Q: What is defined as “labor problems?” How should I resolve these issues?
A: Labor problems can range from not being paid on time (or at all), not receiving the dangerous work allowance, not being given 10 days of paid vacation, not being given breaks during the workday, being fired without receiving 30 days notice in advance, or not receiving other monetary things stated in the contract, such as paid return airfare. The nearest labor office will assist you with these issues and other similar contract problems.
Q: What is the “Letter of Release”?
A: If, for any reason, you are fired, do not finish your contract or resign, you will require a LOR (Letter of Release) in order to acquire another work visa.
Q: I am considering quitting my current job because of the bad treatment from my boss. I would like to know what my rights are and ask for advice for dealing with a difficult boss. I would also like to ask about the visa process if I quit and try to find another job. Would I have to start the visa process all over again or could I somehow transfer my visa?
A: If you’d like to change workplace, you can apply for this at Gwangju Immigration Office in Hwajeong-dong (tel: 062-381-0015) and you have to apply for it before leaving your previous workplace. The required documents are: a written application for altering a working place, passport, certificate of alien registration, appendixes according to each type of visa (*) and fee: 60,000 won
(*) Appendixes for E-2 Visa (If needed during judgment, some documents would be required less or more.): application form (available in the Immigration) (신청서), reason for changing workplace (사유서), employment certificate (고용계약서), certificate of establishing and managing academies & company’s business license (either faxed or photocopy) (학원설립운영등록증 및 사업자등록증 사본), the agreement for the previous work place (원근무처 동의서), certificate of police records (issued within 6 months) (범죄경력증명서), physical test for recruitment (including TBPE and HIV) (채용신체검사서), personal reference (신원보증서). If you quit a contract before completing a year of work, then you may not be able to receive the severance pay. Try to contact Ministry of Labor (031-345-5200) or visit their website www.moel.go.kr/english/. They have English-speaking staff and they would probably be the best source for obtaining the most accurate information on regarding your rights as an employee. However if you want to know more about visas, you should call Korea Immigration Service hotline number: 1345 (working hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., weekdays only) and then press “3” and “*” for English service. And according to Immigration, you do not have to go through the process of making a new visa unless you change the visa type.
Q: Can F-3 visa holders have a part-time job? Both my husband and I are foreigners.
A: According to Immigration Office, you can have a job with your current visa as long as you get permission from Immigration. There is a list of jobs eligible for work permission in the website given below. Otherwise, you can change to a work visa, if you find a job and the company is willing to sponsor your visa. For more details, please contact the Immigration Office at 1345 (Ext. 3 for English) or refer to www.hikorea.go.kr (Go to Information→Immigration Guide→E-7)
Q:I am currently in Korea on a holiday visa but I am intending to work as an English teacher, so I am preparing the necessary documents for an E-2 visa. I am aware that a “criminal background check record” is required, but what I really want to know is whether I need to provide a criminal record check again if it is NOT my first time applying for an E-2 visa.
A: You still need to submit a complete set of requirements for your new E-2 visa application, including a criminal background check record. Please refer to the following link for detailed information on these requirements: www.hikorea.go.kr/pt/index.html
If you have further inquiries, you may get in touch with the Immigration Office at +82-1345 or +82-2-2650-6399 if you are out of Korea and just 1345 or 02-2650-6399 if you are in the country.
Q: I am an English teacher on an F-4 visa. Can I lecture and do a part-time job at the same time?
A: F-4 residence holders are not limited in terms of the field of work they are engaged in, except for the following categories: simple labor activities, speculative activities in violation of social order.
Q: I have been approached by a number of parents asking me to tutor their children. I am married to a Korean and have an F-2-1 visa so I’m sure that my visa status does not prevent me from doing this.
A: According to the immigration office, you are eligible to work in a corporate setting or other legitimate organizations with your current visa status. However, you are not allowed to do private teaching.
Q: I currently need legal advice on labor law and require the name and address of an English speaking lawyer in Gwangju. Do you have any information on it?
A: We’d recommend you to contact Lawyer Park Duck-hee. He is a GIC Board Member. His office is #402 Simsan Building, 342-13 Jisan-dong, Dong-gu, Gwangju. It is next to Gwangju District Court. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org and his office phone number is: 062-222-0011. His areas of specialty are contracts, torts, family law, immigration and labor as well as civil and criminal case. Lawyer Park is a former judge and services are available in Korean, English and Chinese.
For more cases, please see ‘Legal Advise’ in this section.
*Information and cases are collected from various sources.