|There is no updated information regarding the status of Vietnamese guest workers in the Republic of Korea and Chinese Taiwan. Photo: Tuoi Tre (Young Age) newspaper
According to the Department of Overseas Labor under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, amid the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 epidemic, both the RoK and Taiwan (China) have decided to issue extension policies with regard to foreign workers, including those originating from Vietnam.
As a result of these policies, Vietnamese workers remain in employment in both the Korean and Taiwanese markets with 48,000 labourers under contract in the RoK whilst a further 230,000 are employed in Taiwan (China). Most notably, approximately 11,000 Vietnamese workers are currently residing in the RoK illegally.
Tran Thi Van Ha, head of Information and Communication Office under the Department of Overseas Labor, stated that in order to support employers who are suffering from a lack of manpower as a result of the disease, the Korean Government has begun enforcing a fresh policy aimed at workers whose contracts have recently expired.
Specifically, foreign workers are now permitted to extend their working visas for an additional five months in the event that they wish to stay in the RoK to continue their work. For those who are illegal migrant workers, the Korean government is poised to co-ordinate efforts with their country of origin to send them back.
This policy of extending the stay of workers is also being applied by Taiwan (China) due to the complicated nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In addition to the 14-day medical isolation policy for migrant workers, the Korean Government has adopted new policies for workers whose contracts expire during this time.
Taiwan has also applied an extension of stay for foreign workers for a three-month period in case the employee has a full stay of 14 years working with families and 12 years for workers employed in other sectors.
The Department of Overseas Labor has asked that businesses who send workers to these countries attempt to negotiate with employers so that they are able to extend the stay of workers whose contracts have expired during this period,” Van Ha said.