I hope someone may be able to provide some insights to this issue I'm dealing with? I am a designer from Singapore, whom recently graduated with my Masters degree here in Seoul.
I have been offered to work as a 'contractor' for 3 months as my probation to test out the dynamics of working with the company, following which then the company will decide to take me up full time and handle the employment visa if things work out well.
However as a foreigner, I am presently on a 90 days tourist visa which does not permit me to be employed. Moreover as a designer, I am also told that it is not easy to prove or convince the Korean immigration that I am worthy of even a temporary C-4 employment visa. (is this true?)
Therefore I am at a lost and a little frustrated that this issue is preventing me from getting my dream job. I would greatly appreciate if anyone can share their similar experiences or provide possible solutions which may be able to assist me in solving this problem.
If the company's not willing to provide you with a visa, and you're not on a student visa, then the tourist visa may be your only option, which as you pointed out, doesn't give you the legal right to work. It's a challenge a lot of foreign workers face and it often doesn't have any easy answers.
This article pretty much covers the options - http://nojeokhill.koreanconsulting.com/2012/08/answers-to-questions...
I wish I had more encouraging advice for you...
Hi Steven, thank you for sharing the article, it's most insightful.
A lot of Korean companies will do this. Some just expect you to basically work illegally and will organise some payment in one way or another. Others simply have no idea about the Visa issues and then get confused when they cannot legally organise to pay you.
I wish I had something positive to add but I know a lot of people who have been offered your type of job or situation, only to see it fall through at the last minute when the visa issue finally comes to the attention of the Korean company.
Thank you for your comment Nick.
What I am going through is exactly as you have mentioned. Unfortunately they are unwilling to take any risks by not following the legal process of employing a foreigner.
How I wish there is some form of legal agency or recruitment company that specializes in such a case here in Korea. Please do share if you are familiar with any!
The truth here is that you'll need to get a supporter - from a person of decision making authority - within the company that you're currently helping to prolong or make your employment more lasting. In addition to your talent, try to build a good relationship with people who are in a position to make such a decision.
One recommendation would also be to seek advice from the school where you had obtained your masters degree to see if they can help you - do they have a job placement program/office for graduate?
If your probation period is for 3 months, I would also ask if you could get an "interim" evaluation (or assessment) on your performance-to-date - let's say after 6 weeks, or 2 months from your supervisor or the person who offered you the job. This way you'll get a feel for what will happen next - after your probation is over, and also get you mentally prepared to take/absorb what's coming up next. You may seek alternative employment plans - alternative workplace - should the interim feedback not be up to your expectations.
Whether you are qualified, or are not qualified, for an employment visa I do not know. Please try to network and meet people in your field of work to get their first hand-experience. Good luck.
Thank you for your reply Mike, there's a lot of pointers which I will keep close in mind.
Like what you've mentioned, it's indeed true to get in touch with the person with authority. I am in touch with my school to connect me with people from the industry. It's tricky but I'll at least give it my best shot! Hopefully I will be able to convince the person in charge to sponsor me a full-time visa and bypass that probation. Cheers!