What do my spouse and I need when we come for a ‘look-see trip’ before I accept the job?
Depending on your nationality, it could be visa-exempt or a landing visa. It may also be necessary to obtain an appropriate visitor visa before leaving your home country.
As a new hire what do I require?
A proper work visa will be required depending on your assignment type. In addition, if you are going to stay in South Korea for 91 days or more, it is mandatory to apply for your ARC (Alien Residence Card).
What do I need as an inter-company transferee i.e. same country but different company?
You need to get a new visa under your new company’s sponsorship.
What are the requirements for short-term work assignments? What differentiates short-term and business trips?
Visitors, those who attend meetings / conferences / exhibitions and do not perform any other work duties, will be considered as business travelers. Depending on their nationality, they may come to South Korea under visa waiver or enter with short-term visit visa.
Work permits are required for any expatriate who will be performing work duties in South Korea no matter whether the period is short or long.
How long do work visas take to issue? What is the processing time?
Minimum 6 weeks ~ maximum 12 weeks will be required to complete entire visa/ARC application process.
Actual duration can be changed based on applying visa type, applicant’s nationality, public holidays, and government officers’ judgement.
On what terms are work visas issued?
You need to check expiry date stated on your ARC, not on your visa stamp.
Most ARC applicants are granted 1-year validity and are generally extended by 1~3 years.
Will my spouse be able to work?
Dependent visa holders are not allowed to work in South Korea. All foreigners in South Korea must obtain a work permit in order to work in South Korea.
Can I bring my nanny / domestic helper?
Housemaid visa can be applied only after his/her employer’s South Korean ARC is issued. Housemaid visa may not be allowed depending on the employer’s visa type and salary.
Can I bring my partner?
Dependent visa can be issued only when you have marriage certificate stating your partner as a legal spouse/wife/husband.
Can I bring my common law wife?
Unmarried couples will not be recognized as a legal family in South Korea.
Are same-sex couples recognized in South Korea?
Same sex couples will not be recognized as a legal family in South Korea.
Can I bring my teenage children who are over 18 but still studying with me?
Children under the age 19 are eligible to obtain dependent visa.
However, age 19 or above will not be recognized as dependents.
Child(ren) who passes their 19th birthday cannot obtain/maintain their dependent visa. They need to obtain another visa as a main applicant. (e.g. Student visa, employment visa).
I have an adopted child. Will I be able to get a visa for them?
Yes. You can apply for a dependent visa for your adopted children if you can provide valid documentation to support your adoption.
What happens if I change my status?
All ARC holders must need to report their status changes to their district immigration office within 2 weeks from its occurrence. Administrative fine will be imposed for those who does not report their changes within reporting term.
What nationalities require additional processes?
Since March 2016, Tuberculosis (TB) Test result certificate is required from all applicants from the below listed (High TB-burden) 19 countries:
Bangladesh / Cambodia / China / East Timor / India / Indonesia / Kyrgyzstan / Laos / Malaysia / Mongolia / Myanmar / Nepal / Pakistan / Philippines / Russia / Sri Lanka / Thailand / Uzbekistan / Vietnam / Laos
How do I go about renewing my visa?
You can apply for your ARC extension from 3 months prior to its expiry date. You must stay in South Korea while your ARC extension application is under review which takes maximum 2 weeks.
Can I exit the country for vacation / business purposes during my assignment?
Yes, all ARC holders are guaranteed for multiple entries until their ARC expiry date.
Home finding/DSP FAQs
When is the best time for me to come to South Korea for my home finding tour?
As contract processing takes around 3~4 weeks after you have selected your property, it is generally best to aim to come for your home finding tour around 6~8 weeks before your assignment start date. 10% security deposit should be settled down as a down payment when the conducting the contract and the balance should be settled down before the lease starts.
How many properties will the agent be able to show me?
Depending on how many areas you will be looking and how much time you want to spend at each property, but generally a full day tour will allow you to view anywhere between 8-10 properties un up to 2-3 different areas. We do recommend not too many per day as the blend together.
Do I need to have a valid visa to be able to rent a property in South Korea?
Yes. In most cases the landlord will be require you to have a valid visa. However, majority of cases the contract will be in the company’s name and they will be signing on your behalf.
How difficult will it be to be able to find owners of properties that will accept my pets?
Brining pets with you will limit the rental options, however there are some landlords willing to accept pets. Negotiation will be required.
What furniture/appliances and other items will be included in the property?
For foreign rental properties in Korea, large appliances such as a refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner etc., are normally included. However, furniture may or may not be included. Some cases a furniture allowance can be negotiated into the rent. For Korean local market, the properties are not equipped with any appliances and furniture.