Work Permit in South Korea

Why is Work Permit Needed?

A visa is an official stamp in your passport that allows you to visit, work, and reside in a nation for a specified time. For foreign employees, the Republic of South Korea requires a work permit and a work visa. Without these legal documents, lawful employment in the nation is not possible.

Work visas are a form of protection for the employee, employer, and nation; they guarantee and prove your legitimate stay in the country. Moreover, the use of work visas and permits is more ethical to migrate for work.

Job Market in South Korea

Number of Expats

Anywhere between 2,000,000 to 2,500,000

Popular Industries for Expats

Media and Entertainment, Teaching, Tourism, Science and Technology, Intergovernmental Organizations

Expat Job Websites

Job Korea, Saramin, Career, Worknet, Seoul Global Center, Incruit

South Korea Work Visa Categories

In South Korea, work visa is categorized in the following fields:-

Professional Visa:

Issued to the people entering South Korea under the following categories:
C-4 Short-Term Employee Visa - Individuals, if they plan to work for less than 90 Days, have to apply for this, regardless of the employment visa type for which they are applying.  
D-10-1 Job Seeker Visa - Individuals who wish to find a job in South Korea in one of the below-mentioned professional visa categories have to apply for this visa. 
E-1 Professor Visa - Foreigners who want to conduct research or give lectures at a higher education level are issued this visa. The validity period is one year, with a multiple entry option available. This visa can be extended by Expats for one year at a time.
E-2 Foreign Language Instructor Visa - Issued to those who will teach a foreign language at Schools or organizations. The visa is issued for two years on a multiple entry visa type. This visa also has the option of renewal after the two-year period ends.
E-3 Researcher Visa - Issued to those who wish to undertake research in natural sciences or the field of advanced technology. This visa is issued only if an institution in South Korea invites the individual. The validity period is one year with a multiple entry option available. This visa can be extended for one year at a time.
E-4 Technical Instructor or Technician Visa - This visa is issued to those individuals who are experts in the field of science and technology and will impart their scientific/technical knowledge in South Korea. This visa is issued only if the individual is invited by an institution in South Korea. Both single and multiple entry visas are issued, with the option of extension as and when required. 
E-5 Professional Visa - Issued to foreign individuals who intend to practice law, medicine, accounting, and other professional activities in South Korea. Applicants must be internationally licensed and in possession of a national certificate under the laws of the Republic of Korea to practice in the country. 

Non-Professional Visa:

Issued to those individuals who enter South Korea to work in the following sectors
E-9-1 Manufacturing
E-9-2 Construction
E-9-3 Agriculture
E-9-4 Fishery
E-9-5 Service
E-10 Coastal Crew
F-1 Household Assistant

Business Visa:

Issued to individuals under the following criteria:
D-7 Intra Company Transfer Visa - This visa is issued to an employee upon their transfer to South Korea. An employee who works at an MNC and is now being transferred to a South Korean branch will be issued the D-7-1. An employee who works for a South Korean company in a foreign branch and is now being transferred to a domestic branch will be issued the D-7-2.
D-8 Business Investment Visa - Issued to those who plan to set up or invest in a business in South Korea and will undertake related activities during their stay. 
C-3-4 Business Visitor Visa - Issued to those individuals who plan to conduct meetings, market research, or take part in meetings and negotiations. This visa is issued for a short term visit. 

Expats who plan to live in South Korea for more than six months will mandatorily have to apply for an Alien Registration Card. Foreigners need to apply for this card within 90 days of their arrival in South Korea. The ARC, the national identification document for foreigners, makes essential services such as banking, medical insurance, internet, etc., available to them.

Requirements of a South Korea Work Visa

While document requirements differ based on the visa type you apply for, some standard document requirements include:

  • ~A completed visa application form
  • ~A passport with validity for the next six months and blanks pages for visa stamps
  • ~A copy of the passport 
  • ~Passport size photographs taken in the last three months
  • ~Professional and educational certificates
  • ~Employment contract 
  • ~Business registration license (in select visa applications)
  • ~Tax returns and financial payments of the company in the previous financial year
  • ~Sponsor letter from an MNC or a South Korean Business/Government/Organization 
  • ~Application fee

South Korea Work Visa Processing Time

Depending on the visa type, the application processing time for a South Korea work visa can take anywhere from two weeks to two months. Therefore, it is advised that expats begin their application process well ahead of time. 

The application for an Alien Registration Card is processed in three to five weeks.


South Korea Work Visa Cost

The fees mentioned on the South Korean visa website are indicative only. Depending on South Korea’s bilateral agreements, norms of reciprocity, and other parameters, the cost may vary from country to country. A list of countries with adjusted visa fees can be found here.

Visa Type Fee
Single Entry Visa up to 90 Days 40 USD
Single Entry Visa more than 90 Days 60 USD
Double Entry Visa 70 USD
Multiple Entry Visa 90 USD
Alien Registration Card 25 USD

This Is How Multiplier Can Help With The South Korea Work Visa

We are a Global EOR company with experience in handling and providing HR solutions and a local presence in over 150 countries. Our expert team can tackle the process of onboarding and managing employees for global business organizations that want efficient employee management.
Multiple South Korea work visas are available based on professional and educational qualifications and ROK’s needs. As such, partnering with Multiplier and its in-house experts can offer you a one-stop solution to this entire process. Furthermore, we will take care of the applications and permits from the beginning and keep you updated on their developments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to Get a Work Visa in South Korea?

To apply for a South Korea work visa, expats can apply for a visa either online via their visa portal or physically at their embassy. Expats need a sponsor letter from their company or a relevant South Korean Government department to apply for a work visa. If an applicant uses the visa portal to apply for a work visa, the application will have to be submitted by the sponsor instead of the applicant.

What is a Working Holiday Visa - South Korea?

If a country has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Korea, then the nationals of that country are eligible to apply for the H-1 Working Holiday Visa. 

The H-1 Visa allows foreigners to work to cover the travel costs while staying in South Korea. This visa is issued for short-term visits only. 

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