South Korea Digital Nomad Visa: Requirements and How to Apply

With its futuristic cities, mountainous landscapes, and dynamic culture, South Korea is rapidly growing as a top spot for remote workers.

Now, the country seeks to officially welcome digital nomads through the new South Korea Digital Nomad Visa, which allows them to live and work in South Korea for up to 3 years.

This comprehensive guide unpacks everything you need to know about the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa. We cover who can apply, how to apply, required documents, costs, and more. Let's get started!

Quick Visa Facts

Visa validity period

Up to 2 years

Possible to extend?

Yes, for 1 more year

Who can apply?

Remote employees, freelancers, or business owners working for companies located outside South Korea

Minimum Income Requirements

$65,860 USD per year

Cost of visa application

N/A

Time for visa applications

10-15 days

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Our content is based on research from official sources and intended for informational purposes only. We do not provide visa application services. For dedicated visa assistance, please consult a specialized provider.

Does South Korea Have a Digital Nomad Visa?

Hyper modern skyscraper in South Korea

Yes, South Korea has recently launched a Digital Nomad Visa, officially known as the Workation Visa (F-1-D), which became available on January 1, 2024.

The visa is designed for individuals who wish to reside in South Korea while working remotely for companies located abroad, effectively promoting the "workcation culture" in the country.

This innovative visa program is part of South Korea's initiative to attract digital nomads and bolster its tourism sector. The Ministry of Justice of South Korea stated about this permit:

"We hope the workcation visa will allow high-earning foreigners to stay in Korea's various regions and vitalize the local economy. We hope the visa will be an opportunity for us to showcase our country and our culture" (source: Korea JoongAng Daily)

Benefits of the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa

There are several advantages of obtaining the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa:

  • It allows stays up to 2 years, with the option to extend for 1 more year.
  • It lets you bring family members like a spouse and children
  • Applications are processed at embassies worldwide, making it accessible globally
  • After a trial period, authorities will evaluate making the permit permanent, enabling future upgrades
  • Experience Korea's rich heritage, delightful food, lively culture, and top attractions like Changdeokgung Palace and N Seoul Tower
Seaside in South Korea

Who Can Apply for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa?

You can apply for South Korea’s Digital Nomad Visa if you are a remote employeefreelancer, or business owner working for companies or clients located outside of South Korea.

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Remember: This permit strictly prohibits holders from seeking local employment in South Korea. A separate work visa is required for domestic employment.

And meet these additional visa requirements:

  • Are over 18 years old
  • Have a minimum of 1 year of experience in your field
  • Provide proof of annual income over $65,860 USD
  • Have health insurance covering a minimum of approximately $75,000 USD
  • Have a clean criminal record
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Did you know? The visa allows applicants to bring family members, including legally married spouses and children. However, the minimum income requirement must be met by the primary applicant alone; combined incomes with a spouse are not accepted.

How to Apply for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa as a Digital Nomad

To apply for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa, you need to follow these key steps:

Step 1: Gather Required Documents

You will need to prepare all the necessary documents to be able to submit your application. See the "Required Documents" section below for the complete list.

Step 2: Submit In-Person Application

You must submit your digital nomad visa application in person at a South Korean embassy or consulate in your country of residence. When submitting your application, explicitly declare if you are applying with family members and provide their details as required.

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Did you know? If you are currently in Korea on a visa exemption (B-1), tourist visa (B-2), or short-term stay visa (C-3), you can switch to the digital nomad visa, provided you meet all requirements. However, it's recommended to apply in your home country due to the complexity of the process with original documents needing apostille verification.

Step 4: Wait for Approval

It typically takes about 10-15 days for the visa to be processed and delivered after application submission. However, since the Digital Nomad Visa is a recent introduction and is still in its trial phase, applicants are advised to regularly check for the latest updates from their nearest South Korean embassy or consulate.

Need Help with the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa Process?

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Documents Required for Applying for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa

To apply for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa, you need to submit the following documents:

  1. valid passport with at least 6 months remaining validity at the time of applying
  2. Passport-sized photos no more than six months old
  3. Relevant qualifications such as your current CV, certificates for your highest education level, and any additional professional credentials related to your field.
  4. Proof of income demonstrating at least $65,860 USD per year. Submit your most recent 12 months of bank statements and income statements or latest tax return.
  5. Health insurance covering your entire intended stay in South Korea with a minimum of $75,000 USD in coverage, including dependents if accompanying you.
  6. clean criminal background check issued by an authoritative body in your country of residence.
  7. Proof of relationship to dependents for family inclusion (if applicable).
Neon signs in South Korea

How Much Does the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa Cost?

As South Korea's Digital Nomad Visa program has just launched, the exact application fees are still unclear. Fees, however, will likely vary depending on which Korean embassy you apply through based on your nationality.

On top of the base visa application cost, you may need to budget for document-related expenses:

  • Criminal background check fees
  • Health insurance purchases
  • Document translations or notarization

If you plan to bring family members along on your nomadic adventure, factor in any additional costs for gathering their paperwork as well.

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Applicants are advised to contact the nearest South Korean embassy or consulate for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the visa application fee and any other associated costs.

Need Help with the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa Process?

Let iVisa experts help you with your application

Get iVisa help now

Timeline for Applying For the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa

Once the application is submitted, the processing time for the visa is approximately 10-15 days. Embassies and consulates are still organizing their internal processes, so applicants should stay updated for any changes or specific instructions.

What if I’m Not Eligible for the South Korea Digital Nomads as a Digital Nomad?

If South Korea is not a viable option, there are several alternative visas to consider:

  1. Tourist Visa: Citizens of 69 countries can enter South Korea without a visa for stays of 30 to 90 days. The Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) facilitates quick, online visa-free entry approval.
  2. Working Holiday Visa: This allows working vacations in South Korea for up to 1 year. It's limited to passport holders from certain countries, with quotas per nationality.
  3. Long-Term Stay Visas: Depending on your situation, other visas may apply for studying, work transfers, or extended stays in South Korea.
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Did you know? You can use the Korea Visa Portal on the South Korean immigration website to help you understand the different types of visas available and determine which one might suit your situation. This navigator tool is worth exploring!
  1. Other Digital Nomad Visas: Digital nomad hotspots like Indonesia, Croatia, Costa Rica, or Portugal all offer unique cultural experiences, activities, and visa criteria worth exploring.

You may also be interested in:

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Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa: How to Apply & Requirements
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Vietnam Digital Nomads Visa: Costs, and Requirements
Unfortunately, Vietnam has no legislation applicable to digital nomads. However, there are solutions that can be applied to digital nomads. Learn more here.

Paying Taxes as a Digital Nomad in South Korea

Modern library in South Korea

When it comes to paying taxes as a digital nomad in South Korea, navigating the tax system involves understanding several key points:

  • For remote workers employed by foreign companies, the specific tax obligations can indeed be influenced by a variety of factors, including international tax treaties and the specifics of their employment contracts.
  • South Korea's tax system classifies individuals as residents or non-residents for tax purposes. Residents (those staying more than 183 days in a tax year or having a domicile in South Korea) are subject to tax on their worldwide income. For non-residents, only income sourced in South Korea is typically taxed.
  • Depending on the worker's circumstances and the applicable tax treaty, they may be eligible for certain deductions or credits to offset taxes paid in another country, reducing the overall tax burden.
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Given the complexity and potential variation in tax obligations as a digital nomad in South Korea, it's recommended that you seek advice from a professional tax consultant prior to deciding to work remotely from South Korea.

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Are You Ready To Live and Work in South Korea as a Digital Nomad?

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