To migrate to South Korea, you can find a job in South Korea, or you can also study in South Korea. If you have a relative in South Korea, they can also help you.
Most immigrant visas require the applicant to be sponsored by a Korean citizen, a Korean permanent resident, or a Korean employer.
Migrate to South Korea? A visa is required for anyone who wants to migrate to South Korea and stay for more than three months (90 days). What your trip is for and how long you want to stay in South Korea will help you decide which type of visa is best for you.
All websites linked in this article are in Korean and English. Use Google Translate or any other translation app if you need to.
How to move to South Korea
if you’re moving to South Korea for employment, study, or family, you’ll need to get a visa before you can legally live and work there.
Long-term visas are required for relocation to South Korea. More than three months of continuous residence in South Korea necessitates registering with the local Immigration Office and applying for an Alien Registration Card (ARC).
You can migrate to South Korea for three months in the following ways:
- Reuniting with family.
Moving for Work
You need a work visa and a work permit to migrate to South Korea for work. How long you want to stay in South Korea and the type of work visa and permission you have will depend on your job. You can work for more than 90 days with these visas:
- E-1 Visa – Professorial.
- E-2 Visa – Foreign Language Instructor.
- E-3 Visa – Researcher.
- E-4 Visa – Technological Guidance.
- E-5 Visa – Specialized Profession.
- E-6 Visa – Cultural and Artistic.
- E-7 Visa – Specially Designed Activities.
- D-5 Visa – Long-term New Coverage.
- D-8-4 Visa – Technology and Business Startup.
- D-10-2 Visa – Business Startup.
- D-8-1 Visa – For investment.
When you get to South Korea, you need to get an Alien Registration Card (ARC) and register for your stay at an immigration office. To qualify as a permanent resident, you need an F-5 permanent residence visa, which you can only get if you already have an F-2-7 or F-2-99 visa.
Move for study
Applying to a university and getting a “Certificate of Admission” is the first step to studying in South Korea. The next step is to apply for a D-2 student visa based on the course you want to take.
Choices for visas include:
- D-2-1 Visa – Associate Degree
- D-2-2 Visa – Bachelor’s Degree
- D-2-3 Visa – Master’s Degree
- D-2-4 Visa – Doctoral Degree
- D-2-5 Visa – Research
- D-2-6 Visa – Exchange Program
Moving for Family Reunification
If you qualify, you may apply for a long-term family visit visa in South Korea to reunite with relatives:
- Your spouse is South Korean.
- You are a South Korean temporary or permanent resident’s spouse or minor kid.
Register your stay and apply for an Alien Registration Card (ARC) at the local Immigration Office after entering South Korea.
Find more at HiKorea.
Korean long-term visa
If you want to stay in South Korea for more than 90 days, you will need to get a long-term visa. To give yourself time to process your application, you should do it one to two months before your trip. You can get an application for a visa from the office in the region you live in.
To apply for long-term visa in South Korea, you will need:
- Valid Passport (6+ months’ validity).
- 2 recent passport-sized color photos.
- Completed visa application form (in block letters, using a blue or black pen).
- Original TB test report from an approved lab.
- Health Condition Form.
- Proof of relationship.
- For Research Visa: Copy of recent degree certificate with Apostille.
Alien Registration Card
At least 90 days after entering Korea, foreigners who plan to stay longer than 90 days must apply for an Alien Registration Card (ARC) at a local customs office. After getting your visa, you still need to get an ARC to finish your stay paperwork.
Getting your visa is not the last step in registering. And it doesn’t matter what kind of visa you have to enter Korea; you can’t stay there for more than 90 days without registering. Use HiKorea or call the immigration number at 1345 (no area code needed) to get the most up-to-date information before you go.
South Korea permanent residency
South Korea grants permanent residence to holders of F-type long-term resident permits. The most prevalent are the F-2-7 and F-2-99. You must apply for the F-5 South Korean permanent resident visa after holding one of the visas.
You must meet certain conditions in order to be qualified for the visa:
- Invest 600 million KRW or more in a Korean business and employ five locals.
- Marry a Korean citizen or an F-5 visa holder.
- Obtain a South Korean degree.
- Hold a doctorate degree and work in high technology.
- Run a business under a D-8-4 startup visa for three years, earning ₩300 million and hiring two Korean employees for six months.
- Gain recognition from the Ministry of Justice for exceptional talent in various fields.
- Maintain an F-2 visa for five years with financial self-sufficiency.
- Hold an F-4 Overseas Korean visa for two years.