South Korea

Who needs an Entry Visa?

Foreign nationals entering the Republic of Korea are generally required to have a valid passport and a Korean visa. However, many nationals are permitted visa- free entry for a limited time under certain conditions. These nationalities include:

  • Citizens of the countries under the Visa Exemption Agreement; and
  • Citizens of the countries and regions under the Principles of Reciprocity & National Interest.

Types of Visa

  • Tourist & Business Visas

Citizens of the countries not covered by the Visa Exemption Agreement or the Principles of Reciprocity and National Interest must obtain a visa prior to entering Korea.

For business visas, the reason for the visit must be clearly stated on the visa application form.

Citizens of the countries which are granted “visa- free” entry in accordance with the Principles of Reciprocity must apply for a visa if they are planning to stay longer than allowed under the reciprocity arrangements.

Work visas

Foreign nationals must have a work visa in order to work in Korea. These are valid for up to 3 years, from the date of issue. Work visas can be obtained in the applicant’s home country with the sponsorship of an employer in Korea. Those working and residing in Korea must obtain a residence permit from the Immigration Office.

Non professional employment work visas are valid for up to 3 years, and may be extended for a further 22 months.

Professional or technical employment work visas are valid for 2, 5 or 7 years, depending on the job.

Processing times

The Korean visa application process usually takes 3 to 4 days, but time frames may change due to unforeseen circumstances or seasonal variations.

The work visa application process usually takes about one to two weeks.

All visas are for a single visit and can be extended for up to 90 days.


To enquire how Magrath Global can assist you further in the processes detailed above please click Here

The contents of this article are for information purposes only. The information and opinions expressed in this document do not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal advice or a comprehensive statement of law or current practice. Immigration rules and requirements frequently change without notice. You should not rely upon the contents of this document but instead should seek appropriate professional and legal advice in the light of your personal circumstances. No liability is accepted for the opinions contained or for any errors or omissions. Please contact our Global Immigration Team for further information.