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Living areas explanation

This information is drafted as of October 15, 2012.
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 Non-professional Employment (E-9) visa holders´ employment procedure
Foreign workers holding a Non-professional Employment (E-9) visa may be employed in businesses the size and industry of which shall be determined by the Minister of Labor through the 「Foreign Workers Introduction Plan」.

The procedure for employment of foreign workers holding Non-professional Employment (E-9) visa is as follows: ① register in the list of foreigners seeking jobs, ② obtain recommendation by the head of the Employment Support Center, ③ sign a labor contract, ④ apply for visa, ⑤ enter the country, ⑥ complete the Foreigner Employment Training, ⑦ start labor services, among others.
Non-professional Employment (E-9) visa holders: Business size & industry
- The Ministry of Employment and Labor announces the industries and the size of enterprises allowed to hire foreign workers every year through the 「Foreign Workers Introduction Plan」 through the Official Gazette, daily newspapers or the internet (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 5.(1) & 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers 」 Article 3).
※ The “2011 Foreign Workers Introduction Plan” may be confirmed in section 《Hiring foreign workers - Foreign workers Employment Qualification - Businesses and number of foreign worker introduction 》of this web site.
- There are 15 countries that have signed an MOU with ROK to send workers holding Non-professional Employment (E-9) or Working Visit (H-2) visas including the Philippines, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Cambodia, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, East Timor.
Procedure for the initial hiring of foreign workers outside of Korea holding Non-professional Employment (E-9) visas
Registration on the list of foreigners seeking jobs in ROK
- Employers must hire foreign workers who are formally registered on the list of foreign workers seeking jobs that hold a Non-professional Employment (E-9) visa (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 8.(3)).
- Foreigners intending to be registered on the list of foreign workers must meet the conditions for selection, which includes Korean language proficiency, and work experience, among others (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 7.(2)).
Request of employer and recommendation by the head of an Employment Support Center
- Foreign workers need the request of an employer and a recommendation letter from the head of an Employment Support Center to be employed in ROK.
- Employers who selected a foreign worker will be issued an employment permit from the head of Employment Support Center.
Signing a labor contract
■ Standard labor contract
- Foreign workers selected by an employer in ROK who received recommendation from the head of an Employment Support Center shall sign a labor contract with his (her) employer. In this case, the labor contract shall be a standard labor contract (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 9.(1)).
※ Signing the labor contract may be consigned to the Human Resources Development Service of Korea by the employer (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 9.(2) & 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers 」 Article 16.(1)).
- Foreign workers who signed a labor contract shall receive a copy of the contract「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers 」 Article 16.(2).
■ Labor contract period
- Foreign workers and employers may conclude or renew a labor contract for a period of up to three years according to agreement between the directly concerned parties (Articles 9.(3) and 18 of the「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」).
※ In this case, the labor contract shall be effective from the date that the foreign workers enter the country (Article 17.(1) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」).
- Notwithstanding the three-year limitation on employment (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 18), however, any foreign worker whose employer requests the Minister of Employment and Labor to grant permission for reemployment before the worker departs from the Republic of Korea upon expiration of the three-year employment period may have the employment period extended only once by up to two years, and conclude a labor contract within such extended period (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 18-2).
√ For an employer to obtain a permit to reemploy a foreign worker, the employer shall submit an application to extend the employment period for a foreign worker whose employment period is to expire in more than one month (Form No. 12-3 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」) with the following documentation to the head of the employment security agency with jurisdiction over the relevant business site until 7 days before his/her employment period expires (「Enforcement Rule of the「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」Article 14-2.(1)):
ⅰ) Copy of the business registration certificate;
ⅱ) Copy of the foreigner registration certificate;
ⅲ) Copy of the passport; and
ⅳ) Copy of the standard labor contract
√ The head of the competent employment security agency who receives and reviews an application to extend the employment period shall, if the application meets the requirements, issue a confirmation to extend the employment period for a person whose employment period is to expire (Form No. 12-4 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」) within seven days from receiving the application (Article 14-2.(2) of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」).
Application for visa issuance
- Foreign workers who signed a labor contract shall receive a visa issuance certificate sent by the employer in ROK and must use the certificate to apply for a visa from a local ROK embassy for a Non-professional Employment (E-9) visa (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 10, 「Immigration Control Act」 Article 8 & 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」 Article 9).
※ If employers obtain the certificate on behalf of their foreign workers the foreign worker may be issued a visa without a separate review procedure (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 10).
※ Some countries issue numbers instead of certificates for visa issuance and such numbers are recognized in countries where electronic visas are issued [For more information on countries that issue visa issuance numbers, go to the e-government web site for foreigners-(http://www.hikorea.go.kr)].
Entry
- Foreign Workers must enter the country with a valid passport and visa (「Immigration Control Act」 Article 7).
※ However, if foreign workers who have received a re-entry permit from the Minister of Justice of the ROK, or have been exempted from having to receive a re-entry permit and are reentering the country before the exemption period has ended, they do not need a visa to reenter the country (「Immigration Control Act」 Article 7.(2).1).
