Vietnamese workers overstay their welcome in S.Korea

By Duc Hung   August 7, 2016 | 02:37 am PT
Vietnamese workers overstay their welcome in S.Korea
Vietnam and South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding on receiving Vietnamese workers on May 17, 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Phuong Hoa
Fines are not stopping people from staying on for the extra cash after their contracts expire.

Vietnam’s central province of Ha Tinh currently has 976 people working illegally in South Korea, making the province the worst culprit for laborers who do not return home after their contracts expire.

Ha Tinh has stopped five districts in the province that all have more 60 citizens working illegally in S Korea from sending workers to the East Asian nation this year, according to the provincial labor department.

The move came after Vietnam's labor ministry said it would stop sending people from 44 districts in the 10 provinces that have more than 60 laborers working illegally in South Korea.

From 2013-2016, Ha Tinh has successfully brought back home 1,000 workers who overstayed their visas in South Korea. The province has deployed various measures, including threatening fines, to force the remaining illegal workers in South Korea to return home, but even the threat of a cash penalty is not proving a strong enough deterrent.

More than 75,000 Vietnamese people have left to work in South Korea since 2004.

South Korea in May agreed in principle to a memorandum of understanding to receive 3,500 workers from Vietnam this year.

Thanks to efforts from both sides, the number of illegal Vietnamese workers in South Korea fell to 15,000 in 2015 from 18,000 in 2013.

Vietnam began sending workers to South Korea in 1993, but the latter stopped receiving Vietnamese workers in August 2012 due to the high rate of laborers who overstayed their visas. The trade resumed in 2013 but is limited by agreements reached by both countries on an annual basis.

Vietnamese workers who stay in South Korea after their contracts have expired are denying around 35,000-40,000 other Vietnamese people the opportunity to travel to the country for work, Deputy Labor Minister Doan Mau Diep has said.

Related news:

Vietnam stops 10 provinces from exporting laborers to South Korea

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