3 months (job registration validity period) from the date of application.
    · In the event of failure to receive 'permit for change of workplace' from the Ministry of Justice(Immigration Office)
      within 3 months, a foreign worker will have to leave the country. Thus, he or she should actively engage in job
      hunting activities during the stipulated period of time.

※ Source : Guidebook for foreigners, daily living information in Incheon

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