Korea to increase foreign workers in hotels to ease labor shortage

2023. 6. 7. 10:30
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The Korean government has decided to allow the employment of non-professional foreign workers who holds E-9 visas to expand the labor pool in the domestic tourism and hospitality industry.

The government announced the new measure on Monday during a task force meeting for the service industry development. “A labor supply survey will be conducted for the tourism and hospitality industry within this year, with a plan to gradually grant permissions concerning E-9 visas,” said the government.

The E-9 visa is a general employment permit visa that allows foreign workers to work for a maximum of four years and 10 months. The Ministry of Employment and Labor recently announced plans to extend the maximum period of stay to 10 years. The employment permit system aims to attract unskilled foreign workers from 16 countries, including China, Vietnam and the Philippines. If an employer fails to hire domestic workers within a certain period, the employer can seek government permission to employ foreign workers.

The tourism and hospitality industry has been seeking permission for the employment of E-9 visa holders for a long time. “There have been a lot of requests from the hospitality industry, though further analysis of the actual labor shortage and a comprehensively review will be needed,” said an official from the labor ministry.

Up until now, H-2 work visa holders, most of whom are ethnic Koreans from overseas, have been employed in the hospitality industry.

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