SEJONG, Aug. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea plans to allow more foreign students to work here from 2022 as part of its efforts to tackle population decline, officials said Thursday.
If a foreigner graduates from a university of engineering or science in South Korea, the foreigner will get a non-professional employment visa, or E-9 visa, from the second half of 2022, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The move is expected to help small- and medium-sized firms to hire more foreign talent, the ministry said.
To help attract more international talent, the government will expand a program that allows talented foreigners to hold dual citizenship.
Under the law, a foreigner who acquires Korean citizenship is required to renounce citizenship of another country.
However, talented foreigners in four sectors, including arts, sports, high technology and science, have been exempted from the law.
From September, the government will also allow talented foreigners in six other sectors, including corporate employees and intellectual property holders, to be exempted from the law, the ministry said.
With the graying of the nation, the government will begin discussions to increase the age of senior citizens who are eligible for various financial support.
Currently, people aged 65 or older are eligible for various support, including free subway fare.
The number of people aged over 65 years in South Korea climbed to a new high last year, breaching the 8 million mark for the first time in history, while the country’s overall population grew at the slowest pace ever, data showed.
The country’s overall population remained nearly unchanged at a little less than 51.85 million in 2019.
The government has estimated that the number of South Koreans aged 65 or older could surpass 10 million in 2025 and jump to 18.79 million, or 38.4 percent of the country’s population, by 2047.