Record 165,000 migrant workers to enter S.Korea next year

Seoul, Nov 27 (IANS) South Korea will bring in an all-time high of 165,000 non-professional migrant workers next year under the Employment Permit System to cope with growing labour shortages hitting many industries, the Ministry of Employment and Labor said on Monday.

The government will also expand the industries in which the foreign workers arriving here with the non-professional employment visa (E-9) can work, to newly include restaurant, mining and forestry sectors, the Ministry added.

In the case of the restaurant industry, for instance, Jeju, Sejong and 98 local governments plan to recruit foreign workers as kitchen assistants for Korean restaurants, Yonhap news agency reported.

By industry, manufacturing will accept the largest number of E-9 visa holders at 95,000 people, followed by 16,000 for agriculture and livestock, 13,000 for service, 10,000 for fishing, 6,000 for construction and 5,000 for shipbuilding, the Ministry said, adding the remaining 20,000 will be distributed regardless of industry.

The E-9 visa is issued for migrant workers wanting to engage in jobs that require manual or non-professional labour. The number of migrant workers entering South Korea with the E-9 visa has steadily increased in recent years, rising from 52,000 in 2021 and 69,000 in 2022 to 120,000 this year.



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