Guidelines on Employment for International Students in Korea

B. For (Prospective) Graduates

Change of status to a E-1 through E-7

If you meet qualifications required for one of the Professor (E-1) through Foreign National of Special Ability (E-7) statuses, you may apply for the change of status that would allow you to work.
- For (prospective) graduates of community college: relevance between major and potential work area is widely recognized.
- For (prospective) graduates of university: relevance between major and potential work area is not required.

Change of status to Job Seeker (D-10) for potential employees/entrepreneurs

If you plan to engage in the following activities, you shall apply for the change of status to Job Seeker (D-10):Job-seeking activities to enter a company/institution in Korea; participation in a short-term internship program where you are paid for training before officially starting work; participation in the courses of Overall Assistance for Start-up Immigration System (OASIS); activities relevant to the preparation/application for intellectual properties including patents; and overall preparation activities for a start-up (establishment, etc.)

Change of status to Resident (F-2-7) based on a points system

If you have earned (or are expected to earn) a master's degree or higher from a Korean university and are employed by a Korean company; and meet certain standards required by a points system (age, education level, income level, etc.), you may apply for the change of status to Resident.

(Ref.) Press Release on Supportive Policies for International Students (Feb. 10, 2015 [English])

Title: Expansion of Visa Issuance for Foreign Graduates of a Korean University to Promote Entrepreneurship and Employment of International Students
http://www.hikorea.go.kr/pt/NtcCotnDetailR_en.pt?pageSpec=&targetRow=&lafjOrderBy=&sRange=&sKeyWord=&bbsGbCd=BS10&bbsSeq=4&ntccttSeq=15&pageCode=list&langCd=EN&bbsNm=Press+Room

