Moving to Seoul?
Seoul: Visa Types and Expat Registration
The Different Visa Types
There are different types of visas for expats moving to Seoul for work or business purposes. Which one you need usually depends on the duration of your stay and the type of employment you wish to take up. Some of the most common types of visas for expatriates are:
- Temporary Employment (C-4)
- Intra-Company Transfer (D-7)
- Foreign Language Teaching (E-2)
- Special Profession (E-5)
- Specially Designated Activities (E-7)
- Training Employment (E-8)
- Non-Professional Employment (E-9)
- Temporary Journalism (C-1)
- Short-Term Business (C-2)
After your visa has been granted, you have 90 days to enter the country. If you fail to do so, it will expire and you will have to go through the application process all over again.
How to Apply for Your Visa
So you are ready to move to Seoul and take up gainful employment? You will probably need a temporary employment visa (C-4) to rightfully do so. Your employer may be able to help you with the application process. If you are employed by a multinational company, they may even handle the details for you.
Otherwise, you should contact your nearest South Korean embassy or consulate for details regarding your visa application. You can usually apply by submitting the following paperwork:
- a completed application document
- one passport-sized photo
- a valid passport
- an employment contract
- a copy of the certificate of registration of your Korean employer
- a recommendation of employment by the responsible Korean minister or another document which attests the necessity of your employment
- proof of payment of fees
However, the application requirements may differ depending on the type of visa. Keep in mind that your employment visa is only valid for the time and place of your actual employment. This means that, when your contract expires, you will have to leave South Korea within 14 days. If you are able to secure another job or simply change your place of employment, you will have to contact the Immigration Office to receive a brand-new visa.
Paying for Your Visa
In terms of fees, your visa for moving to Seoul falls under one of the following three categories.
- single entry visa for no more than 90 days (40 USD or equivalent)
- single entry visa for more than 90 days (60 USD or equivalent)
- double-entry visa (70 USD or equivalent)
- multiple entry visa (90 USD or equivalent)
Citizens of some countries are exempt from paying these fees. Check South Korea’s immigration site for a list of countries which fall under the fee-exempt agreement.
Registering as an Expat
After you have secured your employment visa and have successfully mastered your move to Seoul, you are not through with the red tape yet. Everybody who intends to stay longer than 90 days needs to apply for an Alien Registration Certificate. You need to contact the Seoul Immigration Office and submit the following documents:
- an application form
- a valid passport
- one passport-sized photograph
- the registration fee (about 10,000 KRW)
Changes in your address or your visa status may mean that you have to re-register with the Immigration Office. Either way, you will have to report your new address if you move and any other changes within 14 days. Upon registration, you will receive a foreign registration card valid for one year.
We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.