Staying in South Korea – Entry and Stay 7 tips

Staying in South Korea

1. Entry requirements

Foreigners must meet the following entry requirements to enter South Korea:

  • You must have a valid passport. If you present an expired or fake passport to the immigration authorities, you will be denied entry.
  • You must have a valid visa. You may be refused entry if your visa is not valid for the purpose of entry or if you are trying to enter before your visa expiration date. You can enter the country without a visa if you meet the following conditions:
    • If you enter before the expiration date of your reentry permit
    • You are a national who is exempt under a visa waiver agreement between your country and South Korea.
    • Specially recognized by presidential decree to enter the country for the purpose of contributing to international relations, national interests, or the development of the tourism industry.
    • If you are issued a refugee travel document and enter the country before the expiration date
  • You must not be inadmissible under immigration law.

2. Visa types and validity periods

  • Single-entry visa: You can confidently enter the country once before your expiration date.
  • Double-entry visa: You can confidently enter the country twice within the expiration date (within 6 months).
  • Multiple-entry visa: Confidently make unlimited entries before your expiration date (valid for 1, 3, or 5 years).
Guide to stay in Korea

3. Declaration of Entry

When entering South Korea, you’ll need to perform immigration formalities. Confidently present your completed Form 41-2, along with your passport, to immigration authorities. This form lists the purpose of your entry, the location of your residence, and other information required..

Enrollment and process

1. Foreigner registration

Foreign nationals who meet the following conditions must register with their local immigration office within 90 days of entering the country.

  • Foreigners who plan to stay in Korea for more than 90 days after entering the country
  • Foreigners who have lost their Korean nationality after acquiring a foreign nationality, or foreigners who plan to stay for more than 90 days from the date of the status granted at birth.

2. Alien registration exemption

  • Diplomats, foreign officials, and their families (A-1, A-2, A-3)
  • Aliens and their family members engaged in important work such as diplomacy, industrial development, or national defense, or for whom the Attorney General has granted an exemption.
  • Canadian citizens who plan to stay for six months or less and meet the following eligibility requirements: Korean arts and culture (D-1), religious workers (D-6), family visits (F-1), dependents (F-3), and other (G-1).

3. Apply to register as an alien

Visit your local immigration office (branch) to apply for alien registration.

Guide to stay in Korea

4. Foreign enrollment period

  • If you’re staying in South Korea longer than 90 days: Register within 90 days of your entry date
  • If you have a residence permit or permission to change status: Register as soon as you receive permission

5. Required documents for foreign registration

  • Passport
  • Application(Form No.34)
  • 1 color photo(3.5cm x 4.5cm)
  • Fees: 30,000원(약 30 Dollar)
  • Some visa types may require additional documentation

6. Obligation to carry/submit an alien registration card

  • Foreigners living in South Korea must carry a passport or alien registration card at all times (except for those under 17).
  • Foreign nationals must provide a passport or alien registration card when requested by officials responsible for registration, including immigration officials or local governments..
  • Failure to provide a passport and alien registration card can result in penalties under immigration law.

7. Alien registration information change notification obligations

The alien (or his/her legal representative) must notify Immigration within 14 days of any change in the alien’s registration information.

※ Failure to submit changes to alien registration information to immigration authorities is a violation of Article 35 of the Immigration Act and subject to a fine.


  • Change your name, gender, date of birth, nationality, etc.
  • Change passport number, expiration date, issue date, etc.
  • Foreigners with the following statuses of residence: D-1 (Korean culture and arts), D-2 (student), D-4 (general training), D-5 (long-term reporting), D-6 (religious activities), D-7 (intra-affiliate transfer), D-8 (company/foreign investor), and D-9 (trade) change their organization or department.
  • Foreigners with the following statuses of residence: D-5 (long-term coverage), D-6 (religious activities), D-7 (intra-affiliate transfers), D-8 (business/foreign investors), and D-9 (trade) have changed the name of their organization or department.

Required documents

  • Passports and alien registration cards
  • Alien Registration Information Change Notice

Activities and scope of employment of foreign nationals

  • Foreigners can legally stay in South Korea depending on their visa status and length of stay.
  • Foreigners must have a valid work visa, and can only work in designated occupations.
  • Eligible visa statuses for employment include:
    • Short-term work (C-4)
    • Professors (E-1)
    • Foreign language instructors (E-2)
    • Researchers (E-3)
    • Technical Instructor / Technician (E-4)
    • Professional가 (E-5)
    • Arts/Athletes (E-6)
    • Foreigners with special abilities (E-7)
    • Non-technical (E-9)
    • Maritime Crew (E-10)
    • Residence (F-2)
    • Expatriates (F-4)
    • Permanent (F-5)
    • Married immigrants (F-6)
    • Working holiday (H-1)
    • Days and visits (H-2)
  • Working for an employer not listed on your visa application is a violation of the terms of your visa, and is a violation if it has not been previously authorized or reported to USCIS..
  • If you have a change in employer or work location, you must check with immigration for the proper procedures and report it in advance, apply for a permit, or do so within the specified deadline.
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