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Getting employment via South Korea's EPS-KLT

January 15, 2008 4:26pm
South Korea’s Employment Permit System-Korean Language Training is the only legal way through which a foreign worker could land a job in the country. Carmela Bignotia of the OFW Guide Forum provides a guide through the EPS-KLT process.

What is EPS-KLT?

South Korea’s Employment Permit System (EPS) is a government-to-government hiring scheme for foreign workers, which is intended to curb illegal recruitment. The hiring method replaced the Alien Industrial Trainee System that allowed hiring through private recruiters. Korea abolished the trainee scheme and stopped issuing trainee visas since Jan 1, 2007.

Korean Language Training (KLT) is required under the EPS.

Under the EPS-KLT regime, South Korean employers can only get foreign workers legally through the scheme. Invariably, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is the only government agency authorized to implement this employment system in the Philippines.

The implementation of EPS-KLT is part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Labor and Employment and the Korea Ministry of Labor.

Other requirements

Aside from passing the KLT, applicants must submit the following:

* Comprehensive resume
* Birth Certificate from NSO/Passport
* NBI Clearance
* Transcript of Records
* Employment Certificate
* 2 x 2 picture (red background w/ full name tag)
* Transcript of Records
* Application Form from POEA

Applicants must be:

* Male or Female from 18 to 38 years old
* High school graduate with two years work experience
* College graduate with 1 year work experience
* Physically and mentally fit

Note: An applicant must have no illegal record in Korea (such as illegal entry or stay; overstaying or run-away)


Available jobs in Korea for male foreign workers are usually in construction, manufacturing, and agriculture. Female workers may work in the garments and microchips assembly industries.

EPS-KLT process

* Register with the Employment Permit Registration (POEA-EPS).
* Register with the Korean Language Test Registration (with non-refundable fee of $ 30).

Note: Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Check with POEA regarding the schedule of registration.


* Upon passing the KLT exam, applicants must submit medical certificate to POEA.
* They must wait for the Results from Korea-Human Resource Department.

Chosen applicant will get a call from POEA and will be offered a working contract from three to five years.

Hired applicants should apply for work visa at the Korean Embassy in Makati City. They will undergo the Pre-departure Training of the POEA, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Occupational Health Safety and Health Center, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

The worker will shoulder airfares (airplane ticket). However, POEA offers a special rates for overseas Filipino workers so that a successful applicant’s fee should not exceed P30,000.

All submitted documents will be checked and screened by POEA personnel. Incomplete documents would not be processed.

Applicants with complete profiles will be included in the electronic or online system of Korea-HRD.

Korean employers will choose among the roster of applicants from the online list. Employers are allowed only to view five to 10 profiles of candidates per vacant position. The viewing of profiles is based on the application number and profile.

Chosen applicants would be sent to the Korea-HRD, which will inform the POEA


Note: Passing the EPS-KLT will give to an applicant a chance to be included in the Profile List and be chosen by Korean employers. However it does not guarantee 100-percent employment. After passing the KLT, there is a waiting period of one month to one year.

The International Korean language Foundation gives out the results of the KLT. Successful applicants will receive a certificate that is valid for two years. The names are posted at the POEA website.