Work Permits for South Korea


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An Alien Registration Card from South KoreaVisas and work permits for South Korea are often filed by the sponsoring employer. Once an expat's work permit has been approved, the Ministry of Justice will issue a Certificate of Confirmation of Visa Issuance (CCVI). This certificate must then be submitted with the relevant visa application forms to the South Korean embassy or consulate in the applicant's country of residence.
 

Work permits for South Korea

 
Work visas are usually valid for one year and should take two to four weeks to process. It is not possible to change from a tourist visa to a work visa within South Korea – this must be done from an embassy or consulate outside the country.

Relevant forms can be found at the South Korean Ministry of Justice's Immigration Service website.

When the applicant applies for a visa it is important to tell their employer and the staff at the South Korean embassy whether they would like a multiple- or single-entry visa.

A single-entry visa means that should an expat need to leave South Korea for a vacation or on business they will need to get a re-entry stamp from the immigration office at the airport, which will cost around 40 USD. It is also possible to change a visa from single- to multiple-entry after having registered for an Alien Registration Card.

Required documents for a South Korean work permit

A number of documents need to be submitted with the applicant's CCVI. These include:
  • Passport photos
  • A copy of the identification page in the application's passport
  • The applicant's CV
  • Original copies of academic credentials
  • Certified and apostilled documents, including a criminal clearance check
  • An original assignment letter or contract
  • Proposed job description
 

Alien Registration Card

 
An Alien Registration Card is required for opening a bank account, signing a lease, getting a cellular telephone number and applying for a driver’s licence in South Korea. Also known as a Foreigner Registration Card, it can be obtained from an expat's closest immigration office.

Applicants will need their employer’s business registration number, passport photos, their passport and an application fee. Further fees are required if an applicant wants to change a single-entry visa to a multiple-entry visa. It is also advisable for expats to take their criminal clearance certificate and academic credentials with them to the immigration offices. Requirements do differ between different kinds of visas.

Once the application form has been completed and handed it to the immigration official, the applicant's fingerprints will be taken. They will then be handed a receipt with the date on which their passport and Alien Registration Card will be ready for collection.
 

Changing employers in South Korea

 
Changing employers is a complicated procedure as work visas in South Korea are sponsored by the employer. This means that in order to change employers, a foreign employee will need to have their visa changed.

This can be done without leaving South Korea if the applicant has all the relevant documents needed for a visa and if their current employer signs a letter of release. The letter is then submitted to the Korean immigration office with the applicant's passport and Alien Registration Card.

They may also need to undergo a full medical in a South Korean hospital as well as obtain a valid criminal clearance certificate.
 

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