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Vietnam to send up to 2,900 workers to South Korea this year

Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 19:04 GMT+7

Up to 2,900 Vietnamese will be sent to South Korea as guest workers this year under a special memorandum of understanding signed between Vietnam and the East Asian country.

The MoU was recently inked by the Vietnamese Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the Korean Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL), the Vietnam News Agency reported on Tuesday.

This is the second special memo that has been signed for Vietnam to continue sending its citizens to South Korea as guest workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS) program, which was signed between the two countries in 2008 but was halted by South Korea in August 2012 following reports on a large number of Vietnamese workers overstaying their visas to work illegally in the country.

The first MoU to resume the EPS program was signed between the two countries in September 2013 and expired on December 31, 2014. 

Under the second MoU, the MOEL allows the Vietnamese side to make online registration of 5,400 files of those Vietnamese people who want to work in South Korea, the MOLISA’s Department of Overseas Labor Management said.

The MOEL will then select 2,900 at most from these candidates as guest workers in the fields of manufacture, construction, and agriculture in 2015.

Under the MOU, the selection will focus on two groups of Vietnamese candidates.

The first includes those who passed one of the Korean language exams held in December 2011, May 2012, August 2012, and March 2014 but have yet to be chosen by Korean employers.

The second comprises those who returned to Vietnam on schedule after working in South Korea and passed one of the Korean language tests given after December 2011, but they have yet to be selected by Korean businesses.

Files of the candidates in these two groups are required to be sent to South Korea within three months and 10 days as of April 10, according to the MoU.

These files will be valid for consideration for one year, the MoU said.

Candidates can contact their local Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs or the Overseas Labor Center for further information and instructions.

The signing of the new MoU reflects South Korea’s recognition of Vietnam’s efforts in taking measures to reduce the number of Vietnamese workers overstaying their visas to live and work illegally in the East Asian country.

Under a regulation of the Vietnamese government that took effect on August 21, 2013, qualified candidates sent to South Korea for work under the EPS program are required to pay a refundable deposit of US$4,800.

The collection of amount is meant to keep EPS workers more accountable for what they do in the foreign land.

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