How To Get A Korean Work Visa

South Korea is a vibrant country with a booming economy, making it perfect for foreigners seeking employment. To work legally in South Korea, obtaining a work visa is needed. So here’s the process of securing a Korean work visa, including the types of work visas available, eligibility requirements, and step-by-step instructions for application.

Types of Korean Work Visas

Several types of visas for work cater to different employment scenarios in South Korea. The most common employment visas include:

  • E-1 Professor Visa: For those teaching at higher education institutions.
  • E-2 Foreign Language Instructor Visa: For those teaching a foreign language at institutions ranging from schools to private academies.
  • E-3 Research Visa: For those engaging in research at public or private institutions.
  • E-4 Technology Transfer Visa: For specialists in fields like natural sciences or advanced technology.
  • E-5 Professional Employment Visa: For people in professional fields such as law, medicine, or accounting.
  • E-6 Culture and Art Visa: For those in entertainment, music, sports, and arts.
  • E-7 Special Occupation Visa: For employees in fields not covered by other visa categories, often requiring specific skills and qualifications.

Eligibility Requirements

General requirements for a work visa include a job offer from a South Korean employer, proof of qualifications relevant to the job position, a criminal background check from the applicant’s home country, and a health checkup to ensure that the applicant is in good health.

Application Process

Securing Korean work visas involves several steps.

  • Job Offer and Contract: Secure a job offer from a South Korean employer. Ensure the contract details align with visa requirements, including job description, salary, and duration of employment.
  • Visa Issuance Number: The employer in South Korea must apply for a Visa Issuance Number through the Immigration Office or Ministry of Justice. This process involves submitting the employment contract, company registration documents, and a detailed job description.
  • Prepare Documentation: Gather the required documents, including a valid passport, completed visa application form, Visa Issuance Number, employment contract, proof of qualifications, criminal background check, medical report (if applicable), and passport-sized photographs.
  • Submit Application: Submit the visa application and required documents to the South Korean embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country. An interview may be required as part of the process.
  • Pay Visa Fee: Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, which varies by visa type and country of application.
  • Wait for Approval: The processing time can vary but typically takes from one to four weeks. Applicants will be notified once their visa is approved and can get their visa.
  • Entry and Alien Registration: Finally, upon arrival in South Korea, they must register with the local immigration office to obtain an Alien Registration Card (ARC) within 90 days. The ARC is necessary for opening bank accounts, signing rental contracts, and other essential activities.