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Expats cry foul over points-based new visa rules
« on: May 27, 2020, 02:12:08 pm »
https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2020/05/177_290031.html?fbclid=IwAR2A5wKVgnzd5aja4tyTPDhdBp1k_nVjcRDqaQFFszssctd-SEV8A4OJbw4

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Jennifer Strout is an English teacher in Korea and has been working to found a nonprofit school for low-income families.

She said her hopes are to contribute to the community which she now calls home and to become a Korean citizen in the future.

Yet, her plan is likely to become a distant dream with the Ministry of Justice's recent proposal for rule changes for the F-2-7 visa. The changes are not yet final as the government is still collecting opinions. Yet, Strout, along with many expats in Korea, are worried that the proposal would cut short their time in Korea.

According to the proposal, the visa which is run on a points system would allocate the most points to annual income. For example, under the current system, 10 points are allocated for those who earn 100 million won or more, but that will change to 60 points.

Age, education level and Korean language proficiency are other criteria, and the points allocated for each would also be redistributed so that more points could be allocated to people with money.


For Strout, she has to get at least 30 million won per year until next May to get her visa renewed and because of the struggling economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, she will have to find more ways to satisfy their criteria.

Because of her voluntary work, her present job, and struggling to make a living during the pandemic crisis, this maybe more difficult to achieve, while for other F-2-7 visa holders, it would be next to impossible.

"I don't understand why they are making the changes to the laws now unless they genuinely don't want me here anymore. Is it always about the money? I only recently got my F-2-7 visa and I was going to use this visa to help build my business so I could switch to an F-5 visa and then eventually get my citizenship," Strout said.

She questions the government's intention for pushing for the change in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Why are they making these proposals in the midst of a pandemic where no one is making hardly enough money to survive, whether Korean or foreigner, unless they just wanted to get rid of us without a second thought?" she asked.

The proposed changes aren't only about money and that would also shatter the dream of Samsuzzaman.

Working as a machine operator at a car manufacturing company in North Jeolla Province, he is currently on an E-7-4 visa granted to skilled workers.

He is suffering long working hours ― more than 52 hours per week ― insufficient money and no time off to visit his family back in Bangladesh.

Changing employers would not be an option, let alone that he doesn't have time to look for one, because that would require him to apply for a visa again.

So, what he's been hoping for is to earn an F-2-7 that would give him the chance to change his job when he wants.

But under the proposed visa rules, he would no longer be eligible to apply for the visa.

"I wanted to live in Korea for a long time, not only for money, but for a secured life," he said. "We are working, living here, paying taxes and obeying laws, but the new F-2-7 system is very very disappointing news for me."

Currently, the number of F-2-7 visa holders are a little more than 6,000.

The Ministry of Justice couldn't be reached for comment, but the South China Morning Post based in Hong Kong quoted the ministry's spokesperson as saying that the change is to "give more advantages to expats in the superior talent pool while decreasing the number of expats who are not in this pool."

While many voiced criticism and concerns, licensed immigration specialist Jang Man-ik who runs the consulting agency Visa in Korea said there's a reason to be hopeful.

"I've never seen the justice ministry openly collecting opinions from foreigners about upcoming changes. It shows they're trying to communicate with the expat community," Jang said, adding expats can hope for the proposed changes to be delayed for some time.

If you're looking to change your visa at any point here in Korea, take a look at the modifications to the points system. I am currently in level 3 of KIIP and although I have a lot of points, this change to income requirements excludes most of us on an E-Visa. Not to mention foreign workers doing a multitude of other work here, probably for longer hours as well.

This will prevent foreign workers from obtaining residency as well as hindering the ability to move both vertically and horizontally in the job market. If you have feelings about it, send an email. They are taking opinions on this before considering the change.

Opinion can be sent to jikim433@korea.kr and the last day for the opinion collection is Friday.

Cheers, friends~ Discrimination based on class really shouldn't be ignored.


