If you are a foreigner trying to work in Korea, you inevitably have to consider applying for an E-7 visa. Yes, other visas allow you to seek employment in South Korea. E-6 or E-9 visa is certainly a great option for some careers. However, it is undeniable that the E-7 visa has far wider options and autonomy compared to other employment visas in Korea. The E-2 visa is comparable to E-7, but the restrictions make it impossible to obtain for most people and there is a severe restriction on the field of employment. Because E-7 visas cover a wide range of fields, I will cover some general aspects of E-7 visas.
Requirements for Employer
If a Korean employer wants to hire a foreigner, then the employer must follow some guidelines. There are some specific policies in each industry. But some rules apply to all employers. Firstly, the employer must hire at least five Korean citizens. Secondly, the number of foreign workers may not exceed 20% of Korean workers. Lastly, the employer must pay fair wages to foreign workers. Fair wages are defined differently for each type. For the specialists, they much receive a payment that is higher than 80% of the GNI. Currently, that means that every specialist visa holder must receive at least 29,884,800 won a year. For non-specialists, the required payment is simply above the minimum wage.
Types of Qualifications
I am only going to briefly introduce you on what are the categories and explain each part on a separate post.
E-7-1 is for specialists and managers. 67 categories qualify for this visa. The jobs range from an executive of a corporation to a nurse. This visa covers a wide range of jobs and industries. E-7-2 is for a semi-specialist. 9 categories qualify for this visa. This is a much narrower field and the required payment is much lower than the E-7-1 visa. E-7-3 is for general technical workers. 6 categories qualify for this visa. The required payment is the same as the E-7-2 visa. E-7-4 is for skilled labor. 3 categories qualify for this visa. This is because qualifying E-9 visa holders can apply for this visa.
Now you see why each visa would require their separate posts. There are also special exemptions, quota, and varying documents on each case and circumstance. That is why I will discuss them at length on different posts.
In the meantime, if you would like to find out about your particular case, please feel free to comment on the post and I will get back to you.