Foreigners in Korea
Korea belongs to those few states of our planet, in whose territory there are no national minorities. Those pretty few, foreigners who are in Korea for a long time have no Korean citizenship, nor, as a rule, to get it.
Absence "Aboriginal" National minorities do not mean, however, that Korea is inhabited exclusively to Koreans. On the territory of Korea, there is a certain number of citizens of other states – both the adjacent and those with which Korea supports traditional ties. In August 1998. It was legally in Korea 199.130 foreigners, of which 148.926 had a Korean residence permit (such a document is issued by the Korean authorities to all those who arrived in the country for more than 90 days). In addition, according to immigration services, there were 93 thousand illegal immigrants in the country. It should, however, remember that American servicemen who are about 36 thousand people here, allocated employees of American military institutions (about 4 thousand people), as well as members of their families (this is another 12-13 thousand people) are not taken into account in Korean immigration statistics. Their status is determined by special intergovernmental agreements, at the entrance to the country they do not pass the standard registration procedure. If you include in the number of foreigners illegal immigrants, American servicemen and their families, it will turn out that, not counting tourists and commodited, there are about 300-320 thousand foreigners in Korea. This is about 0.8% of the country’s total population.
The Korean government is trying to carefully control foreign citizens living in the country. This, in general, is not very difficult in such a single country, especially if we consider that foreigners, as a rule, do not know the Korean language. In accordance with Korean legislation, foreigners (with the exception of some special cases) are not eligible to be located in the country, if they do not have permanent work here, and only a few Korean organizations can hire aliens for permanent job. An exception to this rule is foreign spouses of Korean citizens (such about 22 thousand), as well as local Chinese-Huqiao, who have Taiwanese citizenship. Nothing like American Green Card – permission to permanent accommodation – no foreigners do not exist, so even with a simple transition from one job to another foreigner, it is obliged to leave the country and re-execute a long-term visa outside Korea. Foreigners in Korea cannot own real estate, and even ethnic Korean, who has adopted the citizenship of another country (and dual citizenship of Korea does not recognize), must then sell all its immovable property during the period established by law. A foreigner cannot establish its own company on the territory of Korea, and the registration of a joint venture or even simply representation of a foreign company requires such forces, money and time, which is practically available only for large transnational corporations. All these severity are partly due to the fact that the country is still in a state of war. In part, this is true, but, as it seems, other factors are also played here – first of all, the desire of the Korean authorities to prevent education in the Korea ethnic minorities and prevent problems inevitably associated with minorities. Korea – a country one-man and really wants to remain so.
As of September 1, 1998. The greatest foreign colony in the Korean territory was the Chinese – citizens of the PRC, which had 84.637 people (in this number are included and illegal). Americans who were 51.759 people, official statistics meet the second place, but in reality they are precisely the largest community, because the statistics of it takes into account the military and civilian employees of the American army (their about 40 thousand people), as well as members of their families. In third place are the Japanese (27.532), and on the fourth – Taiwanese (24.182).
The latter are of themselves a very peculiar group. Korean "Taiwan" In its overwhelming majority in Taiwan never lived. They or their ancestors fled to Korea from North China, fleeing from the upcoming Communist armies at the end of the era of civil wars, in 1945-1950. After the country split on continental and Taiwan, most Korean Chinese became citizens of Taiwan, which until August 1992 had diplomatic relations with South Korea and was generally considered one of its most important ideological and political allies. By virtue of this, Chinese ("Taiwanese") The minority in Korea used and enjoys considerable rights. The main and very important privilege of the Chinese is that they have permanent residence in the country. In other words, they can be and work in Korea, regardless of whether they are employees of Korean organizations that have permission to hire aliens.
Americans living in Korea are mostly soldiers, officers or employees quartered here military units, as well as members of their families. The centers of the life of the American community are American military bases, each of which is a kind of state in the state. In addition to actually military facilities, there are residential complexes, schools, shops, restaurants, organized by American patterns in the base, with American prices and american assortment. There is even a branch of the University of Maryland, in which Americans can continue or receive higher education. For most US military, all their stay in Korea is associated with databases and, to a lesser extent, with small villages that exist near them and focus primarily for the service of the US military (this "service" Wears alcohol and sexual character. Large travel, as a rule, are not encouraged by the command, which seeks to ensure that its wards without a particular need did not call the eyes to the local population.
The huge interest of the Koreans to the English language led to the fact that both a noticeable colony of English teachers who work in universities, qualification centers of various firms, schools and, mainly in countless English courses were also created in Korea. There are other languages in Korea and teachers of other languages - Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Russian, but, even together, much less than residents of English-speaking countries. Work in Korea and foreign technical experts, the number of which is measured by many hundreds (among them there are many Russians). They work in Korean concerns, play a considerable role in the development of the latest technologies.
However, now typical "Korean foreigner" — This is not a diplomat, not a professor, and not even brave warriors from the American base. A typical foreigner is a non-remuneration, Filipinets or Korean from Manchuria, 12 hours a day in a day on some contention. The most numerous group of Korean foreigners today is foreign workers who began to come here after 1990. Caused it was two circumstances. First, in 1985-1990. Earnings in Korea grew a record pace, and by 1990. The average salary approached 1000 dollars (it is now 1300 $). According to the standards of Philippines or Pakistan – this is a whole condition, because most of the local residents such money cannot be earned and for the year. Secondly, the Koreans themselves, spoiled by the rapid growth of income and the almost complete absence of unemployment, began to avoid the work that is called here "3 D" (according to the first letter of three english words "DiffiCult, Dirty, Dangerous" — "difficult, dangerous, dirty"). Therefore, for Korean entrepreneurs, workmen who came from poor countries in Eastern and Southeast Asia came to the Korean entrepreneurs: Philippines, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri-Lake, Mongolia, China. They were ready to lay bricks and paint heavy blanks at 12 o’clock a day, they did not organize strikes and did not create trade unions, and finally it could be paid once a half less than Koreans (at the beginning of this year, the salary of foreign workers averaged 74% of the salary who performed about the same work of Koreans). It is possible that all this can be called operation (and call this system Korean left), but the fact remains: in its overwhelming majority "Exploited" quite satisfied with your position, and you try to stay with all my might "victims of operation" Lady. People are ready to work for money that seem to be modest Koreans, but for them they themselves are a whole condition.
How much is now in Korea "Migrant workers"? No one knows exact answer to this question. Korean government issues some visas for foreign workers. It is curious that it is officially believed that they enter the country as "trainees", To, say, to undergo experience here (I do not condemn the Korean authorities for this little hypocrisy: it was about the same in due time imported in the USSR workers from Vietnam). Now such "legal workers" here 67 thousand. However, the overwhelming majority of foreign workers drove into Korea illegally, according to short-term tourist visas. Of course, if desired, the Korean authorities could easily identify them all, but in general they understand the economic need for the presence of foreigners, and look at their presence through the fingers. According to the authorities, in March 1999. In the country, about 105 thousand foreign workers were illegally (in August last year there were 93 thousand).
Such is a foreign community in Korea – very diverse and enough disobedient. However, she has and general features. One of them is that most of all these people feel no reason in Korea only by temporary aliens, it keeps very isolated, communicates in its circle, almost does not support contacts with their Korean society around them and does not own Korean even on the elementary itself Level. As a rule, they are spent in Korea only a couple of-year and then leave this country forever. Immigrant communities in Korea is not formed (the exception is local Chinese, but their number in recent years is rapidly reduced).