SEOUL, An online system will open early next month that allows foreigners to apply for a job reference signed by the South Korean government in recognition of their expertise, as part of the documentation required before they apply for a work visa in the country, the government said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Justice said the service will be offered through the website (www.visa.go.kr), which will go into operation next Monday.

South Korea has allowed foreign jobseekers to submit a recommendation accredited by the Seoul government when they apply for a work visa in Korea. The reference served as supporting documentation for their visa assessment.

Most applicants seeking such visas as C-4 and E1-7 hold expertise in one of some 80 different professions, who come to Korea to teach at a tertiary institution or to work as a research and development staff at a large firm.

But they could only fill out the application offline, which often caused a hassle in the process. The new online system is expected to make the procedure easier and faster, the ministry said.

The ministry added that work is under way to integrate the new online site with those independently run by a few other government-affiliated firms, including KOTRA.

Ministry data showed that foreign experts currently working in Korea under the mentioned visas reached 46,966 as of end-May. By nationality, Chinese accounted for 12,550, followed by 9,579 Americans, 3,114 Filipinos and 2,494 Vietnamese, according to the data.

Source: Yonhap News Agency