South Korea – How to get a residence permit?

South Korea – How to Get a Residence Permit?

If you’re considering moving to Asia, South Korea might be one of your options. It’s an attractive place to live due to its rich cultural heritage and dynamic economy. However, before you can start your new life in Korea, you need to obtain a residence permit. In this article, we’ll review the process for obtaining a residence permit in South Korea.

Why Do You Need A Residence Permit?

A residence permit is a document that grants foreigners permission to stay in South Korea. Without a valid residence permit, any foreigner staying in the country will be considered as an illegal alien and may face deportation. A residence permit also allows foreigners to work or study in South Korea legally.

Types of Residence Permits

South Korea offers several types of residence permits depending on the purpose of your stay. The most common types are:

E-1 Visa (Professor)

This visa is for professors who are invited to teach at a Korean university. Applicants must provide proof of employment from the Korean university.

E-2 Visa (Teaching English)

This visa is for English teachers who are employed by a Korean school or educational institution. Applicants must provide a copy of their bachelor’s degree and TEFL/TESOL certification.

E-3 Visa (Research)

This visa is for researchers or scholars who are invited to conduct research or academic activities in Korea. Applicants must provide proof of funding or employment.

E-4 Visa (Professional Employment)

This visa is for those who have been offered a professional job in Korea. Applicants must provide a contract of employment from the employer in Korea.

F-2 Visa (Spouse of Korean National)

This visa is for the spouse of a Korean national. Applicants must provide proof of marriage with a Korean national.

F-5 Visa (Permanent Residence)

This visa is for those who have lived in Korea for an extended period and wish to stay indefinitely. Applicants must meet specific requirements, such as having a certain level of income or owning property in Korea.

How to Apply for a Residence Permit?

The application process for a residence permit in South Korea has several steps.

1. Obtain a Visa

You need to obtain a visa before you can apply for a residence permit. The visa application process varies depending on your nationality and the purpose of your stay. You can find more information about the visa application process at your nearest Korean embassy or consulate.

2. Register with the Immigration Office

After arriving in Korea, you need to register with the immigration office within 90 days of your arrival. You’ll need to provide your passport, visa, and other necessary documents. Once registered, the immigration office will issue an alien registration card (ARC), which is necessary to apply for a residence permit.

3. Gather Required Documents

The required documents for a residence permit vary depending on the type of visa you’re applying for. Generally, you’ll need to provide:

– A valid passport

– Alien registration card (ARC)

– Proof of employment or funding

– Criminal background check certificate

– Health certificate

– Application fee

4. Submit Your Application

You must submit your residence permit application to the immigration office. The processing time varies depending on the type of visa, but it usually takes between two to four weeks. You’ll receive a notification by mail or email once your application has been processed.

5. Receive Your Residence Permit

Once your application has been approved, you’ll receive your residence permit. The permit includes the duration of your stay, the permitted activities, and other relevant information.


Obtaining a residence permit in South Korea is a necessary step for anyone who wants to live and work legally in the country. Understanding the different types of visas available and the application process is essential. With the right preparation and documentation, you’ll be on your way to starting a new life in South Korea.# Discovering Life in South Korea: A Guide for Expats

If you’re looking to start a new chapter of your life in Asia, South Korea is an excellent choice. This dynamic country boasts a rich cultural heritage, a thriving economy, and a world-famous pop culture scene. But before you make the move, it’s essential to know what to expect when living in South Korea as an expat.

The Cost of Living in South Korea

One of the first things you’ll need to consider when moving to South Korea is the cost of living. While prices can vary depending on the region, expect to pay around $1,000 to $2,000 per month for accommodation, plus additional expenses for food, transportation, and utilities.

Fortunately, South Korea has a high standard of living with many amenities available. The country has an extensive public transportation system, including subways and buses, making it easy to get around without a car.

Finding Accommodations in South Korea

Finding suitable accommodations can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t speak Korean. However, there are several resources available to help you find a place to live in South Korea.

One popular option is to use the services of a real estate agent or realtor. They can help you navigate the rental market in South Korea and find a home that meets your needs and budget. You can also look for accommodations online through websites like Airbnb or Craigslist, although it’s important to exercise caution when dealing with individuals over the internet.

Adjusting to Cultural Differences

As with any foreign country, adjusting to cultural differences can take some time. South Korea has a distinct culture that places a strong emphasis on respect for elders and authority figures. It’s also important to adhere to social norms, such as removing shoes before entering a home or eating certain foods during specific times of the year.

However, South Koreans are generally welcoming and friendly to foreigners. Learning some basic Korean phrases can go a long way in fostering positive relationships with locals.

Working and Doing Business in South Korea

South Korea has a robust economy, and there are many opportunities available for foreign workers and entrepreneurs. However, it’s important to understand the local business culture and etiquette.

For example, Koreans place a high value on personal relationships, and building a network of contacts is key to success in business. It’s also essential to dress professionally and arrive on time for meetings.

Foreigners looking to work in South Korea will need a valid work visa, which can be obtained through their employer or independently through the Korean embassy or consulate in their home country.

Healthcare in South Korea

South Korea has a world-class healthcare system that is accessible and affordable for both citizens and expats. Most doctors and medical staff speak English, and the quality of care is comparable to that of western countries.

Expats who have been living in South Korea for more than six months must enroll in the National Health Insurance program. The cost of premiums is based on income levels, but most expats find the coverage to be comprehensive and affordable.

Exploring South Korea

One of the best things about living in South Korea is the opportunity to explore the country’s many cultural and historical sites. From ancient temples and palaces to modern cities and amusement parks, there’s something for everyone in South Korea.

Popular destinations include the bustling capital city of Seoul, the scenic coastal city of Busan, and the ancient city of Gyeongju, known as the museum without walls.


Moving to a new country can be an exciting and challenging experience. But with the right preparation and information, living in South Korea as an expat can be a rewarding and fulfilling adventure. So, if you’re considering making the move, start planning today and discover all that South Korea has to offer.From the cost of living to finding accommodations, adjusting to cultural differences, working and doing business, healthcare, and exploring South Korea, this guide has covered several essential aspects that expats need to know before making the move. By following these tips and being proactive in your approach, you’ll be able to make a smooth transition to life in South Korea and enjoy all the opportunities that this beautiful country has to offer.

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