A fast growing GDP, low unemployment numbers, rising life expectancy, increasing wages but decreasing working hours and a really low poverty rate. There are a lot of economic reasons to move to South Korea, and in addition life outside of work adds so much to the experience of living in this country.

South Korea is one of the most developed nations in the world and that can be seen in more areas than just the job market. Infrastructure, education, technology and medical care: most things in South Korea are of the highest standard and living here will be a step forward for many people.. 

Korean cuisine is delicious, diverse and, like in many Asian countires, you are always surrounded by amazing street food. And although the cities in Korea are big and bustling, with transportation being so easy and fast you can surround yourself by nature within an hour. Jeju Island and a list of other national parks are all worth a visit and show the amazing contrast between modern cities and tranquil nature. 

Koreans have great respect for authorities, elders and education and when you’re there, it’s important to keep these things in mind. Don’t be surprised when people ask your age, background and other personal questions. The person you’re talking to is just trying to place you in the hierarchical structure that people use. 

Learning to Think Korean: A Guide to Living and Working in Korea

Find out everything you need to know about what it's really like to to live in South Korea from the perspective of an experienced ex-pat.
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Korea (South) Residency

Immigrants can only work in South Korea when they have a visa that specifically allows them to and only in places and positions designated by an Immigration Office. When the workplace or position changes, permission must be given before the change. 

Within 90 days of arrival to the country, the visa application must be submitted. There are a number of visa statuses that allow immigrants to work. Short term employment for example, but also language teachers, trainees, special occupations and scientists. 

Here are some of the ways to live in South Korea:

Through your Family:

  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident , you are eligible for residency.  If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship after being resident for a period of 3 years.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.

Youth Mobility Visa:

  • If you are an Australian, UK or USA citizen between the ages of 18-30, you may be eligible under the Working Holiday Maker programme. 





GDP Per Capita
$22,590  (Rank: 37)
Disposable Income
$2,174  (Rank: 42)
Life Expectancy
82.30  (Rank: 11)
Education Index
87.00%  (Rank: 11)
Corruption Index
53%  (Rank: 52)
Murders Per Year
1,251  (Rank: 150)
Crime Index
25.27  (Rank: 17)
Environmental Protection
63.79%  (Rank: 43)
Gender Equality
64.90%  (Rank: 116)
Annual Tourists
14,202,000  (Rank: 20)

Government

Republic

Languages

Korean

Population

50,704,971

Population Density

522 per square km

Korea (South) Citizenship

Here are some of the ways to get citizenship in South Korea:

  • If one or both of your parents were citizens when you were born, you are probably also a citizen.
  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident , you are eligible for residency.  If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship after being resident for a period of 3 years.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.



Quality of Life

Rank: 19

Cost of Living

Rank: 19

Safety

Rank: 17

Average Temp.


11.50°C

Rank: 138


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