Moving to Korea > Immigration and Visas

Permanent Residency

Permanent Residency

According to a statement by the Ministry of Justice in August 2008, the legal status of people who have obtained permanent residency in Korea will be guaranteed the same rights as Korean citizens.

Overseas Koreans with F4 status:
Under the new measure, overseas Koreans with F-4 visas who have lived in Korea for over two years will now be given permanent residency status if they meet certain requirements. To apply for permanent residency, the applicants must have an income that is twice the per-capita gross national income, or their property tax levied here must be 500,000 won ($495) or more. Those aged 60 or older, who live on pension payments equal to per-capita GNI, are eligible for permanent residency, according to the ministry.

Ethnic Chinese Born in Korea:
The government is also granting permanent residency to ethnic Chinese who were born in Korea.

Foreign Investors:
Beginning in September 2008, permanent residency is to be immediately offered to non-Koreans once they invest over $500,000 in the country and hire more than five locals. (This replaces the current requirement of having to invest over $2 million and hire over five locals, or invest $500,000, reside here for over three years and hire more than three Korean nationals.)

Foreign Spouses:
By the end of this year, the government plans to offer permanent residency to foreign spouses and to those who seek to restore their Korean nationality after having lost it due to the country's ban on dual citizenship. The ministry will also set up measures to allow them to invite their overseas relatives to Korea.

Foreign Students: As of 10 February 2015, foreign students who received bachelor’s degree in Science or Engineering in Korea are eligible to apply for permanent residency if they meet the requirement of living in Korea for more than three years plus, have an annual salary higher than Korea’s per captia gross national income (GNI*). In the past, international students who finished only one of the nine programs – IT, technology management, nanotechnology, digital electronics, biotechnology, transport, new material, environment, and energy- were eligible to get permanent residency.
Those who received master’s or a higher degree in Korea can apply for permanent residency regardless of their major as long as they meet the three year requirement and the annual salary higher than the GNI per capita.
*In 2014, Korea's GNI was W28,000.

F-2 Visa holders: Those who have stayed in Korea with an F-2 status for more than five years are eligible to apply for permanent residency. The following requirements must be met to be eligible: legally defined as an adult by Korean civil law, have the financial capacity to support onseself and one's family, have the ability to understand Korean traditions and intend to stay in Korea permanently.

For more information visit the Ministry of Justice website

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Last Updated on 2015-07-27

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