Work Employment Visa in Korea

Work Employment Visa In Korea: Explained

So, you’ve set your sights on working in the Land of the Morning Calm—exciting!

But before you pack your bags and print your resume, there’s one golden ticket you’ll need: a Korean work visa.

Fear not, brave expat, we’re here to demystify the paperwork and help you land that job—or at least the visa for it.

Long-Stay Visa Types For Working In Korea

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Most foreigners seeking long-term employment in Korea require a visa. Understanding the suitable visa type that corresponds to your career field is a key first step.

Several categories are specifically designed for employment purposes, including:

E-1 Professor Visa

This is issued to foreign nationals who seek employment in an academic field at a university level.

E-2 Foreign Language Instructor Visa

Aimed at those who wish to teach a foreign language in Korea, primarily English.

E-3 Research Visa

This visa is intended for professional researchers invited by public or private organizations.

E-4 Technological Guidance Visa

This is for those who plan to provide proprietary technology training specifically requested by Korean nationals.

E-5 Professional Employment Visa

This targets professionals in law, architecture, and other fields who intend to practice their profession in Korea.

E-7 Special Occupation Visa

For employment in areas such as fashion, advertising, trade, and professional sports, this visa category may be applicable.

D-7 Dispatched Overseas Corporations Visa

For those dispatched to Korea as part of agreements with overseas companies, this kind of visa would apply.

D-8 Corporate Investment Visa

For foreigners planning to start businesses in Korea, the D-8 visa is the appropriate choice.

Understanding the specific purpose and requirements of each visa can aid in making an informed decision.

While visa acquisition could seem daunting and complex, it often proves to be the first step towards a great professional journey in Korea.

To sum up, the South Korean employment market is evolving, catering to the diverse skills, qualifications and experiences of foreign employees.

The various long-stay work employment visas outlined above will help overseas job aspirants to navigate and secure their dream job in this dynamic country, thereby aiding Korea’s mounting economy, while enriching their own professional growth.

Who Needs A Korean Employment Visa?

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Certain citizens from specific countries can apply for their residence permits for work purposes after entering Korea without a visa. These countries currently include:

  1. USA: Citizens can come into Korea via a visa waiver program, but soon after securing employment, need to apply for the E-2 or E-7 working visa, depending on their job category.
  2. Japan: These residents can enter South Korea without a visa for duration of 90 days or less. Upon obtaining a job, they must apply for a residence permit for employment.
  3. Canada: Canadians visiting Korea can stay for up to 6 months without a visa. After landing job offers, they should apply for their respective working visas.
  4. Australia: Australians wanting to work in Korea can enter the country visa-free for 90 days. After gaining employment, they must apply for a work visa within this period.
  5. Singapore: Singaporeans can stay in Korea for 90 days without a visa. They must then apply for an E-7 visa upon obtaining a job.
  6. New Zealand: They are allowed to enter Korea without a visa for up to 90 days. Once they secure a job, they must apply for the right work permit.

For the above-listed countries, it is imperative to note that while they can enter Korea without a visa, they cannot start employment without the necessary work permit.

 If individuals wish to work immediately upon entering Korea, they must have initiated and likely completed the work visa application process in their home country before departure.

Furthermore, working without a valid work permit can lead to hefty fines and potential deportation, so it must be diligently applied for and secured before actual employment commencement.

 By and large, to enjoy a fruitful career in the vibrant economy of South Korea, it is essential to follow-through with their precise employment visa protocol.

Categories Eligible to Apply For A Korean Employment Visa:

  1. Professionals in Specialty Occupations
  2. Non-Professional English Teachers
  3. Overseas Koreans
  4. Part-Time Students
  5. Entertainers
  6. Intra-Company Transferees
  7. Investors

How To Apply For Korean Work Visa?

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Applying for a Korean work visa might seem like a daunting task, but by following these steps, the process can be simple and straightforward.

Determine The Visa Type

The category of work visa depends on the type of job you are to perform in Korea; it can range from D-2 for students who plan to work part-time, to D-10 for job-seekers, to E-1 for university professors.

