South Korea Types of Work Visas in South Korea and How To Apply!

March 20 , 2021 by: Filipa Alves

If you’ve found your way onto this page, it’s very likely that you’re thinking about moving to South Korea and are unsure of which visa to go with. You might be looking to start over in this new country, be it to better your family’s financial situation or simply to adventure outside of your comfort zone.

Whether you’re looking for a temporary solution or more a long-term deal, today we’ll be covering all different types of work visas in South Korea.


There are four main types of visas that will allow you to work here. These are:


Keep in mind that other visa categories will allow you to work but under different or somehow limited circumstances. I’m referring to Student, Marriage Migrant, and Journalism visas, which for obvious reasons aren’t the most suitable for someone that fits the description above. We will also not be covering those applicable for Overseas Korean or other visa types intended for people of Korean descent.


But if that’s not the case for you, then reach for a notepad and pen, because you’ll be wanting to take notes!

1 – Professional visas

Professional visas are the most commonly sought after by individuals looking to work in South Korea. These are usually valid for one up to seven years, depending on the applicant’s job.

To obtain a professional visa, you will need a sponsoring Korean employer. So, you will have to find and secure a job before applying for a visa. And if you’re having trouble finding work in South Korea, we’ll provide you with a few tips at the end of this article.


Here are some of the subcategories under Professional visas:


There a few other subcategories that we did not include as the number of people who qualify/obtain those types of visas is relatively low. If you don’t think any of the above visas are the perfect match for your professional endeavors, visit the Korean Visa Portal to try and find a more suitable one.


Daegu, South Korea on Pixabay

2 – Working Holiday visa

Although there is a Working Holiday Program in the Republic of Korea, we will not be covering it on this article, as it’s only applicable to Australian, French, Canadian, Japanese, and New Zealand nationals.

If you happen to be from any of the above-listed countries, we advise you to check with your local Korean Embassy, as the visa qualifications differ slightly from country to country.


3 – International Trade visas

The International trade visa is intended for individuals who wish to come to South Korea for corporate management, international trade, installment, management, and maintenance of exported equipment/machinery) or for the supervision of equipment production.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a very long-term option. But there are plenty of professionals who have come to South Korea with these types of visas who end up staying much longer than initially planned, acquiring more permanent positions if the employers are satisfied with their work.

It is subdivided into four categories:

Cherry Blossom, Daegu, South Korea by Hyungnam Park on Pixabay

4 – Non-professional visas

This last one is quite similar to the first category, the main difference being that the applying individuals do not need specific qualifications or past working experience in these areas.

It is amongst the most requested for people who come from South-East Asian countries, like Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, or Thailand. It’s also common that incomers from these regions will arrive in South Korea on their own, oftentimes seeking work that will allow providing for their families back home.

Below are a few of the subcategories for Non-professional visas:


Under this category, there will also be visas specified for ship crewmates or household assistants. Again, if those would be better matched with your abilities than the ones above, visit Korean Visa Portal to learn more.

How can you find a job in South Korea?

Those who come from English-speaking countries are indeed highly favored when it comes to finding a job in South Korea. In fact, there even is a specific visa just for native English teachers.

But if you don’t fit that description or even if you do and don’t think teaching a language is your calling, it can be quite difficult to land a job.

Many people that I’ve come across in my time here have managed to find a job through a friend or family member who was already in Korea. They’ve said there are groups on social media that are created with this intent, especially for those who would fall under the ‘Non-professional’ category.

But if you happen to be college-educated and/or have relevant professional experience, some job search engines might help you find a position faster than LinkedIn would. Some of these are PeoplenJobSeoul Professionals, or Korea Professional.


Now that we’ve gone over the most important work visas in South Korea, we hope you have found the one that will suit you best. But if that’s still not the case, the Korea Visa Portal has engineered a handy Visa Navigator that will help you out.

Visa requirements, fees, and processing times often vary depending on the applicant’s country. If you’d like to find out more about those, check the local Korean Embassy’s website once you’ve figured which work visa you should go with.

Good luck!




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Blogi Popularnonaukowe
8 months ago

Thanks a ton for blogging this, it was very informative and told quite a bit