Vulner Beingable in a Foreign Country
I spent most of my life living in a foreign country. So, when I say I sympathize with the foreigners living in Korea, I mean that frankly. It is not easy to live in a country where everyone speaks, thinks, and acts differently. This is especially true when you are treated unfairly just because you are a foreigner and people who wronged you do not suffer consequences because they have citizenship.
This is exactly why it is crucial to understand your rights and restrictions. Simply having the awareness of what you can or cant do will allow you to fight injustices and avoid ill-treatment. Especially for those who are in a vulnerable situation in Korea, it is extremely important to recognize what kind of protection you can get from the Korean government.
Those who are pregnant can stay in Korea legally. This is true for those who are staying in Korea illegally. If you are too afraid to go to a hospital because you are worried that you may be deported, do not worry. You will get a visa for being pregnant and you can stay in Korea legally. If the father is a Korean citizen, you can change your status to marriage immigrant (F-6) without leaving Korea. So, get the help you need because Korea is not cold-blooded enough to deport a pregnant woman.
Many people come to Korea to seek opportunities that does not exist in their own country. Some people work in a hands on industry like manufacturing, agriculture, fishery, or forestry. Because of the nature of the work, the workers are often placed in a risky condition. Workers and employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace. So, if there were to be an injury at work, worker should not be the only one playing the price.
Korean government does recognize this. That is why an Industrial Disaster visa exists. This visa grants a legal status to the injured worker to stay in Korea legally. Those who were working illegally can also qualify for this visa. Even if you were staying or working illegally in Korea, make sure to apply for this visa when you are injured at work.
Since taking care of yourself is quite difficult when you are on your own in a foreign country, this visa does allow you to invite your family members. This visa can be quite complicated because the process involves proving how you got injured, what you were doing during the time of injury, whether the employer provided sufficient safety measures, and many other factors. So, it would be best to get some professional help on this.
It is unacceptable for your employer to not pay you or pay you less than the specified amount. Some employers do this because they know that some foreign workers are too afraid to challenge the employer. The fear is based on the fact that the employer can fire an employee and such an action will terminate the worker's visa. This is especially true to E-9 visa holders.
However, if you file for payment dispute, you can obtain a Payment dispute. This visa allows you to stay in Korea and file a lawsuit against your employer to get your unpaid payments. Even those who were staying or working in Korea illegally can qualify for this visa. In other words, you should not let an employer take advantage of you just because you are working in Korea illegally.
If you are applying for a refugee status, then you are probably in a very unfortunate situation. This may be a matter of life and death, or you may be avoiding a form of suppression. Even if you are not accepted as a refugee, that does not mean that you have to go back to your country that you just escaped from.
Apply simply for a refugee status grants you a visa as a refugee applicant. This allows you to stay in Korea and you can work after 6 months. Even if the immigration office denies your application entirely, you can still appeal, which will extend your stay in Korea.
The immigration office could also grant you a humanitarian reason to stay. This will allow you to stay in Korea even if you are not recognized as a refugee.
Because foreigners in vulnerable conditions are so easily abused, it is crucial to have a good understanding of what kind protection you qualify for. I will explain much more in detail about these visas in other posts. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me for any questions.