EPS extended to 5 years

This news article says that the EPS, which is currently effective for three years, will be extended to five years. Laborers under the current EPS system renew their visa every year for up to three years. With this new rule, they could stay in Korea for up to five years with their visas. I couldn’t agree more with the extension. I think it would benefit the workers and the employers as well. Working in Korea is not easy. For some, workdays consist of sleep, work, eat, work, eat, work and drink. Some are not paid for overtime (work). The concept of overtime is lost here. Working hours are usually from 9AM to 7PM but most employees wouldn’t leave the office unless the boss leaves first.

Working Period for Foreigners to Be Extended to 5 Years
The government will extend the working period of foreigners in Korea by two years to five years beginning this year as part of efforts to improve their job security and provide better working environment for foreigners.
Under the Employment Permit System for Foreigners, they are only allowed to work in the five industries ― manufacturing, construction, farming, fishing and service ― for up to three years.

Currently, foreign workers must report abuse and unfair treatment by their Korean employers to the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Justice. However, beginning this year, the Employment Support Center under the labor ministry will handle such cases.

It’s a good thing that the government is doing more to help better protect the laborers. (Including those working for plumbing fixtures 😉 )No system is perfect but such steps give hope. Kwim?


  1. Haha, what does kwim mean? I am interested in teaching English for a year in Korea. It sounds like the most profitable place because of the semi-free housing I heard about, where you pay the year’s amount upfront, and after the year is over, the owner returns all the money to you. I forget what it’s called, but it’s a great system. Apparently the owner does stuff like investing and such to make a profit and then just returns the base amount.
    Since I have looked around, I have heard many horror story experiences… There are some customs that – while nice from a social perspective – don’t seem practical at all, such as waiting for your boss to leave… I hope it’s changing!

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