The scope of the activities and employment opportunities open to foreign nationals in Korea is relatively broad, but the activities and period of stay may be limited depending on the type of visa issued.
There are two types of permission for sojourn: one which allows you to have a job, and another which does not.
Visas allowing you to work in Korea
Work visas include: Temporary Employment (C-4), Specialized Professions (E-1~7), Training Employment (E-8), Non-professional Employment (E-9), Labor Abroad (E-10), Working Holiday (H-1), Residency (F-2), Overseas Koreans (F-4), Permanent Residency (F-5).
Temporary employment (C-4)
Sojourn period of not longer than 90 days.Temporary activities relating to entertainment, ad, fashion model, lecture, research, technology coaching.
Specialized professions (E-1~E-7)
Specialized professions, as stipulated by the Immigration Office, are as follows:
- Professor (E-1) : Sojourn period of not longer than 2 years
- Foreign Language Teaching (E-2) : Sojourn period of not longer than a year
- Research (E-3) : Sojourn period of not longer than 2 years
- Profession (E-5) : Sojourn period of not longer than 2 years
- Arts/Entertainment (E-6) : Sojourn period of not longer than 6 moths
- Specially Designated Activities (E-7) : Sojourn period of not longer than 2 years
Training Employment (E-8)
Foreign nationals can apply for an E-8 visa after successfully completing a year of training and proper education. Once the training is complete, the trainee (D-3 holder) may apply to have his/her visa changed to an E-8 visa and become eligible for 2 years of employment in Korea.
The spouse of a person who has obtained the status of sojourn or refugee may work freely in Korea.
Overseas Koreans (F-4)
This status is granted to one who used to have Korean nationality, but now has a foreign nationality, or to one whose parent or grandparent used to have Korean nationality, but who now has a foreign nationality. The holder is allowed to work, except for simple labor or speculation, for up to 2 years in Korea.