The Govt. of South Korea is planning to introduce the new Exceptional Talent Visa. The visa will be granted to 500 outstanding college graduates and skilled workers earning an annual salary of 36 million won and above.
Spouses of foreign workers who earn more than 38 million won annually will also be granted a Work Visa.
The new Exceptional Talent Visa is scheduled to be introduced in the second half of 2020. The visa aims to attract more skilled workers to deal with the declining working-age population.
As per the South Korean Govt., the annual salary threshold will apply to foreign workers working in South Korean companies. The college criteria will be based on QS or similar college rankings.
95% of all the foreign workers in South Korea earn approximately 2.7 million won monthly. This indicates that the Exceptional Talent Visa is meant for the top 5% of the foreign workers.
The Govt., however, explained that it would look at various factors before granting the new visa. Candidates in their 20s earning less than 3 million won per month may be given the visa while older candidates may be denied even if they earn more than the said amount.
The Govt. will most likely divide the visa applicants into three divisions for various benefits.
The top group will most likely include top foreign workers who earn more than 100 million per year. These applicants will be granted an Exceptional Talent Visa with a validity of 5 years or more. The visa will also include their spouse and children.
South Korea is facing a decrease in the working-age population. Statistics Korea reveals that Korean workers between the age of 15 and 64 will decrease from 37.59 million to 24.48 million by 2050.
Even though the number of foreign workers in South Korea is increasing, the number of ones with high education and high wages still remain steady. Highly educated foreign workers increased from 1.4 million in 2011 to 2.37 million in 2018. On the other hand, foreign workers with high wages decreased from 48,000 to 47,000 last year.
There were 884,000 foreign workers working in South Korea as of May 2018. This accounts for only 3.3% of South Korean employees.
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