Change of Status to E-1 through E-7

A. Qualifications (All the qualifications below must be satisfied.)
  • 1. You have stayed in the Republic of Korea legally on a Job Seeking (D-10) or Student (D-2)* visa.
  • 2. Your potential work area falls under Professor (E-1), Foreign Language Instructor (E-2), Researcher (E-3), Technical Instructor/Technician (E-4), Professional (E-5), Artist/Athlete (E-6)** or Foreign National of Special Ability (E-7) and you qualify for the status.
  • 3. You have signed an employment contract with the head/president of the organization/institution.
  • A Student (D-2) visa holder refers to a prospective graduate qualified to apply for a Job Seeking (D-10) visa. (However, if you have already received a bachelor's degree or higher from university in your country or a third country and met necessary work experience qualifications, you may apply for a D-10 visa while studying in university (not necessarily to be a prospective graduate).
  • Only for the jobs in fine arts and sports (jobs in an adult entertainment establishment [E-6-2] are excluded.)
B. Criteria and Required Documents
Status Qualifications
Professor (E-1), Foreign Language Instructor (E-2), Researcher (E-3), Technical Instructor / Technician (E-4), Professional (E-5)
  • You may apply for the change when you satisfy the requirements for each status (e.g. diploma, work experience, license, etc.).
  • Required Documents
    ① an application form (Form No. 34), passport, Alien Registration Card, fees ②an employment contract, documents demonstrating the establishment of an institution/company (submit only one or two of the business registration certificate, certified copy of register, certificate of private academy establishment, etc.) ③ a certificate of work experience (E-1), criminal records certificate (E-2), medical examination report for employment (E-2), copy of licenses (E-5, E-7), and recommendation letter for employment or documents demonstrating the necessity of the employment (E-5, E-7)
Artist / Athlete (E-6)
  • If you have an associate degree or higher and your major and work are relevant, you may apply for the change of status.
  • However, if you intend to engage in performance or entertainment activities at a hotel facility or adult entertainment establishment, your status cannot be changed in accordance with the Tourism Promotion Act.
  • Required Documents
    ① an application form (Form No. 34), passport, Alien Registration Card, fees ②an employment contract, documents demonstrating the establishment of an institution/company (submit only one or two of the business registration certificate, certified copy of register, certificate of private academy establishment, etc.)
Foreign National of Special Ability (E-7)
  • If you have earned an associate degree in Korea and your major and work are relevant, you may apply for the change of status regardless of work experience.
  • If you have earned a bachelor's degree in Korea, you may apply for the change of status regardless of the relevance between major and job and work experience.
  • Considering replaceability by Korean nationals and their employment, you are not allowed to work in a company that hires less than five Korean nationals and has its focus on the domestic market; or a company with E-7 visa holders exceeding 20% of the total number of the Korean employees*.
    * However, with recommendation from the competent ministry, companies in the high-tech field may hire additional foreign employees within the range not exceeding 50% of the total number of Korean nationals.
  • In principle, you cannot be granted the change of status if: The average wage of a foreign employee who has the same work experience and responsibility as a Korean employee is less than 60% of that of the Korean employee on an employment contract with the company; or the monthly wage is less than 1.5 million won. The policy was designed to prevent employers from disproportionately hiring foreign workers for the benefit of lower wages.
  • Guidelines for Confirmation of Issuance and immigration rules on E-7 status shall apply to matters not mentioned above.
  • Required Documents
    ① an application form (Form No. 34), passport, Alien Registration Card, fees ②an employment contract ③ documents demonstrating the establishment of an institution/company (submit only one or two of the business registration certificate, certified copy of register, certificate of private academy establishment, etc.) ④ a certificate of work experience ⑤ a copy of licenses ⑥ a recommendation letter for employment or documents demonstrating the necessity of the employment
(Ref.) 83 Occupations Allowed under Foreign National of Special Ability (E-7) Status
Category Occupation (Code) Remarks
Professional
(67)
Executive of Economic Interest Group (S110)
Corporate Executive (1120)
Administration Supporting Manager (1202)
Education Manager (1312)
Insurance and Finance Manager (1320)
Culture/Arts/Design/Image Manager (1340)
Information and Communications Manager (1350)
Other Professional Service Manager (1390)
Construction and Mining Manager (1411)
Goods Production Manager (1413)
Agriculture/Fishery Manager (14901)
Sales Manager (1511)
Transport Service Manager (1512)
Hospitality/Travel/Entertainment/Sports Manager (1521)
Food Service Manager (1522)
Manager
(15)
Biotechnology Expert (2111)
Natural Scientist (2112)
Physicist (21121)
Chemist (21122)
Astronomer/Meteorologist (21123)
Social Science Researcher (2122)
Computer Hardware Technician (2211)
Communications Engineer (2212)
Computer System Designer and Analyst (2221)
System Software Developer (2222)
Applied Software Developer (2223)
Database Developer (2224)
Network System Developer (2225)
Computer Security Expert (2226)
Web and Multimedia Planner (2227)
Web Developer (2228)
Architect and Architectural Engineer (2311)
Civil Engineer (2312)
Landscaping Technician (2313)
Urban/Transport Planning Expert (2314)
Chemical Engineer (2321)
Metal/Materials Engineer (2331)
Environmental Engineer (2341)
Electrical Engineer (2351)
Electronic Engineer (2352)
Mechanical Engineer (2353)
Plant Engineer (23532)
Automobile/Shipbuilding/Airplane/Railroad-cars Engineer (S2353)
Textile Engineer (2392)
Gas/Energy Technician (2393)
Computer Aided Design Programmer (2396)
Nurse (2430)
University Lecturer (2512)
Education Expert (25919)
Teacher at Foreigner's School/Foreign Education Institute/International School/School for Gifted Children (2599)
Legal Expert (261)
Government/Public Administration Expert (2620)
Administrative Assistant for Special Organization (S2620)
Management and Problem-solving Expert (2715)
Finance and Insurance Expert (272)
Product Planning Expert (2731)
Tourist Products Developer (2732)
Advertisement and Marketing Expert (2733)
Research Expert (2734)
Event Planner (2735)
International Sales Representative (2742)
Technical Sales Representative (2743)
Technical Management Expert (S2743)
Translater/Interpreter (2812)
News Anchor (28331)
Designer (285)
Image-related Designer (S2855)
Expert and Practitioner
(52)
Semi-professional
(8)
Salesclerk at Duty Free Shop or Jeju Special Self-governing Province (31215)
Air Transport Clerk (31264)
Hotel Receptionist (3922)
Medical Coordinator (S3922)
Office Worker
(4)
Transport Service Worker (431)
Tour Guide-Interpreter (43213)
Casino Dealer (43291)
Cook and Chef (441)
Service Worker
(4)
Skilled Worker
(8)
Agriculture/Livestock/Fishery Skilled Workers (610)
Zoo Keeper (61395)
Sea Cucumber Farming Technician (63019)
Agriculture/Fishery Skilled Worker (3)
Musical Instrument Manufacturer and Tuner (7303)
Skilled Technician at Company in Ppuri Industry (fundamental industry) (740)
Skilled Technician at General Manufacturing and Construction Company (700)
Shipbuilding Welder (7430)
Aviation Maintenance Technician (7521)
Technician/ Technical Worker (5)
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Change of Status to Job Seeker (D-10) for Student (D-2) Visa Holders

