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Teaching visa rule to guarantee minimum pay

The Justice Ministry has tightened visa regulations for foreign language teachers to ensure they are paid at least 1.5 million won ($1,324) per month.

The ministry said the new guideline was designed to improve their working conditions and the quality of language education.

Under the rule, effective as of Monday, the E-2 teaching visa will be issued only if employers guarantee foreign teachers the minimum monthly rate.

Its survey in March found that some lecturers are paid less than 1 million won per month.

The enhanced rule will apply to new entrants immediately and to teachers already staying in Korea two years after.

The government will also restrict visa issuance if foreign instructors do not teach in accordance of their reported timetable.

“The change will largely affect Chinese language teachers since most English teachers are well-paid. This is also part of efforts to prevent low-paid foreign teachers from taking away jobs from their Korean counterparts,” said a ministry official.

By Lee Hyun-jeong  (