Mr. Nguyen from Vietnam arrived in Incheon from Hanoi with a big dream. He has to stay away from his family for a long time, but if he can work in Korea for a maximum of 14 years and six months, he can save enough money for his coffee business that he always wanted to run.
But Mr. Nguyen is in trouble. He heard from his friend that the law of Korea will be changed so that he will not be allowed to stay in Korea more than 10 years.
Currently, there are two steps to extend your visa through the Re-entry System. This is a system for migrant workers who come to Korea through the Employment Permit System.
First, you have to work in the same workplace for four years and 10 months. After you have done this, you will be considered to be a sincere worker which will allow you stay another four years and 10 months.
Ant then if you want to stay another four years and six months on the top of nine years and six months, you have to go back to your country before the end of your visa and take a special Korean language test and you have to pass it. If you do, you can stay in Korea for 14 years and six month in total.
It is known that the difficulty level of the special Korean language test is similar to that of the general Korean language test and the acceptance rate is higher than the general Korean language test.
However, the Ministry of Employment and Labor are changing things so that migrant workers will only be allowed to stay in Korea for a maximum of ten years.
Why did the Ministry of Employment and Labor make this decision?
The Ministry of Employment and Labor announced that the decision to enact an amendment to the Enforcement Rule of the Act on the Employment of Migrant Workers was due to the conflict between the native Koreans and re-entry migrant workers.
▲ Photo courtesy The Jeju Weekly
According to the Ministry of Employment and Labor, the number of re-entry migrant workers increased from 3355 in 2012 to 17,551 in 2016. This year, as of the end of July, there are 12,126 people and the number of re-entry migrant workers are expected to exceed 20,000.
The Korea Labor Institute pointed out that as migrant workers are pouring into the labor market, labor costs are falling, which reportedly has a side effect of stopping middle-aged Korean workers from getting jobs.
An official at the Ministry of Employment and Labor said, "if migrant workers worked in Korea for 10 years, they must’ve met their own goals so it should be okay to revise the Enforcement Rule.”
However, others argue,”This policy is retrogressing the trend of the global era in which there is no board in terms of getting a job.” And “it is a nationalistic idea that does fit into the global competition era.”
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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