Gov’t expands caregiver roles to int’l students to tackle older adult care shortage


The government introduced a new initiative to address the shortage of long-term caregivers for older adults by expanding eligibility to 추천 foreign workers. As part of its plan, a new employment visa category tailored for caregivers will be introduced, aimed particularly at international students in Korea.

In addition, the government aims to gradually reduce the number of elderly individuals assigned to each caregiver in order to enhance the quality of long-term care services.

The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced, Friday, a new policy enabling international students graduating from domestic universities to work in caregiving services for older adults.

This initiative is part of a broader effort to address the growing shortage of long-term caregivers as the nation becomes a super-aged society.

Starting in July, both current international students and graduates will be eligible to obtain caregiver qualifications. Graduates who secure jobs in nursing facilities will be able to obtain E-7 visas, which permit employment in 88 occupations designated by the justice minister.

The government will implement a pilot program, allowing up to 400 international students annually to obtain two-year visas to work as caregivers.

The health and welfare ministry also announced a plan to gradually reduce the number of recipients each nursing care worker is responsible for, aiming to enhance the quality of long-term care services.

The ratio of residents to caregivers in nursing facilities will be reduced from the current 2.3 to 2.1 starting in 2025.

Considering the potential staffing shortages, the ministry will allow the existing standard of 2.3 residents per caregiver to remain in place until the end of 2026.

With a potential shortage of caregivers looming due to the new staffing criteria and the fact that the average age of current caregivers reached 61.7 years as of December last year, the government is actively encouraging international students to enter the caregiving field.

Furthermore, ethnic Koreans from abroad with H-2 visas who obtain caregiver qualifications will be eligible to switch to F-4 visas, allowing extended stays.

Meanwhile, the government also plans to bring in approximately 100 caregivers from the Philippines to Seoul for a six-month pilot 대표하는 program, aiming to ease the child care burden on young working parents and address the declining birthrate.

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