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Seasonal migrant workers to be allowed to stay for 5 months

The Korea Times, Korea, 2 September 2019 - The period of stay for foreign workers employed for seasonal agricultural work will be extended from the current three months to five, according to the Ministry of Justice, Monday. The ministry announced the plan to revise the immigration law to set up a new visa type ― E-8 ― for seasonal workers. The new rule is expected to take effect after approval at a Cabinet meeting in November.

Under the current law, migrant workers can enter the country on a C-4 visa, which allows up to 90 days of employment here, and such workers are usually employed at farms during busy farming seasons when extra help is needed.

But farm owners have complained that 90 days is not enough for some types of work.

A government study also showed the country is short of about 20,000 seasonal workers in rural regions per year: Last year 2,824 foreigners worked as seasonal workers while the demand was 22,000. The demand keeps growing, as farms have become short-handed with farmers getting old and Korea's aging society.

"During the previous 90 days, foreign workers had to spend time getting education from local governments, settling down in the new environment and preparing for departure at the end of the period. So the time they actually spent wasting on the farms was shorter than 90 days, and there have been calls for the period to be extended," the ministry said in its press release.

Source: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2019/09/251_274940.html

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