Different types of South Korean visa
If you want to go to South Korea, whether for tourism, to work, or in the hope of living there, you will need a visa. There are different types of visas and some are easier to obtain than others. Here is a guide to the different visas for South Korea and how to get them.
How to obtain a tourist visa for South Korea?
We start with the easiest visa to obtain, the tourist visa. Indeed, this visa is very simple to obtain. You must go to the South Korean embassy in your home country to obtain a tourist visa.
The passport with which you are traveling must still be valid for the six months and you can’t stay longer than 60 days.
The Working Holiday Visa (WHV)
The Working Holiday Program is one of the most popular visas for young people who want to explore another country, spend several months there, and find a job to support them.
To be eligible for the WHV, you must be between 18 and 30 years old on the day of the visa application and have never applied for this visa before. You must have a valid passport.
You also need to have €2,500 in savings and not have dependent children. If you meet all of these conditions, you can complete your application online and drop it off at the South Korean embassy in your home country.
A WHV will allow you to stay in South Korea for 6 months and you will also have the right to be hired by a local company. It is, therefore, a very good opportunity to discover the country without breaking the bank and to get very close to its culture and its people.
How to get a work visa?
A work visa is a visa that allows you to work and live in South Korea, but without time limits. Indeed, even if the visa must be renewed every year, there is no reason why it should be refused as long as you are employed by a Korean company or based in Korea.
However, the work visa is not easy to obtain and that is why those who obtain it generally started with a PVT.
Indeed, if you are not hired by a Korean company, it is impossible to obtain a work visa. However, it is complicated to find a job if you are not in Korea and it is prohibited to do so if you only have a tourist visa.
The ideal is, therefore, to find a job with a PVT visa and do everything possible to convince your employer to take the necessary steps to obtain your work visa.
Do not hesitate to do it in advance, because the first work visa can be difficult and laborious to obtain. First, you must justify your quality as an employee by presenting a sufficient diploma or significant experience related to your position.
You must also provide a letter from your employer explaining why they are hiring a foreigner rather than a Korean. Finally, the company that hires you must have 5 Koreans for 1 foreigner.
The resident visa
For all those who wish to live in Korea, the resident visa is the equivalent of the Holy Grail and its advantages are innumerable. First, it only renews itself every three years.
It is not attached to any hiring conditions and you no longer have to leave Korea within two weeks in the event of dismissal by your employer.
Then, it allows you to leave Korea for several months and return there without a problem. Finally, it gives the right to start your own business. However, if the resident visa is a Holy Grail, it is also because it is almost impossible to obtain.
The list of conditions and documents to provide is very long, but above all, you need two things: you must have an eligible visa (the work visa), but above all, you must obtain 80 points out of 120 on a scale that judges your quality citizen.
The scale takes several criteria into account and awards you points. Your age, for example, plays an important role. Being between 18 and 24 earns you 20 points.
The level of your diploma also earns you more or fewer points. Having studied science earns you more points than having studied art. You must also pass a Korean test which will give you points, as well as a significant salary.