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How can I live legally in South Korea?


Living in South Korea can be a dream come true for many people. It’s a country that is known for its unique culture, delicious cuisine, and booming technology industry. However, before packing your bags and moving to South Korea, it’s important to understand the legal requirements of living in the country.

Visas and Permits

To live legally in South Korea, you must obtain the appropriate visa or permit. There are several types of visas available, including tourist visas, student visas, and work visas. Each visa has its own requirements, and it’s crucial to research which one is appropriate for your situation.

Employment Opportunities

One of the most common ways to live legally in South Korea is through employment. Finding a job in South Korea can be challenging, but there are many opportunities available for English teachers, engineers, and other professionals. It’s essential to have the necessary qualifications and documents to apply for jobs.

Housing Options

Finding a place to live in South Korea can be tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with the language or culture. There are many options available, including apartments, shared housing, and homestays. It’s important to research each option thoroughly and determine which one is best suited for your needs.


South Korea has an excellent healthcare system that is accessible to both citizens and foreigners. However, it’s important to obtain health insurance to cover any medical expenses while living in the country.


South Korea has an extensive public transportation system that includes buses, subways, and trains. It’s essential to understand how to navigate the system and purchase tickets or passes.

Language Barrier

Korean is the official language of South Korea, and it can be challenging for foreigners to communicate with locals who don’t speak English. It’s crucial to learn some basic Korean phrases and practice speaking the language before moving to the country.

Culture Shock

Moving to a new country can be overwhelming, and South Korea is no exception. It’s important to be aware of the cultural differences and customs, such as bowing, respecting elders, and removing shoes before entering a home.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in South Korea can vary depending on where you live and your lifestyle. It’s important to budget accordingly and research the average costs of housing, food, transportation, and entertainment.


Foreigners living in South Korea are subject to taxes, including income tax and value-added tax (VAT). It’s important to understand the tax laws and regulations and file taxes accordingly.

Immigration Laws

South Korea has strict immigration laws that must be followed by all foreigners living in the country. It’s important to stay up-to-date on any changes to immigration policies and comply with all regulations.


Living legally in South Korea can be a rewarding experience for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to navigate the legal requirements. By obtaining the appropriate visas or permits, finding employment, learning the language and culture, and following immigration laws, foreigners can enjoy all that South Korea has to offer.

How can I live in South Korea permanently?

To obtain a Permanent Resident Visa in South Korea, you must meet specific eligibility requirements. These include investing 600 million KRW (about 500,000 USD) or more in a Korean business and hiring at least five local employees, marrying a Korean citizen or someone with an F-5 visa, or obtaining a degree from a South Korean institution.

Can I live in South Korea as a foreigner?

Relocating to South Korea is hassle-free if you take the necessary steps before arriving. Although the country was once hesitant about foreign migration, it has become more open to international companies and has started welcoming foreigners.

How long can a US citizen live in Korea?

For tourism or visitation purposes, a U.S citizen with a valid passport is able to use K-ETA to visit the Republic of Korea for a period of 90 days.

Can I move to Korea with no job?

If you are interested in relocating to Korea but do not have a job, you can request a D-10 Job Seeker Visa.

Can you be a dual citizen of U.S and South Korea?

It is possible to have dual citizenship, which means holding citizenship of both Korea and another country, even if you were not registered as such at birth. Therefore, if you were born with Korean and US parents, you would automatically hold citizenship in both countries. This information was confirmed on January 11, 2023.

Can an American become a South Korean citizen?

Foreigners who have lived in Korea continuously for more than 5 years, have never been citizens of Korea before, and have no family ties to Korean citizens are eligible to apply for naturalization under the general category.

Social Life

South Korea is a country with a vibrant social scene, and there are many opportunities to make friends and meet new people. There are plenty of clubs, bars, and restaurants where you can socialize with locals and other foreigners. It’s also common for people to join social clubs or groups based on their interests or hobbies.


South Korea has an excellent education system, with high standards and expectations for students. For foreigners with children, it’s essential to research the international schools available in the area and their admission processes. Additionally, for those interested in continuing their education, there are several universities in South Korea that offer programs taught in English.


South Korea has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters can be cold and snowy. It’s important to pack accordingly and prepare for the weather conditions.


Foreigners living in South Korea may need to obtain a Korean driver’s license to drive legally in the country. The process involves taking a written test and a driving test. It’s important to understand the traffic laws and regulations, as well as the differences in road signs and markings.


South Korea is generally a safe country with low crime rates. However, it’s still important to take precautions to ensure your safety, such as being aware of your surroundings and avoiding walking alone at night.


South Korea has strict etiquette rules that should be followed to show respect for the culture and customs. For example, it’s important to remove shoes before entering a home and not point with your finger. It’s recommended to research the cultural norms before moving to the country.


Living in South Korea can be an exciting experience filled with new opportunities and adventures. By understanding the legal requirements, culture, and customs of the country, foreigners can fully embrace all that South Korea has to offer. With patience, flexibility, and an open mind, living in South Korea can be a life-changing experience.

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