South Korea to launch ‘digital nomad’ visa on Jan 1

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SEOUL – South Korea will start issuing “digital nomad” visas from Jan 1, which will allow some foreign residents to stay for up to two years while maintaining a job back home, officials said on Dec 29.

“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 South Korean embassy in their respective country proving that they earn an annual income of over 84.96 million won (S$86,700). The figure is double the amount of South 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 and details of their criminal record. 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.

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 younger than 18.

The visa will allow holders to initially stay in South Korea for one year, with an opportunity to extend for another year.

Foreigners who are already in South Korea on a short-term tourist visa such as the B-1, B-2 or C-3 can apply for the new visa.

But the move will not allow the digital nomads to apply for a job within South Korea.

South Korean embassies abroad will begin accepting applications, with the government assessing later whether to adopt the visa permanently.


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