South Korea Residence Permit – How to Apply

If you want to visit South Korea and live there permanently, you must apply for a South Korean residence permit. This document allows you to stay legally in the country without any embarrassment. And it is also renewable.

Interestingly, South Korea offers visitors fantastic nature, culture, and exciting activities. So, since you have been dreaming of living and working in South Korea, now might be the time to act.

However, to avoid any mistake during the application process that could lead to a delay or denial, read this article for more details on South Korea Residence permits.

About South Korea 

South Korea is an East Asian country. It borders North Korea to the north, China to the east, and Japan to the west. Meanwhile, the capital and largest city are Seoul. After World War II, the Korean Peninsula was divided into two territories: a communist north and a capitalist south. In 1948, South Korea was created as a democracy with an independent military and economy. Since then, South Korea has developed rapidly as a leading economic power and a major military power.

What is a South Korea Residence Permit?

A South Korean residence permit is a document that proves that the holder is a resident of South Korea. It is issued to foreigners legally residing in South Korea and not citizens of South Korea. However, Resident permits are necessary for the holder to access government services, live in certain areas of the country, and work. Meanwhile, the permit is also necessary for students studying in South Korea to obtain an identification card from their educational institution.

Who can apply for a South Korea Residence Permit?

Anyone who wishes to reside in South Korea for a different period can apply for a residence permit. However, those already in South Korea who wish to renew their residency permits may also do so. Specific requirements must be met, including having a job offer from a South Korean company or organization. Also, possess valid passports and visas, and have no criminal records in their home countries.

Types of South Korea Residence Permits

There are two (2) significant residence types in South Korea: the Permanent residence permit and the Temporary Residence Permit.

#1. South Korea Permanent Residence Permit

To be eligible for a South Korean permanent residence permit, you must have a valid visa, a clean criminal record, and excellent language skills. However, applicants must also have a job offer from a reputable company and meet specific income requirements. Suppose you successfully obtain a permanent residence permit; you will be free to live and work in South Korea indefinitely.

#2. Temporary Residence Permit

The primary purpose of obtaining a temporary residence permit is to allow an individual to stay in the country while waiting for their visa application. However, the permit is generally valid for six months, and you can renew it if necessary. Several requirements must be fulfilled before applying for a temporary residence permit. This includes providing documentation that proves you meet the eligibility requirements.

Requirements to obtain a South Korea Residence Permit

To obtain a South Korea residence permit, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your passport number
  • Your date of birth
  • Your national identification number (NIN)
  • Your residential address in South Korea
  • If you are a single man, you must also provide your marital status and the wedding date.

The Application Process

The application process may contain any or all of these restraints:

  • A minimum of five years of residence in the Korean Peninsula.
  • Must have expertise in Korean (reading, writing, and speaking) and knowledge of history and culture.
  • An interview and a written exam evaluate such knowledge in Korean.

How to apply for a South Korea Residence Permit

If you are considering relocation to South Korea and want to live and work here legally, you will need a residence permit. Here is how to apply:

  • Check the visa requirements for your nationality.
  • Gather the essential documents.
  • Schedule an appointment with the nearest South Korean consulate or embassy.
  • Present your documents at the appointment.
  • Wait for approval or rejection notification.

How much does it cost to obtain a South Korea Residence Permit?

South Korea has a residence permit system whereby foreigners who want to reside in the country must obtain a visa first. Once the visa is successful, a resident visa is issued, which allows the foreign national to stay in South Korea for a specific period (usually three months). However, the cost of obtaining a resident visa can vary depending on the applicant’s nationality and whether they are applying through an embassy or a Korean immigration office.

The residence permit costs $60, and you can obtain it through the Korean Immigration Service (KIS). A valid passport is also necessary.

What is the Validity of the South Korean Residence Permit 

The validity of a South Korean residence permit is an important topic to discuss as it will affect an individual’s life in South Korea. However, the residence permit is valid for three years and can be extended once. In addition, there are a few factors that you must meet to receive a residence permit, such as having a job offer from a South Korean company and having a valid passport and visa. Also, proving that you have enough money to support yourself.

Benefits of Obtaining a South Korea Residence Permit

Foreigners interested in living in South Korea for an extra period should obtain a residence permit. However, Permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can obtain them through the Korean Immigration Service (KIS).

However, the benefits of a residence permit include:

  1. Stay in Korea longer- If you have a residence permit, you can stay in South Korea for a longer period (up to five years) as long as you maintain your residency status. However, this is great if you’re planning on working or studying in Korea for an extended period.
  2. The ability to live and work in South Korea indefinitely, with no need for a visa or any other type of permit
  3. Being able to bring family members over to live with you in Korea
  4. Being able to apply for South Korean citizenship after five years of residency
  5. Access to some government assistance programs, such as health care and social security
  6. Being able to take advantage of the many cultural and entertainment opportunities that South Korea has to offer.

Also ReadSouth Korea Family Visit Visa

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the processing time for a South Korea Residence Permit?

The processing time for a South Korean residence permit can vary depending on the type of permit you are applying for. However, the average processing time for a South Korean residence permit is around 10-12 weeks. Meanwhile, this time frame may vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Please reach out to your local consulate if you have any questions about the processing time for a South Korean residence permit.

Can I get a South Korea Residence Permit on arrival?

If you are planning on visiting South Korea, be sure to check the visa requirements first. South Korea has a new residence permit system, so you will need to apply for a residence permit upon arrival in South Korea. However, if you are a citizen of a country part of the Schengen Area, you will not need a visa for entry into South Korea.

How can I become a citizen of South Korea?

If you are looking to become a citizen in South Korea, the process is relatively straightforward and can be done in a relatively short time. However, the first step is to find an immigration office in your area and schedule an appointment. You will need to fill out an application form and provide documentation of your citizenship status at the appointment. Once your application is successful, you will have a certificate of citizenship which you will need to carry with you at all times.

Do I need a visa to travel to South Korea?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you likely do not need a visa to travel to South Korea. However, if you are not a U.S. citizen or if your country of citizenship is not one of the countries listed in the visa-free entry section of South Korea.

Can I get a good job in South Korea?

If you are considering moving to South Korea, you may wonder if there are any good jobs available. The answer is yes, but it will likely require some skills that you do not currently have. For example, many jobs in South Korea depend on your foreign language ability. If you want a job in South Korea, start looking for positions in the tourism or business industries.


In conclusion, the following are essential steps to follow if you want to apply for a South Korean residence permit. First, gather all required documentation and have it ready to upload when applying. Second, know the application process and be prepared to answer questions. Third, be patient, as the process can take some time, but remember that the sooner you submit your application, the sooner you will receive a response.

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