S.Korea to issue high-tech internship visa for foreign students

SEOUL: Foreign students from outstanding overseas universities will be allowed to work as interns at high-tech companies and research institutes in South Korea under a new visa programme intended to help strengthen corporate competitiveness, the Justice Ministry said Friday.

The ministry said it will introduce the so-called “high-tech field internship visa” (D-10-3) for students from excellent universities abroad, beginning Monday, Yonhap news agency reported.

The D-10-3 visa will be issued for those who currently major in high-tech fields at the world's 200 best universities selected by the US magazine Time or at the top 500 universities included in the QS World University Rankings, or those who have graduated from high-tech fields from the top global universities within three years, it said.

Foreign high-tech talents with the D-10-3 visa can intern at domestic listed companies or government-funded research institutes in high-tech fields, such as semiconductors, information technology, technology management, nano, digital electronics and bio, the ministry said.

The government can also extend the period of stay for foreign high-tech interns to help them seek employment in South Korea and offer preferential treatment to those wanting to change to employment or startup visas, it said.

But the government will ensure that the ratio of foreign interns will not exceed 20 percent of employees at domestic companies in order to prevent any adverse effects on job openings for South Korean nationals, it said, adding small and medium-sized enterprises, and venture companies will not be subject to the ratio for three years after establishment.

“The new visa policy will help the nation preoccupy outstanding human resources by giving potential foreign talents the opportunity to work for domestic companies. The foreign interns can also serve as a bridge when domestic companies enter overseas markets,“ a ministry official said.-Bernama