This is an urgent notice regarding ‘Seasonal Worker Program (SWP)’ operated by the Republic of Korea to warn against any possible fraudulent damages to nationals of the Philippines.
1. The Seasonal Worker Program is the scheme where local governments in the Republic of Korea invite seasonal workers from overseas to legally work in farming and fishing villages for 90 days (C-4 visa) or up to 5 months (E-8 visa), allowing diligent seasonal workers to find employment every year in the ROK.
2. Under the scheme, local governments of the ROK have direct talks with their counterparts in overseas countries, sign an MOU on Seasonal Worker Supply and select seasonal workers from applicants to do seasonal work in the jurisdiction of ROK local governments.
3. Local governments of both sides carry out all the relevant procedures, such as signing of MOU and seasonal worker selection, on their own, to ensure transparency and fairness and to prohibit any intervention/brokerage of external private agencies or individuals, thereby eliminating unnecessary dispatch expenses. By doing so, the program makes sure that seasonal workers stay at work in the ROK and get the most economic benefits.
4. Therefore, no agency, group or private citizen, except for the local governments involved, is permitted to engage in any activity related to the seasonal worker program, including signing of MOU, seasonal worker recruitment, selection, deployment, etc. In addition, as delegation of such authority is strictly prohibited, no one can take compensation in any form of fees. Those local governments or foreign individuals that violate this rule will be forbidden from the seasonal worker program.
5. Recently, there have been steady reports about an organization called ‘ECO-CULTURAL INTERCHANGES of NATION (The ECI corp.)’ that it has fraudulently pretended to have the authority about the program and contacted Korean private companies, overseas governments, local governments, embassies, foreign firms and agencies, and others trying to arrange seasonal workers.
6. Regarding this matter, please be reminded that no agency, organization or individual, except for local governments in Korea and overseas, can act as a broker or intervene in the seasonal worker program, and beware of such fraudulent cases.
7. Please feel free to contact embassies of the ROK for more inquiries, and a local government interested in the seasonal worker program, such as signing an MOU with Korean local governments, is advised to send an official letter (written in English) via an official e-mail of the Korea Immigration Service (KIS) at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of local government, person in charge, contact information, e-mail address, further information on the relevant local government, etc.