South Korean visas are divided based on the duration and how many entries in the country they allow:
- Single-entry visas, valid (as the name suggests) for a single entry and up to 90 days.
- Multiple-entries, allowing multiple entries in South Korea for the duration it has been issued.
Then, depending on why you want to visit South Korea, you can apply for one of the following visas:
- South Korea Tourist Visa
- South Korea Business Visa
- South Korea Family Visit Visa (for more than 90 days)
- South Korea Work Visa
- South Korea Student Visa
- South Korea Working Holiday Visa
South Korea Tourist Visa
South Korean tourist visas are issued to foreigners who want to travel simply for tourism or recreational purposes. So, you can receive a tourist visa if you are traveling for one of the following reasons:
- To receive medical treatment in a South Korean hospital
- To visit a family member/friend
- To attend a religious/cultural/sporting/musival event
- Another short-term reason
South Korean tourist visas allow the holder to stay in South Korea for up to 90 days. The holder of a tourist visa is not allowed to work or engage in any other renumerated activities.
South Korea Business Visa
You are eligible for a long-term Business Visa for South Korea if:
- You are a specialist who will work for a public or private organization in Korea to repair, install, or operate imported machinery
- You will work as a manager or specialist in a company in South Korea
- You are an Intra-Company Transferee
- You are a specialist in a foreign investment company in South Korea
South Korea Work Visa
If a foreigner wants to work in South Korea, they have to apply for a South Korea Work Visa. Foreigners eligible for a South Korea Work Visa include professors, foreign language teachers, researchers, and those working in another activity permitted by the Minister of Justice through a contract with a public or private organization or company in South Korea.
South Korea Student Visa
Foreigners who will enter South Korea to pursue their studies in a Korean educational institution have to apply for a South Korea Student Visa. They can be:
- Short-term Student Visas to attend a course of study that’s shorter than 90 days.
- Long-term Student Visas, to attend a course of study longer than 90 days, such as in a university or language school.
South Korea Working Holiday Visa
The South Korea Working Holiday Visa is available to citizens of countries that have a Working Holiday Agreement with South Korea (as listed below). The WHV allows the holder to remain in South Korea for up to one year, for the purpose of holidaying, working, or studying.
To receive the South Korea Working Holiday Visa, you must:
- Be from one of the eligible countries
- Be between 18 and 30 years of age (in some cases, the cut-off age is 25)
- Have sufficient funds to cover at least the beginning of your trip (at least KRW 3,000,000)
- You must not have received a South Korea Working Holiday Visa in the past
- Have a clean criminal record
- You must be travelling primarily for holidays (working or studying should be secondary purposes, otherwise you have to apply for a Student or Work Visa)
Citizens from the following countries are eligible for a South Korea Working Holiday Visa:
South Korea Family Visit Visa (for more than 90 days)
You have to apply for a South Korea visa for Family Visit purposes if you fall under one of the following categories:
- You will stay with a relative in South Korea for longer than 90 days
- You are the spouse of a South Korean national
- You are the dependent (spouse or child under the age of 20) of a South Korean temporary or permanent resident
You can also receive this type of visa if you are part of the South Korean diaspora or you once held South Korean nationality (Overseas Koreans).