Employment for Foreigners
Ministry of Employment and Labor : 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.
- TBusinesses 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 (16 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) ⑯ Lao
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.
EPS 4 Major Insurances
Incheon Job Welfare Plus Center website: www.eps.go.kr ☎ 032-460-4701
What are the EPS 4 Major Insurances?
- The EPS 4 Major Insurances are 4 different types of insurance (Departure Guarantee Insurance, Guarantee Insurance, Return Cost Insurance, and Casualty Insurance) that a foreign worker and his or her employer are required to take out according to "The Act on the Employment of Foreign Workers, etc."
- The Departure Guarantee Insurance and Guarantee Insurance are to be taken out by the employer whereas the Return Cost Insurance and Casualty Insurance are to be taken out by the foreign worker. As purchase of the Departure Guarantee Insurance and Guarantee Insurance is a prerequisite for obtaining an employment permit, the employer ought to check if purchase is possible through a job center beforehand.
- Contact general financial institutions such as Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, Co., Ltd and Seoul Guarantee Insurance, Co., Ltd for direct purchase of the relevant insurance product.
|Classification||Purchased By||Details||Insurance Fees|
| Departure Guarantee |
|Employer|| An insurance for retirement pay in |
the event of a foreign worker's
departure from Korea etc.
| 8.3% of employee's total wages |
per month (to be paid monthly)
|Guarantee Insurance||Employer|| An insurance that guarantees |
unpaid wages for foreign workers
| One-time payment, 15,000 won |
per employee per year
(Insurance premium can vary depe-nding on the term of employment)
|Return Cost Insurance||Foreign Worker||An insurance that covers the going-home expenses of foreign workers|| One-time payment or a maximum of 3 installments, |
different from country to country (400,000 to 600,000 won)
|Casualty Insurance||Foreign Worker|| An insurance that insures against |
death or disability of a foreign
worker aside from occupational
| Differential rates according to |
gender and age etc.