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exclamation-circle Warning for E2's working in after school programs

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7 months 1 day ago #1360 by mimi
mimi replied the topic: Warning for E2's working in after school programs
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8 months 3 weeks ago #1232 by ESLwatch
ESLwatch created the topic: Warning for E2's working in after school programs
Everyone working in an after school program on an E2 needs to be extremely careful. Korean Immigration has started a widespread crackdown on visa violations. ESLwatch knows several people who have recently received multi-year Immigration bans because they worked in an after school program.

An example:

Current legal proceeding: One guy was given a 5 year ban because he worked in an after school program for 1 year in 2013 and was not enrolled for pension or healthcare, and his taxes weren't paid.

Please note that visa violations are not covered by staying out of the country to reset your health insurance or pension payments. For example the person mentioned above left Korea in early 2015, came back in December 2016 to attend a university conference, and was pulled into the Immigration Office when he was going through security for his flight home. They told him there was a problem from his previous employment, then handed him a statement that he's banned from entering Korea for 5 years which listed the above reasons for the ban.

This also applies to any E2 who is/was not enrolled for pension and healthcare. Even if you stayed outside of Korea for a few months to reset your time in the pension and healthcare system this does not cover you with Immigration as not being enrolled in those programs is also a visa violation.

Some questions and answers:
Question:
If you're on an F-Visa though, you're safe as long as you pay taxes, right?

Answer:
Gray area really. It's not a visa violation or illegal for an F visa to be an independent contractor, but you should be enrolled for pension and healthcare either way. Traditionally Korea has not cracked down on F visas YET because they're not employment visas.

Question:
How could they crack down then if it's a legal visa? I'm just very curious about this whole situation.

Answer:
The E2 visa is an employment visa. The only way an employer can not pay into health insurance and pension is if they list you as an independent contractor. It is a visa violation to be an IC. It's also tax fraud although the National Tax Service normally just hits you for late fees, penalties, and interest (~35-50% of what you SHOULD have paid, not the difference although the payment you have to make will be the difference between what you did pay)

Note: For people who are from pension exempt countries - the UK is not one of them - you won't have to pay pension, but you do have to pay for national healthcare.

Question:
I worked in an after school program here at my day job. I paid my taxes, got the E2, an ARC. This does not apply to me, right? It was a side gig. Some classes wanted art, others cooking. Mine requested English for 1st through 3rd grade.

Answer:
This is about how your employment was registered. If you were registered as an independent contractor, either didn't pay pension/healthcare or were self enrolled, then it applies. If you paid taxes as an Independent Contractor then you were in violation because it's an employment visa.

If you find yourself in this situation then ask for advice either here or on PALS: Practical Advice for Life Situations

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