This system aims to alleviate the difficulties that foreign students face when they attempt to get jobs in Korea and to help Korean enterprises hire foreign employees. Three ministries – the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) – will cooperate to create the system at the end of this year. The MOE will establish a database which records the foreign students’ affiliated universities, majors, GPAs and the names of received awards. The MOTIE will also satisfy the demands of enterprises according to their locations or business fields. These two ministries will provide job education and conduct a training program in industries for foreign graduates. Finally, the MOJ will adopt a new visa policy that offers more possibility for foreign students to stay longer in Korea.
The new policy adopted by the MOJ will start benefiting foreign students employed in Korean enterprises by next year. After getting a job in Korea, the current D2 exchange student visa will be changed to an E7 visa, which will be renewed every two years and allow them to stay in Korea as long as they want under the condition they renew the visa. Initially, there are some limitations for foreigners who wish to receive the E7 visa without getting employed in Korea. In order to qualify for the E7, foreigners should receive a minimum wage level in Korea or obtain a technician’s license that requires certain level of understanding technical terms in Korean. However, foreign students will be given the E7 visa more easily in that they do not need to coincide with these conditions if they get a job in Korea.
Combining all the attempts of different ministries, several positive results are expected for both foreign students and Korean enterprises. The most apparent result will be that foreign students will be able to get jobs more easily as they have access to resources that help them connect with Korean enterprises. Also, many small and medium Korean enterprises will benefit from the system, which will allow them to not only supplement labor shortage due to the low birth rate and Korean students’ avoidance of those enterprises, but also strengthen the business basis for local markets with abundant information.
One foreign student at Ewha shared her insight on the new system.
“I believe that hiring foreign talents is a win-win situation for both firms,” said Nadia Al-Insyiraah, a freshman in the Division of International Studies. “For firms, they can look forward to a more globalized team that can greatly boost team dynamics. At the same time, foreign employees can learn about efficient Korean working strategies and share their culture. This will help Koreans to better adapt to the world of globalization.”