South Korea increases quota of Thai workers next year

South Korea is increasing its quota of Thai workers next year from 2,500 to 15,000, but there’s a catch. Thais interested in filling the positions must learn Korean and pass a language test.

Prime Minister Office spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisiri reported today that the Thai Labour Minister, Suchart Chomklon, discussed the quota of Thai workers in South Korea with the Korean Ambassador to Thailand, Moon Seoung-Hyun, during the APEC meeting.

The visas allowed for Thai workers will be divided into three groups:

  • 5,000 (from the former 2,500) people will be allowed to apply for the Non-Professional Employment Visa or E-9 visa.
    This visa is for workers in manufacturing, construction, agriculture, fisheries, and service industries.
  • 5,000 people will be allowed to apply for the Foreign National with Special Ability Visa or E-7.
    This visa is for workers with professional knowledge or technical skills, e.g., a welder or a carpenter in a shipyard.
  • 5,000 people will be allowed to apply for the Seasonal Migrant Worker Visa or E-8
    This visa is for temporary workers in farming and fishing work.

Anucha emphasised that Thai workers must learn Korean and pass a language test before signing a contract with South Korean employers.

Anucha added that the increased quota for Thai workers in South Korea was expected to help Thai workers improve their skills, increase their income, and level up their quality of life.

The Labour Minister Suchart said…

“South Korea was willing to increase its quota of Thai workers because the country is stepping has an ageing society and a lack of workers. The country needs many foreign workers, and Korean employers like Thai employees because Thai people are hard-working and have good skills.”

The PM Office revealed from July this year, 12,950 Thai people were working legally in South Korea. The Daily News reported in August that the number of illegal Thai workers in the country was 140,000 people, and this is why over 50% of Thais were refused entry to the country this year.

Thailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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