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Foreign students to get more rights to workBy Son Ji-hyoung
Published : June 23, 2023 - 14:48
The Justice Ministry announced Friday plans to allow foreign students to work as interns within their field of study during their vacation.
The Justice Ministry said the move, to take effect from July 3, is designed to help foreign students pursue careers in Korea.
Additionally, foreign students' maximum weekly working hours during term time will increase to 25 hours, from 20 hours.
Currently, students are only allowed to get part-time jobs for up to 20-35 hours, depending on which type of degree they are studying for and how well they performed in classes.
The government is working to ease visa rules to attract more foreign students.
The minimum bank deposit for those intending to study in Korea will be set in Korean won rather than US dollars, effectively lowering the threshold. For example, those looking to pursue a degree in Seoul must prove 20 million won ($15,350) of financial assets starting on July 3, which is lower than the $20,000 threshold as of now.
Meanwhile, those staying in Korea as nonprofessional skilled temporary workers -- on E-9 or E-10 visas -- may now pursue college degrees or attend Korean language programs while employed.
Under the country's visa policy, E-9 visas are given to non-Korean laborers in manufacturing, construction, agriculture, fishery and construction waste processing, while E-10 visa holders may work on ships. Neither group is currently allowed to enroll at educational institutions.
Their educational efforts can help them upgrade their visa to E-7-4, which allows them to stay in Korea indefinitely.
Korea earlier this year began granting those with E-9 visa the opportunity to extend their stay here with the proof of Korean language proficiency.
The Justice Ministry added it will continue to expand the annual E-7-4 visa quota to 5,000 this year from 2,000 in 2022.
According to the government data, the number of foreign students at Korean universities and language schools more than doubled to some 200,000 over the past decade.
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