The E7 visa policy in Korea for foreigners will be changed.

Changing an Immigration Policy for economic growth of South Korea

The E7 visa policy in Korea for foreigners to work will be changed. Immigration has emerged as an important catalyst for economic growth and innovation in Korea. Inspired by the revolutionary impact of the agrarian reforms of Korea’s first president, Syngman Rhee, Justice Minister Han Dong-un has proposed the development of a comparable immigration policy. This article examines the potential benefits of such a policy, with an emphasis on attracting professional talent and developing Korean language skills.

The Legacy of Syngman Rhee’s Agrarian Reform

Minister Han Dong-hoon, during the Jeju Forum of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry on March 15, draws parallels between the agrarian reform under Syngman Rhee’s government and the necessity for social reform today. He highlights how the agrarian reform successfully shifted South Korea from a nation of workers to a nation of entrepreneurs, providing a strong foundation for industrial development. Minister Han argues that a similar approach is needed to ensure the people’s happiness and encourage entrepreneurial innovation in contemporary society.

Addressing Population Decline and the Role of Immigration

Minister Han emphasizes that population decline presents a significant challenge for the future of South Korea. While policies to restore the birth rate are important, he recognizes that they alone cannot fully address the compounding problem. Instead, he advocates for comprehensive immigration and emigration policies as the answer to this demographic issue.

Moreover, Minister Han underscores the importance of attracting competent foreign human resources with specialized expertise. Recognizing the critical role played by skilled professionals in driving economic growth, he asserts that securing their presence should be a top priority in national policy-making.

Relaxation of E7 visa policy In Korea for professional personnel who can work

To attract talented individuals, Minister Han acknowledges the need for improvements in South Korea’s visa system. He highlights the existing challenges faced by IT personnel, citing predictability of residence as a deterrent for their immigration. The current visa track, which is the same for skilled and unskilled workers, fails to incentivize skilled IT professionals to choose Korea as their destination.

One potential solution is the skilled trainee (E-7-4) visa, which offers various advantages. Unlike the non-professional employment (E-9) visa, the skilled trainee visa allows applicants to extend their stay without leaving Korea and enables them to bring their family members along. However, critics argue that the number of selected applicants for this visa category is insufficient compared to the demand, and the requirements for visa issuance are overly stringent.

Minister Han addresses these concerns by announcing plans to increase the number of E-7-4 visas issued from 1,000 per year at the end of the previous administration to 35,000 annually. He also emphasizes the promotion of verified foreign workers from the E-9 visa category to the E-7-4 visa category, prioritizing those who have demonstrated proficiency in the Korean language.

The Importance of Language Skills in Successful Integration

Minister Han emphasizes the significance of the Korean language in successfully integrating foreigners into Korean society. He stresses the need to attract individuals from other countries who possess strong Korean language skills. In his view, fluency in Korean is more valuable than specific technical abilities, such as welding, when it comes to facilitating effective communication and social integration.

Approaching Immigration Policies with National Interest in Mind

Minister Han asserts that immigration and visa policies should be viewed through the lens of national interest, especially considering the global competition for human resources. He contends that visa policies should not be solely based on notions of equality and fairness but should prioritize the country’s needs and goals. To ensure a consistent and focused approach, Minister Han calls for the establishment of a dedicated control tower responsible for promoting immigration and emigration policies. Currently, immigration policy falls under the purview of multiple ministries, leading to fragmented decision-making and a lack of accountability.

Supporting Korean Company Innovation

Minister Han concludes his speech at the Jeju Forum by expressing the government’s commitment to supporting innovation in Korean companies. The implementation of an immigration policy that attracts skilled professionals and fosters an environment of entrepreneurial innovation will contribute to the growth and development of Korean businesses.


Minister Han Dong-hoon’s proposal to create an immigration policy inspired by Syngman Rhee’s agrarian reform holds significant potential for South Korea’s economic growth. By prioritizing professional human resources and placing a strong emphasis on Korean language skills, the nation can attract talented individuals who can contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship. However, effective implementation, including the improvement of visa systems and a streamlined decision-making process, will be crucial in realizing the full benefits of such a policy. With a comprehensive immigration strategy, South Korea can pave the way for a prosperous future and further solidify its position on the global stage.






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