Guidelines on Employment for International Students in Korea

A. For Enrolled Students

Part-time job

If you are a Student (D-2) visa or Language Trainee (D-4-1 or D-4-7) visa holder and confirmed by the person-in-charge of the international students of your school, you may apply for a part-time job permit to the immigration (branch) office and engage in the job once granted the permit.

Part-time Work for International Students

A. Ground Rule
  • >General regulations: In general, part-time work is limited to activities commonly done by students (such as low-skilled labor)
B. Eligible Individuals
  • >Individuals with Student (D-2) or Language training (D-4-1, D-4-7) status who possess a certain level of Korean proficiency and have received permission from a school official

    Foreign language learners can hold a part part-time job 6 months after entering the country (for those entering on a visa), or 6 months after changing their visa status to D-4. Elementary, middle, and high school students receiving language training are not allow to have a part-time job despite holding a D-4 visa (possible for expected graduates).

C. Approved activities
<Organized according to Korean language ability and working hours allowed per type of degree>
Type of
Year in
Korean language
When you are
allowed to
start working
Working Hour Limit Increased weekday working hour limit for certified schools
Weekdays Weekend, during school breaks
Language training program N/A Before ’18.10.1. After 6 months 20 hours 25 hours
Level 2 X After 6 months 10 hours 10 hours
O After 6 months 20 hours 25 hours
Associate degree program N/A Before ’18.10.1. No limitations 20 hours 25 hours
Level 3 X No limitations 10 hours 10 hours
O No limitations 20 hours 25 hours
Bachelor's degree program Year
Before ’18.10.1. No limitations 20 hours No limit 25 hours
Level 3 X No limitations 10 hours 10 hours
O No limitations 20 hours No limit 25 hours
Before ’18.10.1. No limitations 20 hours No limit 25 hours
Level 4 X No limitations 10 hours 10 hours
O No limitations 20 hours No limit 25 hours
Master’s/ Doctoral program N/A Before ’18.10.1. No limitations 30 hours No limit 35 hours
Level 4 X No limitations 15 hours 15 hours
O No limitations 30 hours No limit 35 hours

※ English track programs: regardless of an individual’s year in the program, they must possess a score of TOEFL 530 (CBT 197, iBT 71), IELTS 5.5, CEFR B2, TEPS 600 or above. Individuals from English-speaking countries are not required to provide proof of English ability.

D. Required Documents
  • - Passport, foreigner registration card, application form
  • - Recommendation letter for part-time employment, transcript or record of attendance (may be substituted with FIMS verification), document proving Korean language ability
E. Special circumstances exempt from needing to receive part-time work permission
  • >Any type of temporary reward, prize money or other type of compensation used towards daily living expenses that is consistent with your purpose of stay as a student is exempt from requiring permission for part-time work.
F. Penalty for working without prior permission
  • >In the event of being caught working in the construction industry, even for the first offence, the offender will be ordered to leave the country within 30 days with no exception (reentry will also be suspended).
  • >In the event that an individual violates the rules for permission for part-time work and receives a fine or noticed disposition, limitations will be placed on their ability to switch to a job seeker (D-10) visa.
G. Job Seeker (D-10) Visa
  • >When student (D-2) visa holders change to a job seeker (D-10) visa
  • (1) Eligible individuals
    ❍ Foreigners with at least a bachelor’s degree (including domestic technical colleges) who are looking for a job corresponding to E-1 through E-7 visa status as per attached chart 1 in the Immigration Control Act Enforcement Ordinance
    ※However, for artistic employment (E-6) visas, hotel and adult entertainment (E-6-2) is excluded from eligibility. Among E-7 visas, individuals seeking skilled work jobs and semi-professional employment cannot apply from abroad.
    ❍ Point system requirement: In accordance with the attached job seeker visa point system chart, out of the total 180 points, eligible candidates must score a total of 60 points and receive at least 20 points in the basic requirements section.
    ❍ Major and career: Visa issuance will be approved when the applicant meets all requirements and the type of work they desire corresponds with their major and approved types of work.
    * Beyond the prescribed required documents, judging from submitted documents proving the person to be an outstanding individual (i.e. news reports, recommendation letter from an institution), the director of diplomatic missions abroad can issue a visa according to their discretion
    (2) Maximum length of period of sojourn per visa issuance: 6 months
    (3) Limits to eligibility
    ❍ Violators of the law: Those who in the past year have been ordered back to their country for violating the Immigration Act. Also, those who have received a total of 2 million won or more in fines and noticed dispositions* are not eligible.
    * However, if your entry to the country has not been subject to regulation and you are scheduled to serve as an intern at the invitation of a company, you can be issued a job seeker visa one time (those holding a D-10 visa for the purpose of an internship may not hold this status for over a year).
    - Individuals who work illegally while in Korea, partake in activities outside the scope of their sojourn status, violate the part-time work regulations, or otherwise violate the Immigration Act are ineligible to apply for point system job seeker (D-10-1) visa status.
    * Criteria for exclusion: record of paying a fine or penalty of 400,000won or more for violating Immigration Act while in Korea
    ❍ Preventing system abuses: in order to prevent imprudent use of the D-10 visa, in the following cases visa issuance will be denied
    - Cases where in the past year the applicant has stayed on a D-10 visa for more than 6 months
    * However, if and you are scheduled to serve as an intern at the invitation of a company, a D-10 visa may be issued one time (a D-10 visa for the purpose of serving as an intern may not exceed 1 year).
    (4) Required documents
    ❍ General documents: application, photo, copy of passport, fee, copy of foreigner registration card
    ❍ Plan for seeking employment
    ❍ Diploma
    - graduates of technical college or above in Korea: certificate of degree*
    * When verifiable through immigration information system (foreign student information system), this form is exempt
    - For graduates of one of the world’s best universities: certificate of degree*
    * Submit 1 of the following: certificate of expected graduation, diploma, or certificate of degree attainment
    ❍ Proof of career (if applicable)
    ❍ Proof of training activities in Korea (if applicable)
    ※ Individual who completed research activities at research institute: completion certificate
    ※ Individual who completed training activities as training institute: completion certificate
    ※ Exchange student: Proof of exchange student’s work experience signed by dean of university
    ❍ Proof of Korean language proficiency (if applicable)
    ❍ Letter of recommendation for employment (if applicable)
    * certificate of degree, proof of work experience, recommendation letter from related organization or related supporting evidence (i.e. winning a large domestic or international contest, related news coverage)
    ❍ Proof of being a high-earning professional (if applicable)
    ❍ Proof of financial ability to support oneself (when transferring to D-10 visa from D-2 visa for first time, this is exempt)
    ※ Additional required documents can be demanded on a case by case basis
    (5) Application tip
    • When your status changes (or is expected to change), immediately apply at the office in the jurisdiction of your place of residence.
Last modified : 2020-08-26