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How long can you live in South Korea as a foreigner?


Living in a foreign country can be an exciting adventure, but it’s important to understand the legal requirements for staying there. If you’re considering moving to South Korea, you may wonder how long you can stay as a foreigner. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of visas available for foreigners in South Korea and how long each one allows you to stay.

Tourist Visas

Tourist visas are the most common type of visa for foreigners visiting South Korea. They allow you to stay in the country for up to 90 days without needing a work permit or other special permission. If you plan to stay longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a different type of visa.

Student Visas

Student visas are available for foreigners who plan to study in South Korea. These visas are valid for the duration of your academic program, which could be anywhere from a few months to several years. In order to obtain a student visa, you will need to apply and be accepted into a program at a recognized institution in South Korea.

Work Visas

If you plan to work in South Korea, you will need a work visa. There are several different types of work visas available depending on your job and qualifications. Generally, work visas are valid for one year and can be renewed annually as long as you continue to meet the requirements.

Spousal Visas

If you are married to a Korean citizen, you may be eligible for a spousal visa. These visas are valid for up to two years and can be renewed as long as you remain married. If you divorce or separate from your spouse, your visa may be revoked.

Investor Visas

Foreigners who invest a certain amount of money in South Korea may be eligible for an investor visa. These visas are valid for up to five years and can be renewed as long as you continue to meet the investment requirements.

Long-Term Residency

If you plan to stay in South Korea for an extended period of time, you may be able to apply for long-term residency. This requires meeting certain criteria, such as having lived in South Korea for a certain number of years or being married to a Korean citizen. If approved, you will be allowed to stay in the country indefinitely.

Applying for a Visa

To apply for a visa in South Korea, you will need to visit your nearest Korean embassy or consulate. The application process can be lengthy and may require submitting various documents, such as a passport, proof of financial support, and a criminal background check.

Extending Your Stay

If you are already in South Korea and need to extend your stay, you will need to apply for an extension with the Korean Immigration Service. This can usually be done online or in person at a local immigration office. Keep in mind that extensions are not guaranteed and you may be required to leave the country if your application is denied.

Consequences of Overstaying

If you overstay your visa in South Korea, you could face fines, deportation, and even a ban on returning to the country. It’s important to make sure you have the proper documentation and follow all immigration laws while staying in South Korea.


In summary, there are several different types of visas available for foreigners who want to live in South Korea. The length of your stay will depend on the type of visa you have and whether or not it can be renewed. Make sure to follow all immigration laws and obtain the proper documentation before traveling to South Korea.

Can foreigners live in South Korea permanently?

To obtain permanent residency in South Korea, individuals must apply for the F-5 visa type. To be eligible for this visa, individuals must invest nearly 600 million KRW (500,000 USD) or more in a Korean business and hire at least five local employees.

How long can a US citizen live in South Korea?

An American citizen who possesses a valid passport can obtain a K-ETA to visit South Korea for up to 90 days for the purposes of tourism or visiting.

Is it hard for a foreigner to live in South Korea?

Preparing beforehand can make moving to South Korea a hassle-free process. Despite past reluctance towards migrants, the country is now more welcoming, especially with the increase in international companies making their way into the country.

How long can you live in Korea without being a citizen?

South Korean citizenship laws explain the circumstances under which a person is considered a citizen of the Republic of Korea, also called South Korea. Non-citizens can become naturalized citizens by living in the country for at least five years and demonstrating proficiency in the Korean language.

Can I own a house in Korea as a foreigner?

Non-natives have the ability to buy property in South Korea, but are subjected to the Foreigner’s Land Acquisition Act and the Registration of Real Estate Act. These regulations apply to foreign residents who desire to purchase real estate in the country.

Can I move to Korea with no job?

If you are interested in relocating to Korea without a job, you can obtain a D-10 Job Seeker Visa. This will allow you to legally search for employment opportunities within the country.

It’s also important to note that visa policies and requirements can change at any time, so it’s a good idea to stay up to date on any updates or changes. Additionally, it’s recommended to start the visa application process well in advance of your planned travel date to allow for any potential delays or complications.

When applying for a visa, it’s important to provide all necessary information and documentation accurately and honestly. Any false or misleading information could result in your visa being denied or revoked, and could also potentially lead to legal consequences.

If you plan to work or study in South Korea, it’s also important to research and understand the specific requirements and regulations for your field or program. This may include obtaining certain certifications or licenses, or meeting specific language proficiency requirements.

Overall, while navigating the visa process in South Korea may seem daunting, it’s important to approach it with patience, diligence, and a commitment to following all necessary regulations and requirements. With proper planning and preparation, you can enjoy your time living and working in this unique and vibrant country.

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