When traveling to South Korea, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if you require a work visa. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.
As a business visitor to South Korea, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:
Nationals of Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and other select countries are eligible for a visa waiver and are not required to obtain a visa to enter and conduct simple business activities in South Korea. However, beginning September 2021, visa waivered nationals are required to apply for travel permission through the Electronic Authorization (ETA) system before arrival.
Holders of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card endorsed with the statement “valid for travel to KOR” may be eligible to enter South Korea and engage in permissible business activities without obtaining a visa. If you are not eligible for visa-waivered entry, you must obtain a C-3-4 Visa from a South Korean Embassy or Consulate prior to travel.
The activities below, whether paid or unpaid, generally constitute work under South Korean law. This list is not exhaustive, and many other professional activities are considered work in South Korea, even if conducted for a short duration.
The requirements for a work visa depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work, on whether your employer has an entity in South Korea and on the type of entity sponsoring you. The most common South Korean work visas are:
South Korea does not offer work authorization exemptions.
Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.