After Registration, What will be happen?
By Cho Moon-hee, Chief counselor of FWR
Source :  Asian Workers News No. 135 (August 4th , 2002)
On July 20, 2002, there was a meeting between migrant community leaders and an immigration officer here in Busan. About 30 people from Pakistani, Indian, Indonesian, Bangladeshi and Vietnamese community groups attended the meeting, which was composed of a two-hour question and answer session. FWR also issued a statement, along with a protection outline, against 'the improvement policy for foreign manpower' recently announced by the Korean government.
The following lists some of the questions asked and answers given at the meeting:
Q1 If the company we are appointed to has problems, can we change to another one?
A1 If the problem or fault comes from the employer, e.g. shut down, bankruptcy, unpaid salary, violence and other human rights abuses, then you are allowed to change companies. You have to report such a case to the Immigration Office and chose a new company. The immigration officer will investigate the problem and make a decision whether you can or cannot change companies. If you have already changed companies without an immigration officer's approval, you will get an amnesty, but only if the problem was caused by the previous employer.
Q2 My employer promised me that he would raise my salary before registration. But now that I'm registered he hasn't keep his word and my salary is the same as before, so I changed companies by myself. Is this OK?
A2 In this case you became an undocumented worker again because we dont consider not increasing your salary as either a human rights abuse or the fault of your employer, and we haven't allowed you to change companies.
Q3 When we registered with Immigration, we reported that we didn't work. But now that we are working, what shall we do?
A3 If you registered differently to that of your present situation, it means that you didn't register. In the following cases, your visa will be cancelled:
- You mentioned that you didn't work, but are now working.
- You don't presently work at the registered company.
- You registered at your previous company.
Immigration officers subject people who have done any of these to the crackdown.
However, if you have spelling mistakes in the companies name or address, your registration will be guaranteed.
Q4 What happens if we refund an air ticket?
A4 If you refund an air ticket, the airline office will inform the Immigration Office and your registration will be cancelled automatically.
Q5 What happens if someone has registered but wants to go back home before the designated departure date?
A5 You can change the departure date on the ticket at any travel agency or airline office. You don't need to come to the Immigration Office. However, you must leave on the new departure date shown on the ticket
Q6 What do we do if the company wants to keep our air tickets, ID cards and passports?
A6 If a company keeps a migrant workers' passport or ID card, the company is violating Immigration Law. You must not give you air ticket, passport or ID card to your employer. However, if your employer already has your ID card, passport and air ticket, report the situation to the Immigration Office immediately.
Q7 What's a G1 Visa?
A7 Even though you are an undocumented worker, you have valid reasons to not be deported, such as your case is going through the court system, you have unpaid salary, have suffered an industrial accident or are seriously ill. In these cases you may be allowed to stay in Korea with a G1 Visa until your case is solved. However, you will need someone who will act as a guarantor.
We believed that migrant workers get free period after register until March 2003, even though it is limited period. So that you may be free from crackdown and deportation by force. But MOJ says that registered migrant workers who reported false things or who refunded their air tickets also can be checked and deported. These problems can not solved by individual efforts but all migrant workers struggle to Korean government to adopt reasonable system for migrant workers as well as to legalise of undocumented workers.
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