Long-Term Residency F-2 Visa Point System
In January 2010, the Ministry of Justice announced a new program through which some foreign national 'professionals' may be eligible to change their visa status to that of F2 (long-term resident status).
Eligible visa categories:
The government has created a point system under which certain professionals
(Visa: E-1 Professor, E-2 Foreign language instructor, E-3 Researcher, E-4 Technology expert, E-5 Professional, E-6 Artist and Entertainer*, E-7 Specially designated activities, D-2 International student**, D-5 Press, D-6 Religious practicioner, D-7 Intra-company transferee, D-8 Business Investor, D-9 Trade company manager, D-10 Job seeker** under the Attached Table 1 of the Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act) who have resided in Korea for one (1) year or longer may be eligible to get an F-2 visa. Points are given in different categories including things like age, income, academic credentials, income, social integration and Korean language ability.
*Excludes those E-6 visa holders working for hotel and entertainment establishments (E-6-2 visas)
**Limited to D-2 or D-10 visa holders who have earned a master's degree or higher in domestic universities (graduate-to-be included) and who are confirmed hires of domestic companies.
Advantages of an F-2 (residence ) visa status for professionals:
- The spouse and child/children of professionals acquiring the F-2 visa status through the point system also obtain residence status.
- Residence status allows the visa holder to engage in a wider range of employement activities.
- F-2 visa holders are exempted from having to bring 100million won (equivalence in foreign currency) into Korea in order to start a business.
- The maximum period of stay per visa issuance may be up to three (3) years.
- A person remaining in Korea for 3 years after receiving her/his F-2 visa status through the Point System, is eligible to apply for permanent (F-5) visa status.
There is no alternative method (aside from the aforementioned point system) to obtain an F-2 visa without marrying a Korean or F-5 visa holder.
To get the F-2 visa, you must:
- have had an eligible visa status and resided in Korea for one year or more before applying
- reach at least 80 points out of a possible 120.
Summary of the point system (see attached table for details):
1. Age (points vary depending on age-group - in this instance older is not necessarily better)
2. Income (higher income brackets earn more points)
3. Academic credentials (if your degree was obtained at a Korean university, it is worth extra points)
4. Korean ability (have to take the S-TOPIK (test) - level achieved determines number of points)
5. Volunteer activity (proof is required - points assigned based upon length of time given)
6. You can earn extra points for completing the Social Integration Program run by Immigration Services - developed in part for foreign spouses of Korean nationals (website in Korean only).
Each application may be assessed on its own merits, on a "case-by-case basis", by Ministry of Justice officials.
To find out more, E-series visa holders can contact immigration directly at (02)1345. The program went into effect on 01 February 2010 with an update in September 2011.
NOTE: You must be using Internet Explorer in order to access all Korean Government websites.
The Hi-Korea weblink is: http://www.hikorea.go.kr/pt/index.html. On their homepage, click on Announcements (right-most option of dark blue header ), then click on Notices (left-most menu item).
K4E Editor: Korea4Expats.com tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Source of above information: www.immigration.go.kr ⇨ Information ⇨ News Release ⇨ No. 67
Please note that government regulations and proceedures may have changed from what has been described above or may not apply in all situations/cases. K4E recommends that you check with the appropriate government office and/or officials prior to going forward.
Photo of Dongdaemun (East Gate) at night by AJ Crabb.
Last Updated on 2013-10-24
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