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Work Visa
in South Korea.

SALARY PAYMENT IN South Korean won (KRW, ₩)


PAYROLL TAX 16.43% – 34.94%


TIME TO HIRE 24 hours

Types of work visas in South Korea

Work visas in South Korea fall into three broad categories: Professional, Non-professional, and Business visas.


  • C-4 Short-Term Employee Visa – Individuals who plan to work for less than 90 days must apply for a special visa regardless of the type of employment visa for which they are applying.
  • D-10-1 Job Seeker Visa – Individuals who wish to work in South Korea in one of the following professional visa categories must 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. It is valid for one year and allows multiple entries into the country. This visa can be extended for one year at a time.
  • E-2 Foreign Language Instructor Visa – This visa is issued to those who will teach a foreign language at schools or organizations. The visa is valid for two years and can be renewed after the two-year period ends.
  • E-3 Researcher Visa – This visa is issued to individuals who seek to conduct research related to natural sciences or advanced technology. It is only issued if an institution in South Korea invites the applicant. The period of validity is one year with a multiple entries available. the E-3 Research Visa can be extended for up to one year at a time.
  • E-4 Technical Instructor or Technician Visa – This visa is issued to experts in the field of science and technology who wish to work in their field of expertise in South Korea. This visa is only available by invitation by a South Korean institution (company, research facility, etc.). There are single-and-multiple-entry  visas issued, and extension is possible for this visa type.
  • E-5 Professional Visa – This visa is issued to foreign-nationals who will practice law, accounting, medicine, or other specific professional activities in South Korea. Those who apply must be licensed internationally and in possession of a South Korean national certificate to practice in the country.

Non-professional visas (available for the following sectors)

  • E-9-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


  • D-7 Intra Company Transfer Visa – This visa is for employees of a multi-national corporation who have been transferred to work in South Korea. An employee working for a non-Korean MNC will be issued the D-7-1 Visa; an employee of a Korean company who was previously working abroad will be issued a D-7-2 Visa
  • D-8 Business Investment Visa – This visa is for business people who plan to engage in setting up or investing in a South Korean business. 
  • C-3-4 Business Visitor Visa – This visa is for those who will conduct meetings, market research, or take part in negotiations. This visa is only for short-term visits.

Foreigners who will live in South Korea for 6+ months must apply for an “Alien Registration Card” (ARC). Foreign-nationals must apply for this card within 90 days of arriving in South Korea. The ARC helps facilitate essential services for foreign-nationals in South Korea. Services such as banking, medical insurance, internet, and more are not available to foreign-nationals without a valid ARC.

Required documents for a work visa in South Korea

The following documents are required to apply for a work visa in South Korea;

  • Completed visa application form.
  • Passport with validity for the next six months and blank pages for visa stamps.
  • Copy of the passport.
  • Passport-sized photographs taken within the last three months.
  • Professional and educational certificates.
  • Employment contract with the local South Korean company.
  • Business registration license (in some visa applications, depending on the type).
  • Tax returns and financial payments of the company in the previous financial year.
  • Sponsor letter from a South Korean organization.
  • Application fee.

Process to get a work visa in South Korea

Getting a work visa when the employee is based outside of South Korea

Applying for a South Korean work permit can be done both online and offline. The follow steps are typical when applying for a South Korea visa.

  • Submit an E-visa application through the visa portal.
  • Submit application from a foreign South Korean diplomatic mission.
  • Receive a confirmation of the visa on the portal.
  • Receive a confirmation of the visa at a South Korean immigration office

Often, the employee’s job type is the determining factor for how the application should be submitted. For any work visa in South Korea, there must be a Korean entity as the sponsor for the foreign employee.

Getting a work visa when the employee is based inside of South Korea

Typically, any employee on a Non-Professional visa is not permitted to change his or her work location; however, in some extreme circumstances (related to the closing of a company, the cessation of business, or non-payment of wages), an employee on a Non-Professional visa can petition the Korean government for permission to accept a new role.

For professional roles, it is possible to transfer employer; however, like in much of Asia it is important for the employee to maintain a good relationship with their previous employer, since a release letter would be required. Here is an example of a basic employer transfer document, but keep in mind these documents are subject to change annually or sometimes more often. Contact your South Korean immigration contact (or South Korean EOR) for more information regarding your specific case.

Special notes about work visas in South Korea

Employees may bring their spouses or dependent children when hiring in South Korea.

Note, however, that there is an extra step in that you must apply for a visa for your spouse and each child separately. The F-3 Visa is specifically for dependent family members, and can be renewed annually to a maximum length of the employee’s visa duration. Other, non-dependent family members can apply for a visa type F-1, valid for 30 days, once per year.

Hiring in South Korea, Made Easy

Your business can easily hire employees in South Korea without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 180+ countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.


Typically, yes, South Korean visa holders (“employees”) are allowed to bring their dependent spouse and unmarried children to Korea, provided the employee applies for the F-3 Visa for each of the dependents who will come with them to Korea.

Each mobility case is different, so we encourage you to contact us for a free global mobility consultation to ensure the current visa application environment is suitable for your company’s* specific project.

*For individuals who are contacting us to inquire about visas, employment opportunities, etc., you should apply for a role at our Careers page.

The South Korean work visa must be renewed in 1 – 3 year intervals. Many South Korean work permits are multi-entry, but the exact requirements depend on several factors, including the nationality of the applicant, the type of work visa the employee holds, and more. When we review your company’s case, we will be able to offer an estimation of the timeline with confidence.

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