One of the top three questions I get in my inbox from Filipinos is how to get a job in Korea. This is not an easy question to answer since the job market here for foreigners is quite limited. However, South Korea has its doors open for EPS (Employment Permit System) workers. The EPS enables Korean companies to hire foreigners from 15 different countries: Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, China, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Timor-Leste to work in the sectors of manufacturing, construction, service, fishing, agriculture and stock-breeding. (Source: HRD Korea)
Here is a guide for those wanting to work in Korea through EPS for Filipinos:
If a Filipino wants to work in Korea in the sectors mentioned above, the first step is to check the qualifications as there is an age limit for those who’d like to come to Korea on an EPS visa:
Qualifications of EPS for Filipinos:
1. Must be between 18 and 38 years of age
2. Must not have any record of conviction or imprisonment for a heinous crime
3. Must have no record of deportation or departure orders from the Republic of Korea
4. Must not be restricted from departure from the Philippines
5. Must be physically and medically fit
6. At least a high school graduate
7. With minimum work experience of 1 year
The next step is to learn Korean and pass the EPS-TOPIK.
All job seekers who want to work in Korea under the Employment Permit System must pass EPS-KLT, implemented by the Human Resources Development Service of Korea (HRD Korea) authorized by the MOL in cooperation with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and only those who passed the test will be uploaded for transfer to the roster of available workers by submitting the job application for the EPS.
However, passing the EPS-TOPIK does not guarantee employment in Korea. When one passes the EPS-TOPIK, the job seeker gets the chance to submit an application to Korea.
Passed the EPS-TOPIK? Now it’s time to get the medical examination and submit the job application to the POEA only.
The POEA will then submit the applications to HRD Korea. It’s up to the employers in Korea to seek the employees in the list submitted to HRD Korea. If the job seeker gets picked, then he is just a few steps away.
There are costs incurred even before the job seeker starts working. According to POEA,
Based on the XE rates:
TOPIK @ US$24 = PHP 1,045.44
Preliminary training = PHP 729.00
Re-medical examination = PHP 1,500
POEA Processing fee @ US$50 = PHP 2,178
OWWA membership @ US$25 = PHP 1,089
Pag-ibig contribution = PHP 100 minimum
PhilHealth Premium = PHP 2,400
Visa fee = PHP 2,250
Airfare = PHP 11,000 ~ 16,000
Pocket money @ US$150 = PHP 6,534
So how much is the total cost to job seekers in Korea? PHP 33,825.44
How much is the expected salary of an EPS worker in Korea? That really depends but the current minimum wage in Korea (2014) is 5,210 won per hour. To compute for the basic minimum pay:
5,210 won x 40 hours a week = 208,400 won
208,400 won x 4 weeks = 833,600 won or 35,627 PHP
(Source: Minimum Wage Council)
Remember that the computation above is basic and does not include overtime pay and night differential.
The EPS worker has the right or duty to 4 major insurance: industrial accident, employment, health and national pension. Also, there are foreign worker specific insurances: departure, guarantee, accident and return cost insurance.
It is possible to recover the expenses incurred during the application and immigration process in just one month.
How long can an EPS worker be employed in Korea? A maximum of 3 years and accompanying family is restricted.
Can a former EPS worker come back to Korea for another contract? Yes. A former EPS worker can be legally employed again after 6 months on the date of departure.
The rehiring rate of EPS for Filipinos is 25%. The percentage of EPS illegal workers is also 25%.
To learn more about the EPS Korea for Filipinos, please visit the following:
HRD Korea Philippines – EPS Procedures
EPS for Philippines – Immigration Progress
Sulyapinoy Online Forum – Filipino EPS Workers Association
And of course: POEA