South Korea

South Korea

The below provides a high level summary of immigration requirements for South Korea. Whether a traveler may enter as a business visitor or requires a work permit depends on the traveler's nationality, duration of stay and activities in the country.

Allowable Activities

  • Market research
  • Site visits
  • Consultations and meetings

Basic Requirements

 To be considered a business visitor, the foreign national generally must show:

  • Invitation letter from company in Korea and certificate of business registration or corporate register of inviting company, if applying for a C-3-4 visa
  • Return plane ticket
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months and with at least 2 blank pages

Maximum Period Stay

A business visitor is typically admitted for up to 90 days per trip. Some nationals will be granted a shorter stay.  Note that if the business traveler seems to making too many trips to Korea, airport immigration might question the purpose of the visits. Continued back-to-back trips on the C-3-4 visa or visa waiver in an attempt to circumvent the requirement to obtain a long-term work visa (where one is required) is considered a violation of immigration rules and could trigger attention from the authorities. 

Work Permit Types

The main work permit categories used by businesses are the Intra-Company Transfer category (which includes two work permits, D7 and D8), the Treaty Trader (D9) permit and the Specified Occupation (E7) permit.

Maximum Period Stay

All permits may be issued for at least 12 months initially. Validity periods granted vary depending on the amount of time requested in the application and the discretion of the immigration officer. Renewals are possible.