The Korea Herald


Korea to launch new ‘digital nomad’ visa on Jan. 1

Visitors with annual income over $65,000 can stay up to 2 years with job back home

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : Dec. 29, 2023 - 17:31

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A A "workation" office in Yeongdo, Busan (Culture Ministry)

South Korea will start issuing new “digital nomad” visas starting Monday, which will allow some foreign residents to stay for up to two years while maintaining a job back home, officials said Friday.

“To make remote work and vacation of foreigners in Korea smoother, we have decided to launch a new digital nomad visa,” the Justice Ministry said, highlighting the rise of the "workcation" trend, where employees work remotely from a different location.

“So far, foreigners were required to apply for tourist visas or just stay for less than 90 days without a visa for ‘workcation’ in Korea. The new system will allow employees and employers in overseas firms to tour and work remotely in Korea for a longer period of time,” it added.

Those seeking to apply must submit documents to the Korean embassy in their respective country proving that they earn an annual income of over 84.96 million won ($65,860). The figure is double the amount of Korea’s gross national income per capita as of 2022, which stood at 42.48 million won.

Applicants must submit additional documents including verification of employment, details of their criminal record and proof of private health insurance. They are required to hold private health insurance with coverage of at least 100 million won to ensure the ability to travel back home in an emergency situation.

Applicants must also be 18 or older and have worked in their current field for at least a year.

After receiving the visa, digital nomads will be allowed to bring along a spouse and children as well. Children must be younger than 18.

The new visa will allow holders to initially stay in Korea for one year, with an opportunity to extend for another year, extending the maximum term to up to two years.

Foreigners who are already living here on a short-term tourist visa such as the B-1, B-2 and C-3 are eligible to reapply for the new visa if they meet the requirements.

The new visa, however, will not allow the digital nomads to apply for a job within Korea.

Korean embassies abroad will begin accepting applications.

The new visa system will remain in a test-run status and the government will later assess whether to adopt it permanently.