Completion of foreigner employment training
- Foreigners intending to work in ROK must receive foreigner employment training arranged by the Human Resources Development Service of Korea or the Korea International Labor Foundation, within 15 days of entry into the country (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 11.(1) & 「Enforcement Rules of the Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 10).
Medical examinations
- Employers shall conduct medical examination of their foreign workers, in institutions designated by the Ministry of Employment and Labor pursuant to the 「National Health Insurance Act」 and foreign workers will normally receive medical examinations at the same time as the foreigner employment training (「Industrial Safety and Health Act」 Article 43).
※ Foreign workers who failed the medical examination shall receive a second examination for more precise determination of their medical condition. Until the second examination is confirmed, the foreign worker must be isolated in consultation with the immigration office for normal assignment to the workplace if found normal he (she) shall be assigned to the workplace but deported in case of inappropriate health conditions.
Alien registration
- Foreign workers must register as aliens at the competent immigration office within 90 days of entering the country (「Immigration Control Act」 Article 31.(1)).
Start of labor services
- A foreign worker who has completed the Foreigner Employment training is ready to start labor services at the workplace where he (she) already signed the labor contract.
Applying for an extension of the visa period of sojourn
- To renew the period of a labor contract, that is, foreign workers intending to sojourn in excess of the initial one year period shall apply for an extension of the period of sojourn at the competent immigration office (or satellite immigration office where applicable) prior to the expiration of the initial one year (「Immigration Control Act」 Article 25).
Procedure for a Non-professional Employment (E-9) visa holder already in Korea to be employed by another employer in Korea
Applying for change of employer or worksite
- A foreign worker must apply for a change of worksite within one month of the termination of the original labor contract, with the Employment Support Center where a foreign worker intends to change worksite due to any one of the following reasons(「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 25.(1) and (3) & 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers 」 Article 30.(1)):
1. Employer wishes to terminate the labor contract during the period of the labor contract, for justifiable reasons or refuses to renew the initial contract after expiration thereof;
2. Foreign worker is unable to continue labor service due to reasons outside the control of the foreign worker, such as temporary suspension or closure of business;
3. Foreigner employment permit is cancelled or foreign worker employment by the concerned employer is restricted;
4. The working conditions at the employer's workplace are different from those specified in the labor contract, or it is difficult to maintain the labor contract under social convention for such reasons as unreasonable treatment by the employer including violation of working conditions.
5. Foreign worker is unable to continue to provide the labor services required by the original employer due to injury, among other reasons, but is able to provide services to another employer or worksite.
Applying for a change of worksite
- Foreign workers shall apply for a change of worksite with the competent Immigration Office (or satellite immigration office where applicable) where the worker is intending to start work at another worksite due to any of the above-mentioned reasons, in addition to reporting to the Employment Support Center, prior to the start of the labor services at the new worksite (「Immigration Control Act」 Article 21.(1)).
- Foreign workers failing to obtain the approval for change of worksite within 3 months since application, shall become subject to deportation (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 25.(3)). However, if it is impossible to obtain permission for a change of workplace or to apply for a change of workplace for such reason as an industrial disaster, disease, pregnancy, childbirth, etc., the foreign worker concerned shall obtain such permission within three months from the date on which such reason ceases to exist, or apply for such change within one month from the date on which such reason ceases to exist.
Restrictions on Change in Business or Worksite
- In principle, foreign workers may not change their business or workplace more than three times within three years (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 18) following the date of their entry into the Republic of Korea (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 25.(4)).
- Nevertheless, if foreign workers had changed their business or workplace once for a reason attributable to the employer before they were assigned to the initial business or workplace after concluding a labor contract and entering the ROK, and this is included in the above three times, the head of the employment security agency may exceptionally allow one more change of the business or workplace (Article 30.(2) of the「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」).
- Foreign workers whose employment period was extended at the request of their employers for permission for their reemployment before their departure from the Republic of Korea upon expiration of their three-year employment period (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 18-2.(1)) may not change their business or workplace more than twice during such extended period (「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」 Article 25.(4)).
※ If it is acknowledged that foreign workers became unable to continue labor service at a workplace due to temporary suspension, closure of business, or other reason outside their control, the change of a business or workplace for such reason shall not be recorded as one of the above restricted number of changes (Article 25.(4) of the 「Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers」).
Reporting change of place of residence
- Where a foreign worker’s place of residence also changes due to the change of worksite, the foreign worker shall report such changes of residence to the head of the si, gun or gu or the competent Immigration office (or satellite immigration offices where applicable) within 14 days of relocation (「Immigration Control Act」 Article 36.(1)).
Other procedures
- Foreign workers who applied for a change of employer or worksite shall undergo the same procedure for employment at a new worksite or employer: ① register in the list of foreigners seeking jobs in Korea, ② sign a labor contract , ③ start labor services, and such procedure shall be the same as being employed for the first time in Korea.
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