The Korea Herald


KIIP courses no longer free for retakers

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : Aug. 9, 2023 - 11:49

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Foreigners donning Korean traditional hanbok in central Seoul. (Yonhap) Foreigners donning Korean traditional hanbok in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

The Korea Immigration and Integration Program's courses for foreigners residing in South Korea will no longer be provided free of charge for those who failed the course and try to retake it, the government said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Justice said it would amend the Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Act before the end of this year to have retakers of the state-funded social integration courses to bear the cost of the courses. A pilot project to do so before determining the scope of foreigners eligible to pay to retake courses will begin in 2024.

The Justice Ministry did not confirm how much the government would charge the retakers, who failed to attain the minimum required attendance or test scores.

The KIIP provides foreigners looking to acquire permanent residency or nationality with 515 hours of courses related to Korean language and culture, as well as basic knowledge about Korean society.

So far, participants in the KIIP have paid for textbooks and test registration fee.

Up to 60,000 participants will take KIIP courses this year, the Justice Ministry estimated, up over 60 percent from 36,620 in 2020. Korea is home to 2.4 million foreigners with a status of sojourn as of end-June, up nearly 20 percent from 2020.