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21 Aug, 2014

Int’l students now eligible for residency in Korea via manufacturing jobs

By Yoon Sojung

Seoul, Aug 19, 2014, (Korea.net) — The range of jobs through which international students become eligible for permanent residency will be widened to include the manufacturing industry. Non-Korean graduates who have worked in the manufacturing sector for more than five years can now become entitled for permanent residency in Korea.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) recently announced that it will launch a pilot project next year aimed at employment opportunities for international students in the country. Under the new program, up to 100 overseas students will be eligible for jobs in the manufacturing sector.

The fundamental manufacturing sector includes six specific skill sets: casting, molding, welding, plastic-working, surface treatment and heat treatment. These sectors cover automobiles, shipbuilding, electronics and IT industries, all of which have a strong influence on the country’s international competitiveness. All these skills require a high degree of technology and well-trained human resources.

Under the project, the MOTIE will hire up to 100 international students every year. The ministry will select up to ten universities to provide the students with a systemic education about the needed technologies, to incubate well-trained, educated workers. Among the education recipients, the ministry will select students with outstanding academic performance records and introduce them to firms that are looking for such skilled technicians. If they work for more than five years in the same industry, they become eligible to apply for permanent residency, or even citizenship. This project will run over the next three years, starting in 2015. Under the project, any given firm can hire up to five students.

By October this year, the ministry will select up to ten universities for the technology workforce. It will then choose students with outstanding performance among the program participants who will graduate from one of the selected universities with more than 100 hours of field experience, including an internship and a practicum.

A MOTIE representative said, “According to a survey taken this July, many international students in Korea hope to find a job in the country. This project will be a big incentive for them, as it will offer an opportunity to work in Korea and to apply for permanent residency if they work more than five years.”