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Vietnamese workers to be sent to RoK again

Vietnamese workers to be sent to RoK again

Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 11:55 GMT+7

Under a special agreement signed between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea, the sending of Vietnamese workers to South Korea will be resumed soon, after a year-long suspension due to the large number of runaway Vietnamese workers who overstayed their visas to work illegally in the RoK.

>> Laborers must pay $4,800 deposit to be sent to S. Korea>> South Korea stops receiving Vietnamese workers The agreement was signed between Vietnamese Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen and the RoK Minister of Labor and Employment, Phang Ha-nam, on Monday, under which qualified Vietnamese laborers will be sent to Korea in the last months of this year.     Accordingly, the nearly 12,000 Vietnamese workers who had worked in the RoK in compliance with their work contracts and returned to Vietnam on schedule, and passed the Employment Permit System (EPS) - TOPIK test in December 2011 and August 2012, will be the first candidates chosen by South Korean employers. The two ministries also agreed to carry out another EPS - TOPIK test for those who have registered to take the examination. No test has been held in the past year since the two countries’ agreement on the EPS program was not extended when it expired in August 2012. South Korea is among the countries that receives the highest numbers of Vietnamese workers, and offers them salary rates that are high compared to other Asian countries.  As previously reported, South Korea in August 2012 halted the bilateral agreement on “sending Vietnamese workers to South Korea under the EPS program,” since the percentage of Vietnamese workers in the country who are illegal is currently 57 percent.

Under the agreement, which was first signed between the two countries in 2004, both parties would renew the program every two years, but after the latest renewal expired on August 28, South Korea refused to continue the program. South Korea also attached to the document a list of illegal Vietnamese workers. Accordingly, 22,708 Vietnamese laborers are working illegally in the country, of whom 11,347 arrived under the EPS program. South Korea had previously given warnings about a potential halt to the agreement after statistics showed that by December 2011, 48 percent of Vietnamese workers in South Korea stayed on in the country after their contracts expired, the highest proportion among the 15 countries that sent workers to South Korea. The Vietnamese Government has recently issued a regulation on a pilot program to collect a refundable deposit of US$4,800 from qualified candidates before they are sent to South Korea for work under the EPS program. The regulation took effect on August 21, and the deposit collection on a pilot basis will be implemented for five years. It is aimed at helping to strengthen the responsibility of workers sent to South Korea under the program.

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