South Korea to boost visas for skilled workers amid labour shortages


SEOUL: South Korea will boost its annual quota of visas for skilled workers to more than 30,000 this year from 2,000 a year ago, to help companies battling a staff crunch, the justice minister said on Wednesday (June 28).


With younger South Koreans reluctant to take up blue-collar jobs, the industrial and farming sectors of Asia’s fourth-largest economy are struggling to fill vacancies.


“As we are expanding the number by 30-fold at once … there will be no talk of foreigners unable to come due to insufficient quota,” the presidential office quoted Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon as telling a government meeting.


The comparison was to the figure of about 1,000 in 2020, the minister added.


South Korea, which initially planned a cap of 5,000 for such E-7-4 visas this year, will also relax application criteria and let companies hire more foreigners, the ministry said, in response to industry requests.


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