A. Eligible Individuals
  • - You have earned an associate degree from a Korean community college (including graduating students)
  • - You have earned a bachelor's degree or higher from a Korean university (including graduating students) or who has completed (will be completing soon) a research course of an academic research center, or
  • - You have earned a bachelor's degree or higher from a Korean/foreign university (including graduating students) and intend to establish a start-up based on intellectual property rights or the equivalent technology.
B. Restricted Individuals
  • If you have ever quit your job without a valid reason attributable to the employer before your contract expired and have your status changed to D-10 within the past one year, you will be restricted from changing your status*.

    * It is necessary that we protect good employers who are not responsible for the end of employment contracts according to the principle of good faith and that we establish a social order among foreigners in Korea by preventing their possible abuse of the existing job-seeking scheme.

C. Required Documents
For job-seeking activities
Student (D-2) visa holders ① an application form (Form No. 34), passport, Alien Registration Card, fees
② a certificate of education, transcript*, etc.
   * You are exempt from submitting the documents if they are verifiable on the immigration information system
③ a job-seeking activity plan
④ a photocopy of a national technical qualification (where applicable)
For entrepreneurial activities based on technology
① an application form (Form No. 34), passport, Alien Registration Card, fees
② a certificate of education (bachelor's degree or higher)
③ a technology-based start-up plan
④ a photocopy of a patent/utility model registration/design registration or a certificate/receipt of application (where applicable)
⑤ a photocopy of a certificate proving that you have completed/participated in the Overall Assistance for Start-up Immigration System (OASIS) courses (where applicable)
D. How to Apply
  • Please apply for the change of status to the Immigration (Branch) Office with jurisdiction over your place of residence immediately after the change (or before the change).
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Change of Status to Resident Based on a Points System

A. Eligible Individuals
  • - Statuses eligible for the change
    Status Remarks
    D-2, D-10 Only if a D-2/D-10 visa holder has earned a master's degree or higher from a Korean university (including graduating students) and has been confirmed as a new employee of a Korean company
  • - Requirement: The person concerned must have stayed on a D-2/D-10 visa for at least one year. (however, if the D-2/D-10 visa holder has his/her status changed to E-1 through E-7, etc., he/she is deemed to have met the stay period requirement)
B. Criteria for a Permit
  • The total points of the table below must be at least 80. (Full points: 120)

