Some people have wanted to live in South Korea their entire lives. Others find themselves needing to move there for other reasons. No matter the reasons, though, it’s important to know what to expect before taking on a task like moving to a new country.
Here’s what expatriates need to know before they move to South Korea.
Immigrants are people who go to a new country to start a new life there. Some of them intend to live in their adopted country forever, while others eventually want to return home. No matter the intent, though, most immigrants live long-term in a country that is not the land of their birth.
Immigrants generally set up new lives for themselves in the county they adopt. This means doing practical things, like finding a place to live and setting up new bank accounts. It also means making new friends, figuring out how to pursue their career in their new country, and getting the support they need to live well.
Immigrating is different than visiting, even if the visit is a long one. Visitors always intend to return home, while immigrants are trying to make a new home for themselves.
There are so many good reasons to move to South Korea. In fact, every immigrant usually has his or her own set of reasons why they chose to make such a big move. Here are some of the most common reasons why people choose South Korea.
There are a number of different visas available to choose from when immigrating to South Korea. These include:
Each visa has specific requirements. Some immigrants choose to retain legal help to determine which visa is best for their needs and to get aid in presenting the best possible application. Other times, the company or organization one is moving to South Korea for will handle the majority of the application process.
Most of these visas last from one to three years and can be renewed when the time period of the visa is drawing to a close. As long as a person’s job or status has not changed, visa renewal is usually easy in South Korea.
Anyone who enters South Korea on a visa allowing stays of longer than six months will need to register for their Alien Registration Card as soon as possible. This is like a personal ID card that allows a person to open bank accounts, get healthcare, and more.
People can apply for this card via their nearest Immigration Office. Forms are easy to obtain in the office or online, and applicants will need to make an appointment. They should bring their passport, their visa and any documents supporting it, as well as one passport-sized photo of themselves.
As long as their documentation is in order, they shouldn’t have a problem getting this card. Once they have it, they can really start building their new life in South Korea.
Many expats move to South Korea temporarily, only to realize once they are there that they want to stay. Here are just a few of the reasons why they love being immigrants in South Korea:
Most short-term visas to South Korea last for 90 days, though the exact duration will depend on the visitor’s country of origin and their purpose for traveling. This is generally long enough for someone to know if they want to stay in South Korea.
Most of these visas do not permit people to work while in the country. However, they may allow a person to enter the country long enough to find a job and apply for a long-term work visa.
Visits of up to 90 days can help foreigners know if they like life in South Korea. They will be able to get a feel for what is available when it comes to housing, whether they like the nightlife and other activities popular in South Korea, and more.
If they decide in favor of the country, they can figure out how to move there long-term.
It is relatively difficult to get official refugee status in South Korea, but that does not mean that people who believe themselves eligible should not try. People can apply for refugee status at either their port of entry or at an official Immigration Processing Center.
Refugees who are already in the country can apply for this status regardless of how long they have been in the country. They will need to submit an Application for the Recognition of Refugee Status, their passport (if they have it), and a passport-sized color photo of themselves.
Refugees may need to submit additional documentation and/or undergo a personal interview. The documentation should prove that they are in danger if they return to their home country, and the interview gives them a chance to tell their story.
Once inside Korea, many people want to apply to become permanent residents. However, this is usually only available to people who are ethnically Korean (even if they were born in other countries), those who have married a Korean citizen, or those who have invested large sums of money in the country (usually at least $5 million USD).
However, it’s possible to live in Korea for a long time on a work visa. People who have long-term jobs in the country should be able to renew their visas for the duration of their time at their job. There are also visas available for people who want to teach English in South Korea and those who want to start their own businesses, and these can be renewed as long as the person continues working.
People who are in South Korea legally have many of the same rights as citizens. They can, for instance, get healthcare and get protection from the police if they are threatened. They cannot vote or hold a South Korean passport, and there are different rules regarding the purchase and ownership of property by foreigners. However, for the most part, their lives will be indistinguishable from those of the Korean citizens they know.
While South Korea doesn’t allow undocumented people to live in their country, an unknown number of people manage to live “under the radar” and work in South Korea without official permission to be there.
Many service jobs are fulfilled by undocumented immigrants. In fact, some critics of the country say that it depends too much on work by these immigrants. Whether or not this is true, the fact remains that these types of jobs are available for people regardless of their immigration status.
Because living as an undocumented immigrant can be dangerous and stressful, all people in the country are encouraged to try to get permission to live in and work in South Korea.
Moving to South Korea involves navigating various immigration rules and options, and understanding the lifestyle and opportunities the country offers. Potential immigrants should consult with the South Korean embassy and immigration professionals to determine the appropriate visa type for their specific situation. By following the correct legal processes, they can look forward to starting a new life in a country renowned for its rich culture, dynamic economy, and high quality of living.