Moving to Korea > Immigration and Visas

Visa Categories for Korea

Visa Categories for Korea

Korean Visa types: subject to change – to see the government's list go to the HiKorea website*. 

1.          A-1        Diplomat (외교)
            A-2        Government Official (공무)
           A-3        Treaty (협정)

2.          B-1        Visa Exempted (사증면제)
             B-2        Tourist/Transit (관광통과)
Note: The B-2 status allows travellers who are passport holders of various jurisdictions, including the People's Republic of China mainland, to stay in South Korea for a maximum period of 30 days, provided that they are using Incheon International Airport as a transit stopover. 

3.          C-1        Short-Term News Coverage Activities C-1  (일시취재)
             C-2        Short-Term Business Visitor (단기상용)
             C-3        Short-Term General (Tourist) (단기종합)
             C-4        Short-Term Employment (단기취업)

             D-1        Cultural/Artist (문화예술)
             D-2        Student (유학)
             D-3        Industrial Trainee (산업연수)
             D-4        General Trainee (일반연수)
             D-5        General News Coverage Activities/Journalist (취재)
             D-6        Religious Visitor/Missionary (종교)
             D-7        Employee of Foreign-Invested Company/Supervisor (상사주재)
             D-8        Corporate/Foreign Investor  (기업투자)  
             D-9        International Trade and Management (무역경영)
             D-10     Job Seeking Visa (구직비자)

4.           E-1        University Professor (교수)           
E-2         Foreign Language/ English Conversation Teacher
E-3        Researcher
E-4        Technical Instructor
E-5        Professional Consultant
E-6        Entertainer
E-7        Specially Designated Profession (특정활동)

              E-8        Employed Trainee (연수취업)
              E-9        Non-professional Employment  (비전문취업)           
E-10      Vessel Crew (내항선원)

5.           F-1         Visiting or Joining Family (방문동거)            
F-2         Long-Term Resident
F-3         Accompanying Spouse (동반)
              F-4        Overseas Korean (재외동포)
              F-5         Permanent Foreign Resident (영주)
              F-6         Foreign Spouse (
국민의 배우자)  - replaces F-2-1 visa 

6.           G-1        Others/Miscellaneous

7.           H-1       Working holiday (관광취업)
              H-2       Working visit (방문취업제)

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*Hi Korea website: Click on, which will lead you to the main page. You  then have to click on Visa, then Visa Issuance Guide - Status of Stay in order to see the list of visa categories. There is no direct link to the page.

There are two ways in and out of Korea – via air or via sea. The majority enter the country at Incheon International Airport. The information contained in this section is intended to provide some direction for people planning to either come to South Korea to visit or live for a time. In no way is it, or is it intended to be a complete guide to the immigration process.

For more information, you should visit official Korean government sites, including:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Employment and Labor

Government of Korea for Foreigners - this site is sometimes difficult to access
If you don't have Active X. Try cutting and pasting:

Immigration Help Line: You can telephone 1345 (press 3 and then * for English. (No need to put in area code even from cell phone).

Much of the information contained on these sites is quite useful. However, it is important to note that it is not always complete and that you often must make additional inquiries. Do not be surprised either if you’ve heard or read something that is different from the content of any of the above sites. Sometimes, rules/laws are changed but there is a lag in the time between the adoption of the rule/legislation and updates of the English site.

It doesn’t hurt to e-mail and ask specific questions or to confirm that the information you’ve read on the English site is accurate. A written inquiry is often more helpful than a verbal one. Since reading is taught from a relatively early age, people here often find it easier to deal with written requests in English rather than verbal questions. To avoid misunderstandings, it is also helpful to get the answers in writing.

If you plan on working or volunteering (even if your work is unpaid) you will need a visa. Your employer or sponsor is responsible for applying for the visa and you should receive it before coming to Korea.

If your spouse is the one who will be working in Korea, you can obtain a ‘dependents’ visa if you are legally married. The non-working partner of couples who are not married is not eligible for a dependents visa and will have to travel out of the country every 90 days.

If you have nanny/cook/driver/ etc. who has been with you and your family for many years, but who is not Korean, you can only sponsor her/him if you are a diplomat or if you (your company) has invested the equivalent of KRW500 billion or more. Note: not every expat working in such an invested company is eligible to sponsor a maid.

K4E Editor: 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
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.  


Last Updated on 2022-02-25

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