  • OnNut81
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1304

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Expats cry foul over points-based new visa rules
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2020, 02:47:23 pm »
It looks as if they are trying to attract true expats to settle down and stay longer rather than English teachers and other foreign workers.  However, they may find that expats making over a 100 million won per year are not interested in staying beyond their expatriated tenure.  I'd be surprised if that wasn't almost exclusively the case unless they've married and had children with a Korean.  They may find that once expats take a pass they'll have to modify requirements for English teachers and the others lower on the rung if they seriously want people to apply for this visa. 


  • plan b
  • Super Waygook

    • 318

    • March 22, 2013, 11:53:06 am
    • Korea
Re: Expats cry foul over points-based new visa rules
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2020, 02:59:29 pm »
I feel so sorry for those that have spent countless hours learning Korean, with great cost and stress, in order to obtain a better visa. So many people have tried to be the "good foreigner" this way.

And now the goalposts have been moved.


  • SPQR
  • Super Waygook

    • 475

    • March 08, 2018, 07:04:54 pm
    • Canada
Re: Expats cry foul over points-based new visa rules
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2020, 03:03:06 pm »
Yes, the MOJ has really come up with a myopic and economically
unsustainable policy.  This country is now in negative population
growth.  Add to that Korea is a seriously ageing society.  At some point in
time, people of working age will have to pay taxes to support
government policies.  Because young Koreans are not getting
married, let alone having children, who will do this?


  • shostager
  • Super Waygook

    • 325

    • November 06, 2012, 06:08:10 am
Re: Expats cry foul over points-based new visa rules
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2020, 03:05:35 pm »
I'm on this visa, and from what I heard they're also thinking about checking your points every time you renew* - so you get older? You could lose the visa. Your job doesn't pay you as much one year for whatever reason (i.e. Corona for hagwans)? You lose the visa. Originally (as far as I know), all they checked for a renewal for the F-2-7 was that you were still employed.

I'm one of the lucky few who got a long-term F-2-7 (5 years, so I'm good until 2022), and has the option of switching to the marriage visa at any point, but most people are not so lucky. I hope they don't actually implement these changes.

*Actually, from what I read in the comments on the article, this has already been implemented. They're just going further now...
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 03:19:23 pm by shostager »


  • tylerthegloob
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1644

    • September 28, 2016, 10:46:24 am
    • Busan
    more
Re: Expats cry foul over points-based new visa rules
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2020, 03:12:30 pm »
has anyone ever read the comments of a korea times article? i do NOT recommend it


Re: Expats cry foul over points-based new visa rules
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2020, 03:37:49 pm »
I think one of the dumbest things people can do is read a tabloid newspaper, take the articles seriously, then proceed to argue over their contents.


  • Savant
  • The Legend

    • 2395

    • April 07, 2012, 11:35:31 pm
Re: Expats cry foul over points-based new visa rules
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2020, 04:05:01 pm »
has anyone ever read the comments of a korea times article? i do NOT recommend it

Thatís the best part of those articles.


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4264

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Expats cry foul over points-based new visa rules
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2020, 04:28:29 pm »
has anyone ever read the comments of a korea times article? i do NOT recommend it
well you can't say that and expect me not to read them now

edit: oh these ones are pretty tame! disappointed, gloob


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 2013

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Expats cry foul over points-based new visa rules
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2020, 04:42:26 pm »
Any 2.3 mill hagwon job will net her 30 mill over a year (including bonus).
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 04:45:50 pm by VanIslander »


Re: Expats cry foul over points-based new visa rules
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2020, 05:57:24 am »
Moon's Minju party is anti-foreigner. Korea is anti-foreigner. They want gyopos to take over all E-visa and F-visa jobs, yet even many gyopos don't want to live in Korea long-term because they get shit on as "foreigners" too.

Korea is just not a place to settle down long term, there are so many factors at play. Koreans don't want foreigners to stay, and they expect them to only last a year or two and then leave. (Yet they also get salty when we don't set down roots and learn Korean) There's basically no viable pension system. Anyone who is not Korean will never be accepted as anything but a foreigner, even gyopos get this treatment despite being Korean. Koreans are super ageist so working over the age of 45 or so is unviable. Unless an F visa starts their own business, they are probably going to have no work from age 45 to 65.
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