South Korea set to commence workation visa for foreigners starting January 2024

The South Korean Ministry of Justice declared on Friday that it will begin the trial testing of a visa that will permit foreign nationals come into the country for work starting January 2024.

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According to the Ministry, the introduction of this workation visa is expected to boost economic activity as high-income foreign nationals explore different regions of Korea, offering an opportunity to enhance the global promotion of the country.

What you need to know abut Workation Visa

The word “workation,” which combines the words “work” and “vacation,” describes a contemporary work trend in which people carry out their normal work schedules while going on extended trips.

In response to the growing trend, several nations in Europe, Central and South America, as well as Southeast Asia, have lately created workation visas for individuals who are digital nomads.

These kinds of visas were not previously available from Korea. In order to work and travel in Korea, individuals from other countries had to apply for a tourist visa, which limited their stay to less than ninety days.

Eligibility and Requirements for South Korea Workation Visa

With the recently proposed workation visa, which is scheduled to go into effect on January 1st, 2024, foreign citizens engaged in workation in Korea will be entitled to remain for a maximum of one year, with the possibility of an extension.The following information relates to the visa program:

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  • The visa is for individuals who are affiliated with foreign companies in the same industry for over a year.  
  • The visa extension can also apply to their families, excluding children aged 18 or older, and the children of accompanying family members. 
  • Applicants must have an income exceeding twice Korea’s gross national income from the previous year.  
  • Additional requirements include obtaining personal medical insurance and home evacuation coverage exceeding 100 million won ($7,750).  
  • Workation visa recipients are barred from local company employment or participating in for-profit activities in Korea; a separate work visa is necessary for profit-related endeavours. 
  • Applicants can apply for the workation visa at Korean embassies abroad, and individuals currently on short-term stays in Korea can change their visas if they meet the specified requirements.  

How to Apply for South Korean Visas

You must provide a number of supporting documents with your visa application when you apply for one in South Korea. The conditions for obtaining a South Korea visa differ depending on the kind of visa and the nation in which you are applying.

All applicants must, however, provide the same set of paperwork, which consists of:

  • South Korea Visa Application Form
  • Your passport, which must be:
    • Valid for at least another six months
    • Have at least two blank pages
  • Passport-size picture(s). The South Korea visa photo size has to be 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm and have the following specifications:
    • White background
    • Taken recently (in the last three months)
    • You must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
    • Your face and ears have to be fully visible
    • You must not be wearing glasses
  • A return or onward flight ticket
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover the duration of your stay (such as through bank statements and income tax returns)
  • Proof of accommodation in South Korea, such as hotel reservation
  • Payment of the South Korean visa fee, as per the requirements of the Embassy/Consulate

Additional Immigration Plans to come

Meanwhile, the ministry also revealed the fourth edition of its policy plan concerning foreign nationals, slated for implementation in 2027.

In order to provide an all-encompassing, federal framework for advancing immigration policy, this strategy calls for the establishment of an immigration office.

The main goal is to streamline the development of strategies that effectively manage the inflow and integration of immigrants.

Additionally, to prevent social exclusion of vulnerable immigrants, like women and children, a system allowing all foreign children to apply for birth registration, irrespective of their residence status, will be introduced.

This aligns with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recommendation for a universal birth registration system.

The fourth edition of the foreign nationals-related policy plan sets out five goals: promoting economic and regional development through immigration; establishing a safe and orderly society; fostering social integration among people and immigrants; respecting the human rights values of immigrants; and establishing a foundation for immigration administration in line with global standards, according to the justice ministry.

Simultaneously, the government disclosed its plan to decrease the number of illegal aliens from 420,000 to 200,000 by promoting a five-year plan to halve illegal stays.

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