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South Korea expands visa quotas to attract more foreign workers

The South Korean government plans to increase the visa quota for foreign workers to tackle the country's labour shortage issues, as announced by Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho. The E-7-4 visa quota for skilled workers will increase from 5,000 to 35,000 this year, and the income requirement will be eased. Further, the E-9 visa quota for nonprofessional workers, which was raised to 110,000 in 2023, will be expanded to allow workers in industries beyond manufacturing, construction, fishing, and agriculture. Despite South Korea's employment rate hitting a record high of 63.5% in June, the labour market remains imbalanced, with numerous employers struggling to find staff. The government aims to remedy this by improving working conditions and bolstering support for industries facing workforce shortages.


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