Essential Employment Paperwork in South Korea



South Korea is without question, one of the fastest growing countries in Asia. With so many promising jobs, particularly in the education sector, expatriates who are eyeing to get employed in this country should ensure that they have all the relevant legal documents that'll help ensure a smooth sailing voyage towards a successful career. 

South Korea has different types of visas that are categorised alphabetically and are issued depending on the purpose of visit. Foreign nationals who wish to engage in a gainful employment are strongly advised to obtain a work visa and a work permit before flying. Below is a helpful guideline on how expats can secure both of the above mentioned documents but it is also best to check with Ministry of Justice for the latest South Korean immigration procedures. 

Work Permit 

Employers file work permits applications with the Ministry of Justice and Entry Inspection Division of Immigration Office to obtain a document called the Certificate of Confirmation of Visa Issuance (CCVI). The CVVI takes about one to four weeks to be processed, and once it has been issued, the employer must send it to the expat who needs to submit the CVVI to the Korean Embassy in his home country. 

Work Visa 

Foreign nationals need to go to the South Korean Embassy/Consulate in their country of origin. Work visas are valid for one year and are issued within one to four weeks after the application has been submitted. Expats must submit the CVVI along with the documents listed below: 

  • Passport that is valid for at least six months
  • Several Passport-sized photos
  • Completed and signed visa application form
  • Letter of Invitation from the South Korean employer
  • Job description of job in South Korea
  • Educational and Professional/Work Certificate 

Foreign Registration Card 

Upon arrival in South Korea, expats must visit the office of the South Korean Immigration Office to apply for a residence permit which is also known as the Foreign Registration Card. Applicants need to undergo fingerprinting and present several documents such as: 

  • Passport
  • Passport-sized photos
  • Employer’s business registration number
  • Criminal Clearance Certificate
  • Academic and Professional Credentials 

Keep in mind that registering for this document is legally required for all foreign nationals who will stay or work in South Korea for more than 90 days. Absence of a Foreign Registration Card can lead to issues with the local immigration authorities.