Korea’s Employment Permit System and the 3-D Industries

August 6, 2016 Asia 3785 Views
Korea’s Employment Permit System and the 3-D Industries

Owing to what South Korea dubbed the “3-D” industries, Korea has been receiving low-skilled foreign laborers since the early 90’s. The 3-D industries stand for difficult, dangerous and dirty. Despite its efforts in 1993 to introduce the Industrial Training Scheme, labor shortage has always been an issue in the country.

However, a new dawn came in 2004 in the form of the Employment Permit System. The EPS’s main mandate is to regulate the entry of low-skilled labor from other countries.


EPS’s core principles

Transparency: The system seeks to fight corruption as well as rent-seeking schemes developed by recruitment agencies. Now, all the recruitment is handled by government agencies.

Complementarity: The system addresses shortages in low-skilled labor experienced by small and medium-sized companies.

Temporary migration: This is a system that provides encouragement to foreign workers to encourage them to return to their home countries.

Aligning with the needs of firms: The system achieves this by clearly setting out the various qualifications needed by firms, with a key emphasis on Korean competency.

No discrimination: The system ensures that social/labor protection is offered to foreign workers in the form of insurance. Also, it ensures that the workers receive a lump-sum payout of their pension once their employment is terminated.


Who is considered by EPS?

Two types of employment are handled by the EPS. These include E-9 visa and H-2 visa. The E-9 visa allows the holders to work in various industries that include fishery, manufacturing, construction, agriculture as well as a number of service industries. The validity of the visa is 4 years and 10 months.

On the other hand, the H-2 visa is issued as a preferential employment visa. It is given to ethnic Koreans who are migrating from 11 countries, including China. The visa is obtained via a lottery system and the candidates must pass a language test.


About author

Related articles