The E series is most common for foreigners working in Korea.

Obtain A Job Contract

After securing a job in Korea, obtaining and thoroughly reviewing your job contract is the next step. This is an important document to ensure the credibility of your work assignment.

Document Prep And Sponsorship Letter

Gather important documents such as passport, completed visa application form, job contract, and passport-sized photos.

Also collect a sponsorship letter from your future employer to support your visa application.

Health Checkup And Criminal Background Check

Korea has stringent health and safety rules for foreign employees. Conduct a health check-up and obtain a police clearance certificate from your home country.

Application Submission

Visit the local Korean embassy or consulate in your country to submit these documents. It’s recommended to call first to ensure the received application times align with your visit.


Pay the visa application fee, which can vary based on your nationality and visa type. Submission of application and payment can be done simultaneously.

Wait For Approval

The duration of application review can range from a few days to a few weeks. Always follow up with the assigned authority to track your application status.

Collect Your Visa

Upon approval, you can collect your visa from the embassy or consulate.

Arrive In Korea And Register

After landing in Korea, register at the local immigration office within three months of arrival.

Required Documents For A Korean Employment Visa:

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  1. A Valid Passport: Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your planned stay in Korea.
  2. Completed Visa Application Form: Ensure that all information is accurate and complete.
  3. Passport-Style Photo: This should be a color photo, 2″ x 2″, of your full-face view against a white background.
  4. Proof Of Employment: A certificate of employment or contract from the Korean company.
  5. Business Registration Certificate: A copy of the Korean company’s business registration certificate.
  6. Academic Degrees/Certificates: These should relate to the position for which you have been hired.
  7. Transcripts: Generally from your most recently completed degree.
  8. Criminal Record Check: Must be obtained from your home country.
  9. Health Assessment: Specific to the type of visa, it may require a health check done in your home country or Korea.

Once you have all the documents together, they must be submitted to the nearest Korean embassy or consulate in your home country.

The following step then involves waiting for the application to be processed, which may take between 1-3 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS):

Where To Apply?

The Korean work visa application process begins back in your home country at the Korean Embassy or Consulate.

What Is The Processing Time?

The visa procedure may take several weeks, depending on the nature of the job and the applicant’s nationality.

Validity Of The Work Visa

Often, the Korean work visa is valid for one to two years. However, the applicant can later apply for an extension.

Tips On How To Find A Job In Korea:

Learn Korean

Having a basic or advanced level proficiency in Korean can significantly augment your chances of getting hired.

Though there are jobs to cater to non-Korean speakers, the pool of opportunities vastly escalates once you master the local language.

Leverage Online Portals

Using reputable job search platforms like JobKorea, Indeed, and Seoul Professionals can simplify your job hunt.

They provide a plethora of job listings across various domains and a substantial amount for English-speaking professionals.

Build A Network

Networking is vital in the Korean job market. Connect with people working in the industries of your interest through LinkedIn or networking events.

They might provide valuable insights and job references.

Tailor Your CV Appropriately

Korean employers prefer CVs that are concise and visually appealing, accompanied by a professional photograph.

Adapting to these preferences might increase your chances of being shortlisted.

Prepare For Job Interviews

Familiarizing yourself with traditional Korean formalities can help you leave a lasting impression in a job interview.

Doing company research will also ensure you are well-prepared to answer any questions about the company and role in question.

Understand The Work Culture

Korean workplaces generally have long working hours, and much importance is given to hierarchy. Gaining knowledge about the work culture will aid in adjusting to your new job and sustaining it.

By minding these tips and understanding the work permit process, prospective applicants will significantly raise their chances of securing a job in Korea.

Remember, the journey might be strenuous, but the cultural and professional rewards it brings are well worth the effort!


And there you have it—a no-nonsense, easy-peasy guide to snagging that all-important Korean work visa. You’re now officially equipped to tackle the Korean job market without the usual visa headaches.

Job Ready!

But wait! There’s lot more that you might be interested in to follow:

  • Job Seeker Visa For Korea
  • Types Of Visa In Korea
  • Income Tax Brackets In Korea

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