South Korea allows Vietnamese workers to overstay visa until 2022
Vietnamese migrant workers attend a work safety class in South Korea. Photo by VnExpress.
South Korea will allow Vietnamese and other foreign workers with expired Employment Permit System (EPS) contracts to become seasonal employees until March 2022.
The Center for Overseas Labor under the Vietnamese Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs said that the new permission will apply to all overseas workers under the EPS who’ve completed their three- or four- year contracts using the E-9 (non-professional employment) visa. Unable to return because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they will be granted an extended residence permit by South Korea's Ministry of Justice, the center said.
It also said that the seasonal work program is recruiting 4,179 agricultural workers for 27 localities across the country and around 200 people for the fisheries sector in one locality.
The center said the registration will be for employment from March 2 this year until March 31, 2022. Employees can choose to work continuously from one to a maximum of five months.
Foreign workers applying for seasonal employment will also be paid higher minimum wages. They will also be eligible for occupational accident insurance.
The program is not open to illegal residents or E9 workers in the agriculture and fisheries sectors who have reached the maximum number of times they are allowed to change their workplaces.
There are about 50,000 Vietnamese working in South Korea, 34,600 of them under the EPS program.
Many workers are stranded in the country because of Covid-19, which has infected over 87,000 people and resulted in 1,573 deaths.