BUSAN – To mitigate the steady outflow of foreign skilled labor and ensure a more stable employment environment, the Busan Metropolitan City has actively voiced its support for the ‘Skilled Workforce Visa (E-7-4) Transition’ under the framework of the ‘K-point E74’ system.
Starting today, and until December 8th, Busan is recruiting candidates eligible for this visa transition, a move spurred by the understanding that many foreign workers have amassed expertise after working extensively in Korea, particularly in simple labor sectors like E-9, E-10, and H-2.
The ‘K-point E74’ is essentially an innovative expansion strategy aimed at foreign laborers who have had long-term employment in Korea. The Ministry of Justice formulated this approach, taking into consideration the need to address labor shortages in various industries and to stimulate regional economies. Following this strategy, the annual quota for skilled workers (E-7-4) has seen a dramatic increase from 5,000 to a whopping 35,000 individuals. Moreover, to assist local regions in choosing skilled workers vital for community development, an extra quota of 5,500, inclusive of a bonus of 30 points for recommendations, has been introduced.
For this recruitment drive, out of the 5,500 regional quota, 162 positions have been allocated specifically for Busan, aiming to forward these recommendations to the Ministry of Justice. The city has set clear recommendation criteria for this initiative:
- Meeting the Ministry of Justice’s K-point E74 transition conditions.
- Foreign workers should have been employed in a Busan-based company for over a year as of the application date.
- An assurance to maintain residence in Busan for at least two years after the E-7-4 visa transition. (Moving within metropolitan areas is acceptable).
- Scoring between 170-199 points based on the K-point E74 transition score criteria.
Thus, highly skilled individuals who secure employer recommendations but fall slightly short of the minimum required score (200 points) can still apply, given they receive the additional 30 points from the regional recommendations.
Key transition requirements include residing in Korea for over four years, possessing proficient Korean language skills, achieving at least 200 points out of a 300-point system (inclusive of bonus points), receiving endorsement from the current employer, and ensuring a minimum annual salary threshold. Notably, there’s a benchmark salary of 26 million won, with exceptions for agriculture, fisheries, and inland shipping sectors at 25 million won. Those who meet the transition score (over 200 points) without regional recommendation can apply through the corporate recommendation quota (12,000 individuals) or central ministry recommendation quota (7,500 individuals, criteria vary by ministry).
Busan’s innovative method involves flexible distribution of the 162 recommendation quota across various sectors, including manufacturing, construction, agriculture, fisheries, and inland shipping, based on the proportion of registered foreigners in each. This ensures no specific industry monopolizes the quota. Sectors that deplete their quotas might face early closures, but adjustments will be made using a reserve of 22 positions.
Foreign workers and their employing establishments eager to avail this opportunity should forward the necessary documents via email to the pertinent department in Busan. Application procedures and departmental contact details are posted on the official Busan City website.
Upon receiving the recommendation from Busan, foreign laborers must then finalize their application for the skilled workforce visa transition through the Ministry of Justice’s HiKorea portal at www.hikorea.go.kr.