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Can foreigner own land in Korea?


Foreigners who are interested in purchasing real estate in Korea may wonder whether they are allowed to own land. This article will explore the regulations surrounding foreign ownership of land in Korea and provide a comprehensive overview of the process.

Korean Land Ownership Laws

The Korean government has implemented several laws to regulate land ownership, including the Foreign Investment Promotion Act (FIPA) and the Real Estate Registration Act (RERA). These regulations apply to both Korean citizens and foreign nationals.

Foreign Property Ownership in Korea

Foreigners are allowed to purchase and own property in Korea, including land. However, there are certain restrictions on foreign ownership of land that vary depending on the type of land and location.

Types of Land

There are two types of land in Korea: urban and agricultural. Foreigners are allowed to own urban land without any restrictions, but there are limitations on agricultural land ownership.

Agricultural Land Ownership Restrictions

Foreigners are prohibited from owning agricultural land that is considered ‘protected farmland’ under the Agricultural Land Act. Protected farmland is defined as land that is used for farming or forestry and is located within a designated area.

Exemptions for Agricultural Land Ownership

There are some exemptions to the restrictions on agricultural land ownership. For example, foreigners who have obtained permanent residency in Korea or who are married to a Korean citizen may be allowed to purchase protected farmland.

Procedure for Buying Land

Foreigners who wish to purchase land in Korea must follow a specific procedure. They must obtain a certificate of foreign investment from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy before they can register their property.

Documentation Required

In addition to the certificate of foreign investment, foreigners must provide several other documents when purchasing land in Korea. These include a copy of their passport, a registration fee, and proof of funds for the purchase.

Real Estate Agents

Foreigners who are unfamiliar with the Korean real estate market may find it helpful to work with a real estate agent who can guide them through the process. A reputable agent can provide valuable advice and help with negotiations.


Foreigners who own property in Korea are subject to the same taxes as Korean citizens. They must pay property taxes, capital gains taxes, and other related taxes.


In conclusion, foreign ownership of land in Korea is possible but subject to certain restrictions. Foreigners are prohibited from owning protected farmland but are allowed to own urban land without any limitations. It is important for foreigners to follow the necessary procedures and provide all required documentation when purchasing property in Korea.

Expert Opinion

According to real estate expert John Kim, “Foreigners interested in purchasing property in Korea should be aware of the restrictions on agricultural land ownership but should not be deterred from investing in urban land. Working with a reputable real estate agent can make the process smoother and less daunting.”

Is it expensive to buy land in Korea?

Seoul has become the third most expensive real estate market globally, ranking behind only Monaco and Hong Kong. It has surpassed even wealthier nations like Japan, where prices are around US$16,000 per square meter, and Singapore, with an average closer to US$14,000 per sqm.

Can foreigners settle in South Korea?

If you plan ahead of time, relocating to South Korea is generally a straightforward process. While the country used to be wary of foreign immigrants, this attitude has shifted as Korea opens its doors to more international businesses.

Can US citizens buy land in Korea?

Foreign individuals can obtain land in Korea by submitting a report, unless the land requires prior permission. The Land Registration Divisions of the relevant Si/Gun/Gu offices can provide information on whether the land requires a report or permission.

Can Americans own land in Korea?

Non-Koreans are allowed to buy property in South Korea, but foreign residents who want to purchase property are subject to the Foreigner’s Land Acquisition Act and the Registration of Real Estate Act.

Is living in Korea cheaper than the US?

The cost of living in South Korea is 17.5% lower than in the United States.

Do Koreans pay property tax?

In South Korea, there is also a tax on real estate called Property Tax. The amount of tax you pay is typically between 0.24% to 0.6% of the property’s total value.

It is worth noting that the Korean real estate market can be highly competitive, with prices varying depending on location and demand. Foreigners may find it helpful to do extensive research and consult with experts before making any purchasing decisions.

In addition, it is important for foreigners to be aware of any potential language barriers or cultural differences that may arise during the buying process. Working with a bilingual real estate agent or translator can help ensure that all communication is clear and effective.

Foreigners should also take into consideration any additional costs associated with owning property in Korea, such as maintenance fees and utility bills. It is recommended that potential buyers budget accordingly and factor in these expenses when calculating the total cost of ownership.

Finally, it is important for foreigners to understand their rights and responsibilities as property owners in Korea. They must abide by all local laws and regulations and comply with any required permits or licenses. Seeking legal advice from a qualified attorney can help ensure that all necessary steps are taken to avoid any legal issues down the road.

Overall, while there are certain restrictions on foreign ownership of land in Korea, the process of purchasing property in the country is straightforward as long as all necessary procedures and documentation are followed. With careful planning and guidance from experts, foreigners can successfully invest in Korean real estate and enjoy the benefits of property ownership in this vibrant and dynamic country.

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