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Applying for the Point-Based (F-2-7) Residency Visa in South Korea

Updated on July 22, 2014

Applying for Residency in South Korea

Some foreigners who decide to live in South Korea in the midterm, about three to five years, may be looking to change their current work visa. It would be easy just to marry a Korean man or woman and then apply for a marriage visa in order to stay in the country longer; but most people may not have that option available to them. For the last few years, the South Korean government created a point-based visa for foreign nationals who are interested in applying for residency in South Korea. Here are some things that will be addressed about this visa:

Who can qualify?

What are the advantages of obtaining it?

What is the breakdown of points?

How can someone lose points?

All of the information provide is accurate as of May 1st, 2013.

Who qualifies for the F-2-7 Visa?

You must have held one of the following visas for at least one full year:

E-1 Professorship

E-2 Foreign Language Instructor

E-3 Research

E-4 Technology Transfer

E-5 Professional Employment

*E-6 Arts & Performances

E-7 Special Occupation

**D-2 Study Abroad

D-5 Journalism

D-6 Religious Affairs

D-7 Supervisory Intra-Company Transfer

D-8 Corporate Investment

D-9 Trade Management

**D-10 Jobs Seeking

*If you are on an E-6 visa, but work in a hotel and adult entertainment establishment as an entertainer, South Korean immigration does not consider it as professional labor.

**For those who have a D-2 or D-10 visa, those who have an advanced degree (master's degree and higher) and can get confirmation about doing jobs from domestic companies are considered as professional labor.

Advantages of the F-2-7

So, what are some of the benefits for owning an F2-7 visa:

*You own your visa, not your boss.

*You can apply for non-teaching jobs.

*You are eligible to apply for permanent residency (F-5) after three years of holding an F2-7 visa.

*Less paperwork when applying for another job.

*You don't have to leave the country in-between contracts.

What is the breakdown of points?

To receive the F-2-7 visa, an applicant must get 80 out of a possible 120 points. 90 of the 120 points come from standardized category, while the remaining 30 points are from extra points applicant can get.

Standardized Criteria:

Age (25 point max)

Education (35 point max)

Korean Language (20 point max)

Current Income (10 point max)

Extra Points:

Korean Social and Integration Program (10 point max)

Annual Income Tax Payment Report (5 point max)

Study Abroad Experience in South Korea (5 point max)

Domestic Volunteer Experience (5 point max)

Professional Experience Abroad (5 point max)

So, here is how the points for each category breaks down to:

Age:

Age 18-24: 20 points

Age 25-29: 23 points

Age 30-34: 25 points

Age 35-39: 23 points

Age 40-44: 20 points

Age 45-50: 18 points

Age 51 or older: 15 points

Level of Education:

Doctorate Degree

Science and Engineering/you need 2 or more degrees for other (Arts, Humanities) majors: 35 points

Arts and Humanities: 33 points

Master's Degree

Science and Engineering/you need 2 or more degrees for other (Arts, Humanities) majors: 32 points

Arts and Humanities: 30 points

Bachelor's Degree

Science and Engineering/you need 2 or more degrees for other (Arts, Humanities) majors: 28 points

Arts and Humanities: 26 points

Associate Degree

Science and Engineering/you need 2 or more degrees for other (Arts, Humanities) majors: 25 points

Arts and Humanities: 23 points

High School: 15 points

Korean Language Ability:

*Grade 6: 20 points

*Grade 5: 18 points

*Grade 4: 16 points

*Grade 3: 14 points

*Grade 2: 12 points

*Grade 1: 10 points

*Based on the Standard-Test of Proficiency in Korean (S-TOPIK) report card

Current Income Level:

100 million won or more: 10 points

90 million won - 100 million won: 9 points

80 million won - 90 million won: 8 points

70 million won - 80 million won: 7 points

60 million won - 70 million won: 6 points

50 million won - 60 million won: 5 points

40 million won - 50 million won: 4 points

30 million won - 40 million won: 3 points

20 million won - 30 million won: 2 points

20 million won or less: 1 point

For the extra points...

Korean Social and Integration Program: 10 points

Income Tax Report:

500 million won or more: 5 points

400 million won - 500 million won: 4 points

300 million won - 400 million won: 3 points

200 million won - 300 million won: 2 points

Less than 100 million won - 200 million won: 1 point

Study Abroad Experience in South Korea:

Doctorate Degree: 5 points

Master's Degree: 4 points

Bachelors Degree: 3 points

Associate Degree: 2 points

*Korean Language Training: 1 point

*Must have been taken at a university Korean language program.

Domestic Volunteer Experience:

Three years or more: 5 points

Two to three years: 3 points

More than one year/Less than two years: 1 point

*Professional Experience Abroad:

Three years or more: 5 points

Two to three years: 3 points

More than one year/Less than two years: 1 point

*Must get a certificate of your professional work experience from the company owner or CEO.

How can someone lose points?

A person can lose points based on:

**Illegal stays within the country

-1: Among accompanied family members or invitees, one is a current illegal immigrant + A person who has departed the ROK after 3 months of illegal staying in the Republic of Korea within the past two years.

**Punishments including fines

For applicants

-3: Violated Korean laws twice or fine is combined total 300 million won or more.

-2: Violated Korean laws once and fine is more than 100 million won, but less than 300 million won.

-1: Violated Korean laws once and fine is less than 100 million won.

For accompanied family or invitee

-1: Violated Korean laws twice or fine is combined total 300 million won or more

Useful Links

For information about the Social Integration Program: www.socinet.go.kr (Site is in Korean)

For information about TOPIK: www.topik.go.kr (Site is in Korean, English, Mandarin, and Japanese)

For information regarding immigration regulations and policies: www.immigration.go.kr

For information about visas and application process: www.hikorea.go.kr

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