    Category
    (Points)
    Standardized criteria (90) Extra points and points deduction (30) Combined total points (120) Accept/ Reject
    Age (25) Education level (35) Korean language ability (20) Current income (10) Extra points (30) Points deduction (-5)
    Points
  • Category(Age) 18-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-50 51 or older
    Points 20 23 25 23 20 18 15
    Evaluation standard Date of birth on passport (the applicant's age is ___ on the date of evaluation.)
  • Level of education Doctorate degree Master's degree Bachelor's degree Associate degree High school diploma
    Science and engineering/2 Degrees or more Liberal arts Science and engineering/2 Degrees or more Liberal arts Science and engineering/2 Degrees or more Liberal arts Science and engineering/2 Degrees or more Liberal arts
    Points 35 33 32 30 28 26 25 23 15
    Evaluation standard Degree or graduation certificate (for high school graduates only)
  • Korean language ability Social communication (advanced) Conversation on a familiar and everyday topic (intermediate) Basic communication (basic)
    Grade 6 Grade 5 Grade 4/ Level 4 Grade 3/Level 3 Grade 2/ Level 2 Grade 1/ Level 1
    Points 20 18 16 14 12 10
    Evaluation standard Grade on the Standard-Test of Proficiency in Korean (S-TOPIK) report card issued by President of the National Institutes for International Education or; level (Level 1-4) of the Korean language course completion of the Korea Immigration and Integration Program indicated on a certificate of "training confirmation"
  • Annual income(unit: million won) 100 or more 90-less than 100 80-less than 90 70-less than 80 60-less than 70 50-less than 60 40-less than 50 30-less than 40 20-less than 30 less than 20
    Points 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
    Evaluation standard A photocopy of receipt for earned income tax withholding which shows the applicant's total income in the latest year. The original copy must be verified by the applicant's workplace.
  • Extra points criteria Ko
    rea
    Im
    migr
    ati
    on and Integr
    ation
    Prog
    ram
    Annual income tax payment record (unit: million won) Study experience in Korea Volunteer activitiesin Korea Overseas professional work experience
    5
    or
    more
    4-
    less
    than 5
    3-
    less
    than4
    2-
    less
    than3
    1-
    less
    than 2
    Doct
    orate
    de
    ree
    Mas
    ter'
    sde
    gree
    Ba
    ch
    el
    or's
    deg
    ree
    Asso
    ciate
    deg
    ree
    Ko
    rean
    lan
    guage
    tra
    in
    ing
    3
    years
    or more
    2
    -less
    than
    3years
    1
    - less
    than
    2years
    3
    years
    or
    more
    2
    -less
    than
    3years
    1
    - less
    than
    2years
    Points 10 5 4 3 2 1 5 4 3 2 1 5 3 1 5 3 1
    Evalu
    ation stan
    dard
    ∙ Completion of the Korea Immigration and Integration Program: a certificate of completion for social integration program is issued by the head of the jurisdictional immigration office in accordance with the ‘Regulations on Immigrants Social Integration Program and its Management'. (please visit www.kiip.kr for more information.)
    ∙ Record of annual income tax payment: a certificate of last year's tax payment is issued by the National Tax Service.
    ∙ Study experience in Korea: a degree or certificate (for Korean language trainees only), Entry & Exit Information System, International Students Information System
    ∙ Volunteer activities in Korea: a certificate of volunteer activities records is issued by a respective public institution and social group. (Please combine all volunteer activities in the last 3 years. However, your volunteer activities are recognized only if the total period adds up to 50 hours or more and at least six times per year.)
    ∙ Overseas professional work experience: a certificate of work experience is issued by CEO of a respective foreign public institution, group, and company. (However, a working period as a regular employee is recognized only.)
  • Points deduction Punishment (including fines) Illegal Stay
    Applicant Accompanied family or invitee You have an accompanied family member or invitee who is currently an illegal immigrant + who has departed from Korea after 3 months of illegal stay within the past two years.
    Violation of Korean laws twice or 3 million won or more in combined fines Violation of Korean laws once (fines: 1-less than 3 million won) Violation of Korean laws once (fines: less than 1 million won) Violation of Korean laws twice or 3 million won or more in combined fines
    Points -3 -2 -1 -1 -1
    Evaluation standard Criminal Record Check System, Immigration Information System (applied to violations in the past 2 years only)
C. Required Documents
  • ① an application form (Form No. 34), passport, Alien Registration Card, fees
  • ② a certificate of a degree or diploma (for high school graduates only)
  • ③ documents proving your Korean language ability
  • ④ documents proving your income (receipt for earned income tax withholding, etc.)
  • ⑤ an employment contract
  • ⑥ documents proving your family relations (spouse/child)
  • ⑦ a certificate of completion for the Korea Immigration and Integration Program, documents proving income tax payment, volunteer activities records, certificate of work experience and other documents required in the recognition of your extra points stated in the above table (where applicable)
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