South Korea attracts many young travelers every year with its culture, breathtaking landscapes and modern technology. However, some people want to come to Korea not only for a few weeks vacation, but for a few months or even years. But for that, you need a visa and that requires a lot of research.
When I decided to move abroad in 2021 and chose South Korea for many reasons, I didn’t really know where to start. So I want to share with you the 7 most popular visa types for young people (or people who feel young) so you know which visas to research further.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind that visa requirements and procedures are always different for every country and may change over time, so it is advisable to consult the official website of the Korean embassy or consulate in your home country for reliable and detailled information.
H1 Visa (Working Holiday Visa):
The H1 visa is for people aged 18 to 30 from countries that have a bilateral agreement with South Korea. It allows young travelers to explore the country while taking up part-time jobs to fund the trip. Some basic requirements for the H1 visa are:
- passport from one of the participating countries (Australia, EU, Canada, HongKong, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, UK, USA, …)
- sufficient funds to cover living expenses for the first months & flights (around 2500$)
- travelplan, criminal record, travel insurance, …
D2 Visa (Student Visa):
The D2 visa is for those who intend to pursue higher education like a bachelor, master or PhD. The basic requirements for the D2 visa are:
- An acceptance letter or enrollment certificate from a Korean University
- Proof of financial capability to cover tuition fees and living expenses
There are some scholarships depending on your home country, grades, major and so on. The most famous and biggest one is the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS).
D4 Visa (Training Visa):
The D4 visa is designed for students attending non-degree educational programs, mostly Language Programs of Korean Universities. Key requirements for the D4 visa include:
- An acceptance letter or certificate of enrollment from a Korean educational institution or training center
- Proof of financial capability to cover training program costs and living expenses (around 6,000$)
- There are no age restrictions for this visa!
D10 Visa (Job Seeking Visa):
The D10 visa is designed for individuals who have completed their studies or training in Korea and wish to stay temporarily in the country to seek employment opportunities. It usually is valid for 3 to 6 months and can be extended once. Here are the key requirements for the D10 visa:
- Enough points from the Requirement-Point System (Age, Skills, Education, Work Experience, …) > Check this article about the D10 Point System
- Proof of Financial Capability
- Acceptance Letter or Certificate of Completion in case of internships, trainings, etc.
E2 Visa (Teaching Visa):
The E2 visa is for individuals who wish to work as English teachers in South Korea. Basic requirements for the E2 visa include:
- Proof of citizenship from an English-speaking country (Canada, USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, or South Africa)
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- A contract with a school, university or academy to teach English in their facility
E6 Visa (Entertainment Visa):
The E6 visa is for those who want to work in the entertainment industry in Korea, such as musicians, actors, or models. Basic requirements for the E6 visa include:
- An employment contract or letter of invitation from a Korean entertainment agency or organization
- Proof of professional qualifications or exceptional talents
Usually the agency who hired you will help you with the visa application and often also asks for a visa fee.
E7 Visa (Professional Work Visa):
The E7 visa is designed for foreign nationals who have a job offer in specialized fields in Korea. Basic requirements for the E7 visa include:
- An employment contract from a Korean employer (Visa-Sponsorship)
- Proof of professional qualifications and expertise in the relevant field (a degree in the field that you plan to work in is often required)
- Most companies require Korean Language Skills (TOPIK Level 4-6)
Most Foreigners in Korea work in Marketing, Translation, IT or similar fields. Check the following Post for more info about work related questions!
Bonus: Workcation (Digital Nomad) Visa
Since the Korean Government announced the new Workcation Visa in January 2023 Digital Nomads around the world are waiting for more details.. And now it’s finally time! On December 29th 2023 the Ministry of Justice announced more infos which I will share and explain in this Blog Post.
Where to do Research?
Make sure to use official websites from the korean government, here the most important ones:
- Korea Visa Portal ( https://www.visa.go.kr )
- Korean Embassy – search for your homecountry in korean ( http://overseas.mofa.go.kr/returnInfoPage.do )
- Korea Immigration ( https://www.hikorea.go.kr/Main.pt )
- Study in Korea (https://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/ko/main.do#)
Understanding the various visa types available in Korea is crucial for everyone, who wish to explore the country for work, study, or travel purposes. The H1, D2, D4, D10, E2, E6, and E7 visas outlined in this article provide a starting point for individuals seeking relevant information. Remember, visa requirements may vary depending on factors such as nationality, purpose of visit, and Korean immigration regulations. It is always recommended to consult the official Korean embassy for reliable information.