SEOUL, Feb. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — A constitutional appeal has been filed against the Immigration Control Act that allows only those from eight English-speaking countries to work as native English instructors in South Korea, officials said Friday.
Migrants Center Friend, an immigrant rights’ group, filed the petition after a Ugandan was denied a visa to work as an English teacher, contending that it is wrong to limit such job opportunities based on nationality.
The Ugandan, whose identity was withheld, sought the visa after graduating from the International Graduate School of English in eastern Seoul and earning the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification while staying in South Korea with a humanitarian stay permit since 2011.
The justice ministry rejected the request, saying only those from eight English-speaking nations, including Britain, the U.S., Canada and India, are eligible to work as a native English instructor under the Immigration Control Act.
“The problem is that (the Ugandan) was denied an opportunity to work as an English teacher not because of language skills but because of the Ugandan nationality,” Lee Ye-ji, an attorney for the immigrants’ group, said.