And as much as I commend Chris for the thought he put into the issue, he is missing the boat on the issue of E2 visa portability by not addressing the two points I brought up here: South Korean egalitarianism ideal (which works against legalizing and legitimizing a kind of service perceived to give the upper classes even more of an edge) and 신원보증 ("legally guaranteeing one's sponsoree") which is a key issue blocking visa portability (and which is the main reason why people can get work visas in weeks rather than years).
This is what I wrote on Brian's:
This has been asked and answered repeatedly, if you can locate it somewhere among the din of the K-blogs.I dare say the problem with this discussion is that too many people think just because they want something then they should have it. And certainly the right to work wherever one wants is a nice thing to have, but when you're a foreign national without a green card or landed immigrant status or the local equivalent, guess what, there often are restrictions.
Private tutoring is discouraged — not just for native anglophones teaching English — because it is considered to run counter to egalitarian ideals that have been at the heart of many policies for decades (though, obviously, without complete success).
Second, his proposals fail to go to the heart of the problem for visa sponsorship, which is, well, someone sponsoring you and providing "insurance" for you. Solve the 신원보증, and you've gotten half way.
Now, some of these restrictions are unfair but, as I'm trying to point out above, it's not all about keeping the E2 down. KoKos have been running into problems with private tutoring for years because the government is loath to run counter to the populist idea in Korea that letting the rich accumulate more riches by giving them a finances-fueled edge in education runs counter to fair play — South Korean sense of egalitarianism (which is itself, in some ways, a response to North Korean communist rhetoric before and after the war about building a fair society).
[And while we're at it, let's make this clear: E2 and E1 visa holders can get legitimate "second jobs" if their employer permits and Immigration gives an okay — which they usually do if it's a legitimate job because they want the revenue stamp. E7s, on the other hand, cannot; they're the only ones who can bitch. Well, I guess an E2 or E1 visaholder can gripe if their employer refuses to grant them permission to moonlight, but that's their reward for paying the price for your ticket (the aforementioned 신원보증): they get to tell you where to sit.]
So, to summarize, Jeopardy-style: South Korea's egalitarianism ideal and the foreign national-guaranteeing function of visa sponsorship?
What are the factors that would need to be addressed if you want to make E2 visas portable?