S. Korea sees over 80 percent increase US work visa requests

November 22, 2015

More and more South Koreans are looking to work in the United States. (Korea Times file)

South Korea has seen a sharp increase — nearly 90 percent — in the number of U.S. work visas requested by its citizens in the last three years, according to a recent report its Ministry of Employment and Labor.

This year, accepted PERM (a certification system used to obtain employment visas) requests hit 4,895, an 83 percent increase from last year’s 2,672.

According to the data, South Koreans’ interest in working in the U.S. has risen every year since 2012, when 1,200 people received PERMs. Sources said the data reflects the growing desire of Korea’s younger generation, suffering from rising unemployment, to find work elsewhere.

More than 78,000 work visas have been granted this year overall, 58 percent of them to Indian nationals.