South Korea is one of the most thriving economies in Asia. World-leading in manufacturing, electronics, and telecommunications, the nation is presenting rich opportunities for foreign nationals in this modern and digital age. They have a lot of demand for language education as well, having gained an international reputation in the previous years.
Working in South Korea also means experiencing its breathtaking coastlines and rich natural wonders while balanced by its cosmopolitan cities. It would be best to learn the Korean language, too, so you can truly enjoy living and working in the country.
To get a work visa in Korea, here are the things you have to know.
Do I need a work visa in South Korea?
Foreign nationals who intend to work in South Korea need to apply for a work visa, whether it’s short-term, long-term work, or in a working holiday arrangement.
What are the requirements to apply for a work visa in South Korea?
There are different types of South Korean employment-based visas depending on a foreigner’s profession and skill. Here are the most common types:
- Jobseeker (D-10-1) Visa
- for seeking employment in a field qualified for E1 – E7 visa
- Professor (E1) Visa
- for education and research guidance at the professional or post-college level
- Foreign Language Instructor (E2) Visa
- for teaching conversational language
- Researcher (E3) Visa
- for research and development work invited by a Korean institution
- Technician (E4) Visa
- for experienced professionals in science and technology
- Professional (E5) Visa
- for nationally licensed professionals in medical, legal, accounting, and other fields allowed by the Republic of Korea
- Artist (E6) Visa
- for profitable activities in the fine arts, music, literature, acting, sports, and other cultural and entertainment activities
- Foreign National of Special Ability (E7) Visa
- for activities designated by the Minister of Justice through public/private institutions
- Non-professional (E9) Visa
- for work in manufacturing, construction, agriculture, fishery, service, coastal crew, ship crew, and household assistant
- Short Term Employment (C4)
- for less than 90 days of work
Other special working visas are:
- Working Holiday (H1) Visa
- for citizens of nations with a bilateral work-holiday memorandum with South Korea
- Special talent (F-5-11) Visa
- for highly-skilled individuals in the fields of science, education, cultural arts, athletic, and management, recognized by the Minister of Justice
If you find the visa type that matches your skills, you may need to provide specific requirements for it. Nonetheless, they all require the following basic documents:
- Visa Application Form
- Original Passport valid for more than six months
- 1 piece colored passport-sized photograph
- Original & photocopy of visa and arrival stamps from OECD member countries (if applicable)
- Original employment certificate (including position, date hired, compensation, office address, and company contact information)
- Photocopy of Korean company business permit
- Photocopy of income tax return
- Original personal bank certificate
- Bank statement (for the last three months)
- Invitation letter, if applicable
- Proof of no criminal record
- Medical report for Tuberculosis diagnosis
- Health Condition Report Form
- Consent to Quarantine
- Travel itinerary
- Proof of education (e.g. transcript, diplomas, or degree certificates)
- Proof of profession or talent (e.g. license, training, or employment certificates)
- Certificate for Confirmation of Visa Issuance (CCV) from employer
Korean diplomatic missions abroad may ask for additional documents depending on the country of residence if deemed necessary.
Check Also: Available Programs for International Students
Steps on Applying for a Work Visa in South Korea
Before you begin your application, please allow more than 90 days before your intended departure. It is also highly advised that you have a sponsor or employer already. Your job offer or employment contract will better determine what Korean work visa type you’ll need.
Also, if you plan on bringing your family with you, they should process their Dependent Family Visa application at the same time as you.
To begin your application, you can follow the guide below:
1. Complete the application form through the visa portal
Visit the Korea Visa portal to fulfill the online visa application form most appropriate for your skill or occupation.
After you select from drop-down menus your country of residence, purpose of entry, and length of stay, you’ll see a list of eligibility criteria and documentary requirements. Take note of any additional documents not mentioned in the list above.
You’ll find a link that will take you to an e-form. Fill up the e-form carefully and prepare a 3.5cm x 4.5cm photograph to upload. You will input personal information and employer information, as well as select a diplomatic office to visit.
Alternatively, your sponsor and employer can collect your information and initiate the application in the visa portal themselves.
In both cases, once the form is completed, you can move to the next step.
2. Pay visa processing fees
Korean work visa processing fees are paid in USD via e-payment. You will be billed the current processing fee, which is $60 for a single-entry visa, $70 for a double-entry visa, and $90 for a multiple-entry visa. These amounts exclude surcharge from bank electronic services.
This secures an appointment slot from your application form. If your country doesn’t have e-services yet, you can schedule an appointment date by calling or visiting the Korean embassy, consulate, or diplomatic office in your country.
3. Employer confirms the application
The next step in the Korean work visa application is that your employer or sponsor will confirm on the visa portal that they have invited you to work with their organization. If they made the application themselves, however, then this step does not apply.
4. Collect all necessary documents
Prepare the required documentation from the list above or from the visa portal. This includes a printed visa application form with a barcode. For documents not written in English, you must have a translated equivalent.
5. Submit to the South Korean diplomatic mission
On your appointment date, submit all the required documents to the concerned South Korean diplomatic office. Diplomatic officers will review your case and ask you a few questions regarding your purpose of application.
From here, it will take between one and four weeks before you receive a confirmation. You can check the status of your application on the “Check Application Status” in the visa portal. It will tell you when you can collect your passport and visa from the diplomatic office.
Once granted, South Korean work visas are valid for three months. Within this timeframe, you must claim your visa from the immigration office and travel to the country.
I hope that this article on how to get a work visa in Korea was helpful! If you’re interested in studying abroad, make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students!