As of 2015, the Pakistani community in the Republic of Korea (ROK) stood at approximately 11,375 (Source: Korea Immigration Service). It comprises of workers, businessmen, traders, students, and a few professionals. Most of the Pakistani expatriate population arrived in Korea in the late 1980s and 1990s.
Labour: There are nearly 4,200 Pakistani workers. They arrive in Korea under the Employment System (EPS) (described below). They are employed in the small and medium sized factories (employing less than 300 workers) mostly in the manufacturing sectors, followed by agriculture & livestock, construction and fisheries.
Businessmen: There are about 600 businessmen, engaged in businesses such as export of fabrics, blankets, carpets, used machineries, export of used cars and restaurants, surgical equipment, travel agencies, mobile phone shops, heavy machinery equipment, printing etc.
Students: There are approximately 1100 Pakistani students studying in leading universities of Korea, having excelled in their fields such as science, medicine, IT, engineering etc. Most of them are here on university funded (or departmental / professor funded scholarships) while some on HEC scholarships. Pakistani students have graduated and gone on to join leading South Korean conglomerates such as Daelim, Samsung, other leading companies locally as well as abroad.
Professionals: Pakistani professionals, although a handful, are working in leading corporations such as British American Tobacco, General Motors, Samsung, Daelim, Shipbuilding Companies etc.
Main issues faced by the Pakistani community in Korea include non-availability of Machine Readable Passport (MRP) and absence of direct flights between South Korea and Pakistan. Korean Government has also expressed concern over the number of illegal persons from Pakistan i.e. nearly 25 to 30 % of total community are illegal residents.