Foreign citizens who want to immigrate to South Korea can apply for specific visas for short-term stays or residence permits that enable them to live here longer. The decision should be made in accordance with one’s goals and qualifications.
No matter the way you decide to migrate to Korea, our lawyers are at your disposal. You can rely on our immigration lawyers in South Korea for a wide range of services tailored to your needs.
|Entry visa requirement (from EU) (YES/NO)||
Yes, citizens of EU countries must apply for entry visas for South Korea.
Entry visa requirement (outside EU) (YES/NO)
|Yes, similar visa regulations as to EU nationals also apply to non-EU citizens (there are also approx. 20 nationalities that do not need visas to enter Korea)|
Types of visas available
– family reunion
|Time frame for obtaining work visa (approx.)||
1 to 4 weeks
|Validity of temporary residence permit||
Temporary residence permits are usually available for one year (those associated with work contracts)
|Temporary residence permit renewal requirements||
Temporary residence permits should be renewed at least 2 months before expiry.
|Documents for obtaining a residence permit||
– valid passport,
– information about the reason of entering the country,
– evidence of having sufficient funds for a temporary stay,
– proof of a local address
|Timeframe for obtaining permanent residence||
A foregin citizen must live for a minimum period of three years to qualify for permanent residence.
|Investor Visa availability (YES/NO)||
Yes, there are several options for investors interested in immigration to Korea.
|Start-up Visa Scheme availability (YES/NO)||Yes, South Korea has a startup visa that has a validity of 6 months.|
|Sponsorship requirement (YES/NO)||
No, there are no sponsorship requirements to relocation to South Korea.
|Time frame for obtaining citizenship||
Korean citizenship implies living in this country for more than 5 years.
|Citizenship/Residency by investment scheme availability (YES/NO)||
No, there is no direct citizenship by investment scheme in Korea.
|Taxation for foreign citizens||
Foreign citizens are taxed on the income they generate in Korea at progressive rates (between 6% and 45%)
|Tax benefits for expats||
Starting with December 2023, foreign employees will be allowed to choose to pay a flat tax at the rate of 19% instead of the progressive rates.
Korean immigration rules
If you are interested in immigration to Korea, you have several options, among which are employment, study, or family reunion. Fortunately, South Korea has begun to open its borders and accept an increasing number of immigrants each year. This has led to a much simpler visa application process.
For short stays the documentation is minimal. However, for employment, the paperwork will be more complex, as it depends on the job.
There is also the option of investment for those who want to open companies in Korea.
The cost of obtaining a visa for South Korea is generally the same. The usual cost of a Korean visa is between 70 and 90 USD.
No matter the way you choose to migrate to South Korea, our skilled lawyers can help you. If you decide on Seoul, immigration here is possible through our local office.
If you are interested in immigration to South Korea, contact us. Our lawyers are at your disposal with numerous services, considering the differences between Eastern and Western cultures. If you want to get acquainted with what it means to move here, contact our immigration lawyers right away!
Although there is no formal scheme for citizenship by investment, investing can result in Korean permanent residency. The amount to be invested depends on the selected option, as there are several. You can consult with our lawyers who can propose a suitable solution in accordance with your development plans.
The main ways of acquiring residency in Korea
Here are the main ways through which you can immigrate to South Korea and obtain permanent residency:
- temporary residency is one of the safest ways for immigration to Korea;
- employment should also be on your list if you are a specialist in your field;
- family reunion is another option to migrate to Korea, provided that you have family members living here;
- investment offers the opportunity to have a business and live in Korea, however, this option targets businesspersons with sufficient financial resources.
Compared to a few years ago, Korean immigration regulations have been simplified in order to welcome people who want to come here and contribute to this country’s economy. Here is also an infographic on this subject:
We are at your service if you want to apply for South Korean residency. Our specialists can offer the necessary information on the best pathway to immigration followed by support in filing the documents for obtaining a residence permit. Get in touch with us and find out how we can be of assistance.
You can also count on us for bookkeeping services. As one of the most important accounting tasks, this can be performed by our Korean accountants who use specialized software in order to keep track of all invoices in the most accurate way. Avoid losing money by requesting our dedicated services.
How to migrate to South Korea through employment
The good news is that immigration to Korea based on employment is possible through a wide variety of visas. Among these are:
- professional visas;
- intra-company transfer visas;
- work and visit visas;
- international trade visas.
Out of these, professional visas are available for experienced and qualified persons in various fields. Since Seoul is a great city to live in, immigration here can be on your list in terms of relocation places.
Our immigration lawyers in Korea can advise all types of residence visas available through employment. An interesting fact about South Korea is that it has a lottery visa (the H-2-5 work and visit visa), just like the United States.
Permanent residency through immigration to Korea
In order to qualify for permanent residency in Korea, you must live here for 5 uninterrupted years. There is also the possibility of marrying a Korean citizen and thus qualifying for permanent residency after 2 years.
Living in Korea for more than 5 years will make you eligible for citizenship.
No matter the way you decide on Korean immigration, address our specialists for support. You can also watch our video below:
Foreigners living in South Korea
If you decide to immigrate to South Korea, you will find plenty of other foreign nationals here. According to data here:
- at the level of 2021, there were approximately 523,000 Chinese of Korean descent living here;
- there were also around 200,000 Vietnamese citizens living in Korea;
- among other foreign nationalities from Western countries, 57,820 US nationals live here.
If you want to migrate to Korea and need assistance, contact our lawyers. We can also help you with immigration to Seoul.