Since August 2005, the Human Resources Development Service of Korea (HRD) has administered the Employment Permit System-Test of Proficiency in Korean (EPS-TOPIK) to recruit migrant workers more fairly and transparently and to help them adapt to life in the country as quickly as possible.
The HRD makes and manages the list of migrant workers who have passed EPS-TOPIK and applied for jobs after review to confirm that each of them meets the basic requirements.
A Korean business selects a migrant worker introduced by the employment support center. The business selects an agent in a foreign country that will sign an employment contract on behalf of the worker. The relevant agency sends a standard employment contract to the worker-dispatching institution, which then checks whether the worker consents to the contents of the contract and sends the standard employment contract to Korea.
※ The Korean business (the employer) receives the standard employment contract taking over the worker. The migrant worker receives his/her portion of the standard employment contract from the worker-dispatching institution.
The HRD carries out pre-employment education for migrant workers who have signed an employment contract to help them adapt to the local situation in Korea as early as possible. The pre-employment education period lasts from one to 2.5 weeks, depending on the worker’s EPS-TOPIK score.
Migrant workers should obtain an E-9/Non-professional employment visa from the ROK Embassy in their country and leave for Korea under the guidance of the worker-dispatching institution. Upon arrival in Korea, they are obliged to attend a 16-hour (3-day) education session.
Each migrant worker is taken by the future employer from the education facility, whereupon the term of employment commences.
Justifiable reasons for transfer to another workplace
Upon termination of the employment relationship at the existing workplace, the migrant worker should submit the application for transfer to another workplace to the employment support center within one month of the end of the employment relationship and try to find another workplace with the help of the Center within 3 months. If he/she cannot find a new workplace within 3 months, he/she should leave the country.
※ No persons other than the personnel of the employment support center should be involved in the selection, introduction or recruitment of a migrant worker. A person who violates this regulation is punishable with imprisonment (with/without hard labor) for not longer than one year or a fine not exceeding 10 million won. (The Act on the Employment, etc. of Foreign Workers, Article 29)