What is the change? The South Korean government has increased fees for many immigration and visa services by 100 percent.

  • Implementation timeframe: Jan. 1, 2014.
  • Visas/permits affected: All South Korean visas, Alien Registration Cards and Residence Registration Cards.
  • Who is affected: Companies and assignees applying for various visas, extensions and other immigration-related services.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Business impact: The new fees will impact the cost of foreign assignments and other types of travel in South Korea.

Background: After determining that government fees for immigration services have been frozen since 1998, the South Korean government has increased many fees beginning Jan. 1, 2014. The increase potentially applies to all visas and various filings, including visa issuance, change of status applications and Alien Registration Card issuance.

Many of the government fees will increase by 100 percent or more. For example, the cost of extending a stay, changing visa status or changing/adding a workplace will double. The cost of converting to permanent resident status will quadruple from 50,000 South Korean Won (KRW) to 200,000 KRW (about 137 USD).

For an official list of the government rate hikes, click here.

BAL Analysis: While the change in fees represents a significant jump, this is the first increase in 15 years and the new prices are in line with worldwide norms. Companies should factor in the higher government fees when planning assignments in South Korea.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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