As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country?
Foreigners can visit Korea under one of the following arrangements:
- Short-term stay: Limited; 90 days or fewer
- Long-term stay: Limited; 91 days or more
- Permanent residency: Unlimited period of stay
Citizen of 151 countries can enjoy visa-free entry to Korea under a visitor status ranging from 30 to 90 days. Visitors not from these countries or planning to stay in Korea for longer than 90 days must obtain a visa before entering Korea.
Foreigners entering Korea under Long-term stay or Permanent residency status must register for an Alien Registration Card within 90 days of arriving.
What kinds of visas are available? Tourist/Transit Visas
Single, Double and Multiple entry visas are available in the following categories:
Tourist –B1, B2, C3
Business – C2, D7, D8, D9
Education – C3, D2, D4
Visit and Stay with Family in Korea – F1, F2, F3, F4
Short-term visas (stays of 90 days or less) are appropriate for temporary workers and business visitors and fall into the following category: Temporary Business (C2 and C4).
Long-term visas (stays of 91 days or more) are typically for individuals and dependents planning to work or reside in Korea for longer periods and fall into the following categories: Intra-Company Transfer (D7), Corporate Investment (D8), Trade Management (D9), Study (D2), Training (D4) and Dependent (F3).
Please contact Crown Korea for further information.
What is required to obtain these visas?
The required documents will vary depending upon the type of visa for which you are applying. Once all the documents are prepared and submitted to Korean Immigration, a Visa Issuance number will be issued within approximately seven to ten days. This Visa Issuance number is provided to transferees who apply at the Korean Embassy or consulate in their home country or current country of residence. The visa processing time will vary depending on the Korean Embassy but typically lasts within three to ten days.
Upon arrival in Korea, the individual will need to apply for an Alien Registration Card within 90 days.
Typical documents needed by individuals/dependents:
- Application form
- Original passport with validity of 12 months or longer
- Passport-size photos
- Original documents as a proof of relationship such as Marriage and/or Birth certificate
- Letter of Invitation from a company in Korea, Korean Tax and Business Certificate (for employment)
- Additional documents may be requested by the Korean Embassy or Consulate. It is always advisable to check with the consulate prior to submitting your visa application.
Crown Korea is able to provide the full breadth of immigration services. Please contact your local Crown office with any enquiries.
Note: Korean Immigration does not recognize partners or couples of same-sex marriages, and will not issue a dependent visa without a marriage certificate.
Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work?
Spouse under a dependent visa status must complete a Change of Status application before they can start working in Korea. The spouse will need to apply for an appropriate work visa sponsored by a company in Korea. Our observation is that it is not always easy for expat spouses to find employment, particularly if they do not have any Korean language capabilities.
Crown Korea offers Global Career Partner Support for spouses or dependents who would like to work in Korea, including the following services:
- CV/Resumé advice
- Networking opportunities
- Introduction to recruitment agencies, access to sector trends and research information
For more information, please contact Crown.
What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them?
An Alien Registration Card (ARC) must be applied for within 90 days of arrival in Korea. This is applied for at an Immigration Office with jurisdiction of your workplace or residence. Once obtained, you must carry your ARC with you at all times as your main form of identification.
Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away?
A driver's license can also serve as a form of identity - however, to obtain a Korean driver's license, you must hand over your current, valid driver's license from your home country or country of residence until you depart Korea. An alternative is to obtain an international driver's license prior to entering Korea, which is typically valid for 12 months. The process of obtaining the Korean driver's license is explained in the Transportation section of the Settling-In Tips.
It is also highly advisable that you register with your home country's embassy upon arrival.
What items should I avoid bringing into the country?
You should avoid bringing items considered to be contraband into the country, including the following:
- Swords and long knives (including ornamental/historic swords and knives)
- Narcotics and non-branded drugs
- Pornographic materials
- Any items considered to be detrimental to public interest or national security
If you are unsure about any items, please contact Crown Korea and we will be happy to advise you.
Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally?
While in Korea, if you should move residence or change jobs, this must be reported to the Korean immigration office and your ARC must be updated.
Individuals of Korean descent may be required to serve in the military. Please contact Crown Korea for more information.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.