One of the top destinations where Filipinos can land a job as a factory worker is South Korea. There are several reasons why Filipinos want to work in this country. For a start, South Korea has become quite popular in the Philippines through the K-pop industry, K-dramas, and other forms of entertainment. That said, many Pinoys want to visit the ‘source’ of it all and to experience what it’s like to see their idols in person or on the stage they perform in.
But on the practical side, there are also some great opportunities for Filipinos who want to work in South Korea and one of these is working as a factory worker. In this post, we will share with you a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a job in South Korea through the Employment Permit System (EPS). If this is something that you would like to learn more about, then keep on reading.
Disclaimer: The information published is based on the experience shared by the vlogger/YouTuber. The information provided may change without prior notice and may differ in actual scenarios. Let this article serve as a guide only.
Here is the video guide shared by a Pinoy OFW in South Korea, Dharnel Acebo a.k.a ZhierNel Vlog on YouTube. If you find his tips helpful, you may check out his channel to catch more interesting content about his work and life as an OFW in South Korea.
Step-by-Step Guide to Applying as a Factory Worker in South Korea
In one of our posts, we shared how much a regular factory worker earns in a month. And earlier in 2020, as announced by the POEA, the Korean government has declared an increase in the hourly minimum wage of workers from KRW 8,350 to KRW 8,580. This brings the monthly minimum wage of a worker working 209 hours per month and a 40-hour workweek, including paid holidays to KRW 1,795,310 (or roughly Php 76,500+).
That said, the demand for Filipino workers continue to be on the rise. Now, the important question to ask next is “How to apply for a job in South Korea?” If this is something that’s been on your mind as well, then follow the step-by-step guide listed in the following sections.
But before we look into the steps and the requirements, let’s first get to know about the EPS and how it helps Filipinos find a job placement in South Korea.
What is EPS?
The Employment Permit System or EPS is a program established by the Korean government in partnership with other countries including the Philippines for direct sourcing of workers who want to land a job in factories, construction, agriculture, and farming of animals. In order to be hired, the applicant must meet certain qualifications, study the Korean language, and pass the EPS-TOPIK exam which is administered by the POEA.
What are the Requirements?
- Must be 18-38 years old
- Has one (1) year of work experience
- Physically and mentally fit
- Must not have any record of conviction or imprisonment of a heinous crime
- Must not have any record of deportation or departure orders from the Republic of Korea
- Must not be legally restricted from departing from the Philippines
How much do I have to prepare for the EPS?
According to the POEA, here are the following fees that need to be paid when applying for the EPS:
- Test of Proficiency/ Preliminary Training – USD 24 or its equivalent in peso
- 45-hour refresher course (Korean language and culture) – Php 500
- EPS Orientation / PDOS – Free
- Re-medical examination – Php 1,500
- POEA Processing Fee – USD 50 or its equivalent in peso
- OWWA Membership – USD 25 or its equivalent in peso
- Pag-IBIG Contribution – Php 100 minimum
- PhilHealth Premium – Php 2,400
- VISA Fee – Php 3,000
- Airfare – Php 13,000 to Php 16,000
- Pocket Money – USD 150 or its equivalent in peso
If you sum it up, the total cost for the EPS application to be able to work in Korea will be roughly around Php 36, 050+. This does not yet cover your budget when processing your documents while in the Philippines. For this reason, Dhanel shared that if you are still working while applying through the EPS, it’s important to set aside some funds for your application for work in Korea. In his case, he used his back pay and at the same time, sought a loan from his relatives.
So now that you’ve prepared the requirements and have gathered the necessary funds for the application, you can now proceed to doing the step-by-step process for applying for the EPS, as outlined by Dhanel based on his experience back in 2018.
Step-by-Step Guide for Applying via the EPS [10 Steps]
Step 1: Prepare your passport.
Step 2: Prepare for the EPS-Topik.
This is the examination administered by the POEA to evaluate your language and work skills for placement from a potential employer.
There are two ways you can choose to prepare for the test: self-study or enroll in a school.
Tip: You can look for study and review guides from the POEA website for the EPS section. This will be useful, especially if you choose to study on your own for the EPS-Topik.
Do note that the school you’ll enroll in will NOT be responsible for your placement for work in Korea, as this will depend on the employers who would like to source and hire workers from the Philippines.
Note: That said, passing the EPS-Topik is not a guarantee that you will be immediately hired afterward. But this is a requirement to be considered for selection by employers who need workers.
Step 3: Fill out the e-Survey and e-Registration page via the POEA website.
This is where you will book a schedule for when you want to take the EPS-Topik. Remember, the schedule can vary each year so make sure to take note of the exam dates so you can plan ahead and make use of the time studying or preparing for the exam.
According to Dhanel, he paid the fees for the EPS-Topik via Landbank back when he was applying inn2018. Make sure to read the instructions on the POEA website to know which payment option is most suitable for you.
Step 4: Wait for the schedule of your test.
Depending on the schedule that you booked for, you can use your waiting time to prepare for the exam using the materials you gathered from either online or the school you enrolled in.
Step 5: Take the Test Proper
There are two kinds of tests for EPS-Topik: the PBT and the CBT.
The PBT or the paper-based test, which as its name suggests, is administered using paper materials and is composed of 50 items. Meanwhile, the CBT or computer-based test only consists of 40 items. This is much more convenient than the PBT as you only need to sit in for the test, but you cannot bring home the materials (questionnaire) after the test, just like with the PBT. That said, make sure to prepare well and do your best when you take this test as your scores will be one of the things a potential employer will look into and use as a basis for the selection of workers to be hired for work in Korea.
Step 6: Wait for the result of the exam.
According to Dhanel, this approximately takes about one (1) month from the test date. And while waiting, you can use this time to prepare for the next part of the exam, which is the skills test.
Step 7: Take the Skill Test
There are several parts to take in the skills test according to Dhanel, and they are:
- Task Instruction – Assembly
- Task Instruction – Interview (scripted)
- Task Instruction – Join
- Task Instruction – Physical test
- Task Instruction – Measure
Once you successfully complete the tasks, your scores will be combined with your knowledge-based test results, so it’s important to do well in both parts.
Step 8: Undergo the Medical Exam
This is usually required once you pass the exams. But in the case of Dhanel, he went ahead with the medical exam even if the results haven’t been released yet. This was to ensure that he’s ready with the medical results anytime he receives the results for his exams. Fortunately, he was able to pass both tests, so he was able to proceed with the next part of the application.
Step 9: Submit the medical certificate and fill out all the forms for the final stages of your EPS application.
This is the part where you will have to hope and pray hard that an employer picks your application for employment in Korea. That said, make sure that you are able to fill out all the forms and submit all the required documents including your latest medical exam results.
Step 10: View Immigration Progress
This is the last part of your application, where you will only have to track the progress of your application, from getting a contract, signing your contract, and then getting deployed for work at the site where you will be assigned in Korea.
There you have it! By following all the steps laid out by our kababayan, Dhanel, based on his experience in applying for the EPS-Topik, hopefully you can also get a callback for a job as a factory worker in South Korea.
For inspiration, check out this featured post of an OFW in South Korea who was able to invest his earnings in a profitable business, as part of his long-term plan after working in South Korea as a factory worker.