Long-term stay in Korea

Long-term stay in Korea: 4 procedures and reporting obligations

In the previous article, we discussed the need to register as a foreigner when planning to long-term stay in Korea for more than 90 days and the process for doing so. In this article, we will discuss extending your long-term stay in Korea, changing your status of residence, activities outside of your status of residence, re-entry permits, and foreigners’ reporting obligations. This article is part of a series of 24 articles in the Complete Guide to Living in Korea for Foreigners.

Long-term stay in Korea: Extending your stay

The length of stay for foreigners in Korea is basically based on their visa. For visa-free entry, a 90-day stay is the norm. Foreigners usually depart Korea within this authorized period of stay, but if a foreigner wishes to stay in Korea beyond the authorized period of stay, he/she must apply for an extension of stay from 4 months before the expiration date to the expiration date. If you apply for an extension after the expiration date, you will be charged a penalty.

Long-term stay in Korea

The process for extending your stay is as follows

1) Application (citizen) → 2) Reception (immigration officer) → 3) Examination (survey if necessary) → 4) Approval (payment) → 5) Computerized entry and recording of permit → 6) Issuance of passport (foreigner)

The following documents are required when extending your period of stay.

  • Consolidated Application
  • Passport and Alien Registration Card (if you are registered as an alien)
  • Proof of residence
  • Attachments for each status of residence
  • Fee 60,000 KRW (30,000 KRW for marriage immigrants (F-6))

Long-term stay in Korea: Change of status

If a foreigner in Korea wants to stop an activity that falls under his/her current status of residence and start an activity that falls under a different status of residence, he/she must obtain permission from the competent Immigration and Refugee Service (office/branch office) before starting the new activity. Some examples of when you may need to obtain authorization include

  • Foreigners on short-term visitor (C-3) visa who want to invest in Korea (D-8)
    • However, group tours (C-3-2) during short-term visits are restricted from changing status in Korea.
  • To study at a university after completing language training (D-4) (D-2)
  • Foreigners with other statuses in Korea (excluding short-term visa holders for 90 days or less, illegal immigrants, etc.

If you want to change your immigration status, here’s what you’ll need to bring

  • Unified Application, one standard-sized photo
  • Passport and Alien Registration Card (if you are registered as an alien)
  • Attachments for each status of residence
  • Status change fee 100,000 won (30,000 won registration fee)
    • However, in case of change of status to permanent resident (F-5), 200,000 won (plus 30,000 won for issuance of permanent resident card)

Long-term stay in Korea: Activities outside the status of residence

If a foreign national who is staying in Korea for 91 days or more (excluding those with a short-term certificate (visa) for 90 days or less) wishes to engage in activities related to another status of residence while maintaining their current status of residence, they must obtain an out-of-status activity permit before engaging in activities related to the other status of residence. Examples include the following In many cases, foreigners stay in Korea to teach a language such as English. In this case, you must follow the following procedures

  • Those who have been confirmed by the school’s international student affairs officer as having the status of study abroad (D-2) and language training (D-4-1, D-4-7) (there are separate qualifications, contact ☎1345)
  • Language students are allowed after 6 months from the date of entry.
  • Missionaries with religious status (D-6) who wish to give lectures (E-1) at an institution affiliated with the same foundation.

Married immigrants (F-6) are not restricted from working, which means that they are free to work at any time, and do not need to obtain a separate authorization to work outside of their immigration status. However, even if you are allowed to work, you must meet certain qualifications or requirements according to domestic laws.

If you want to engage in activities outside your status of residence, you must prepare the following documents to obtain permission.

  • Consolidated Application
  • Passport and Alien Registration Card (if you are registered as an alien)
  • Attachments for each status of residence
  • Fee 120,000 KRW, but no fee for studying abroad (D-2) and general training (D-4)

Long-term stay in Korea: Re-entry permit

Those who need a re-entry permit include foreigners who have been in Korea for 91 days or more and are registered as aliens, as well as employees and family members of foreign missions and international organizations, and those who are exempted from alien registration under an agreement with the Korean government, such as diplomats or consuls who enjoy privileges and status similar to that of a diplomat or consul, and their family members.

The maximum period for a re-entry permit is one year for single re-entry, which is a one-time re-entry, and two years for multiple re-entry, which is a two-time or more re-entry. There are also exemptions and exclusions to the reentry permit: A-1 through A-3 and registered aliens (all statuses) are exempt from the reentry permit if they are reentering the country within one year of their departure (or within their period of stay if they have less than one year remaining), and F-5 (permanent resident) status holders are exempt if they are reentering the country within two years of their departure.

The required documentation for reentry authorization is as follows

  • Consolidated Application
  • Passport and Alien Registration Card (if you are registered as an alien)
  • Fee – Single: KRW 30,000, Multiple: KRW 50,000

If you are granted a re-entry permit and you have a reason that prevents you from entering the country within the permit period or the exemption period, you can apply for an extension of the re-entry permit period by going to the local Korean embassy or consulate within the period. If you fail to enter the country within the re-entry permit period, you will lose your status of residence.

Long-term stay in Korea: Reporting obligations for foreign nationals

If a foreigner who has registered as an alien encounters any of the following events, he/she is obligated to report them to the Immigration Bureau of Japan at his/her place of residence or the competent Immigration Bureau (office or branch office) within 14 days of the event. Please note that if you fail to do so, you may be subject to fines or penalties and may face disadvantages in your stay.

  • Your name, gender, date of birth, and nationality have changed.
  • Change in passport number, date of issue, or expiration date
  • D-1, D-2, D-4 to D-9 Changes (including name changes) or additions to the credential holder’s affiliation or organization
  • D-10 A change in the fact that the holder began training or a change in the training organization (including a name change)
  • H-2 status holder’s first employment with a person, institution, organization, or business, if the employment was commenced by the H-2 status holder
  • If already employed by an individual, institution, organization, or business, a change in the individual, institution, organization, or business and a change in the name of the individual, institution, organization, or business
  • A change of domicile

To do this, you’ll need

  • Declarations
  • Passport and Alien Registration Card
  • Proof of change (proof of address if your residence has changed)

While all countries are similar, there are different filing procedures for foreigners who plan to stay in Korea for an extended period of time. Check carefully to see if any of these apply to you, and make sure you don’t face any penalties for not filing.

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