Expat English teaches in Seoul up in arms over visa changes

Published:  19 May at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Tagged: Visas, Teach Abroad
Expat teachers in South Korea are now facing tough new visa restrictions.

As if dealing with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t enough, South Korea’s government has just introduced tough new visa regulations. The expat-friendly F2-7 long-term residency visa rulings have now been altered to favour expat professionals receiving higher wages. The move is believed to be an attack on English language teachers following a virus outbreak in the capital’s Itaewon nightlife hub.

Hand-in-hand with other Southeast Asian states’ xenophobic blame on Western expats for the pandemic, South Korea’s response is making life especially difficult for expatriates in lower wage brackets who’re working as English teachers. Previously, the visa allowed foreigners working in the country a stay of up to five years, but the revisions indicate only those on higher wages will be permitted to remain.

According to a spokesperson for the government, the revisions are intended to give extra advantages to expatriates in what’s termed as the ‘superior talent pool’, whilst decreasing the numbers of expats on lower salaries irrespective of their qualifications and expertise. However, the reversals aren’t as yet set in tablets of stone, as the ministry is reviewing emailed opinions until the end of this month. As it is, expats are largely being blamed for the pandemic, especially since the outbreak in Seoul’s nightclub area, in which one infected expat reveller is being held responsible for at least 168 cases of the virus.

The district is a favourite with expat English teachers, with some now reporting parents are withdrawing their children from classes. The visa itself is awarded via a points system taking into account age, yearly income, education level and ability to speak Korean, with the minimum points set at 80 over 170 in total and granting a stay of between one and five years.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive