SEOUL — South Korea will accept 56,000 foreign workers under the Employment Permit System in 2019, the same number as this year, in a bid to relieve a labor shortage in the country.
The government decided on the job quotas Tuesday at a meeting chaired by Noh Hyeong-ouk of the Office for Government Policy Coordination.
Under the plan, Korea will accept 43,000 newcomers and 13,000 returnees — 2,000 fewer newcomers than in 2018 and 2,000 more returnees. Under the EPS, a foreign worker can work in Korea for up to four years and 10 months on an E-9 visa, but cannot leave and re-enter the country on the same visa during that time. After four years and 10 months, E-9 holders who meet certain conditions are eligible to leave and re-enter the country to return to their previous employers.