Moving to Korea > Immigration and Visas

Long-Term Residency F-2 Visa Point System

Long-Term Residency F-2 Vi...

In January 2010, the Ministry of Justice announced a new program through which some foreign national 'professionals'  may be eligible to change their visa status to that of F2 (long-term resident status).

Eligible visa categories:
The government has created a point system under which certain professionals
(Visa: E-1 Professor, E-2 Foreign language instructor, E-3 Researcher, E-4 Technology expert, E-5 Professional, E-6 Artist and Entertainer*, E-7  Specially designated activities, D-2 International student**, D-5 Press, D-6 Religious practicioner, D-7 Intra-company transferee, D-8 Business Investor, D-9 Trade company manager,  D-10 Job seeker** under the Attached Table 1 of the Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act) who have resided in Korea for one (1) year or longer may be eligible to get an F-2 visa. Points are given in different categories including things like age, income, academic credentials, income, social integration and Korean language ability.

*Excludes those E-6 visa holders working for hotel and entertainment establishments (E-6-2 visas)
**Limited to D-2 or D-10 visa holders who have earned a master's degree or higher in domestic universities (graduate-to-be included) and who are confirmed hires of domestic companies.

Advantages of an F-2 (residence ) visa status for professionals:
- The spouse and child/children of professionals acquiring the F-2 visa status through the point system also obtain residence status.
- Residence status allows the visa holder to engage in a wider range of employement activities.
- F-2 visa holders are exempted from having to bring 100million won (equivalence in foreign currency) into Korea in order to start a business.
- The maximum period of stay per visa issuance may be up to three (3) years.
- A person remaining in Korea for 3 years after receiving her/his F-2 visa status through the Point System, is eligible to apply for permanent (F-5) visa status.
There is no alternative method (aside from the aforementioned point system) to obtain an F-2 visa without marrying a Korean or F-5 visa holder.

To get the F-2 visa, you must:
- have had an eligible visa status and resided in Korea for  one year or more before applying
- reach at least 80 points out of a possible 120.

Summary of the point system (see attached table for details):
1. Age (points vary depending on age-group - in this instance older is not necessarily better)
2. Income (higher income brackets earn more points)
3.  Academic credentials (if your degree was obtained at a Korean university, it is worth extra points)
4. Korean ability (have to take the S-TOPIK (test) - level achieved determines number of points)
5. Volunteer activity (proof is required - points assigned based upon length of time given)
6. You can earn extra points for completing the Social Integration Program run by Immigration Services - developed in part for foreign spouses of Korean nationals (website in Korean only).

Each application may be assessed on its own merits, on a "case-by-case basis", by Ministry of Justice officials. 

To find out more, E-series visa holders can contact immigration directly at (02)1345. The program went into effect on 01 February 2010 with an update in September 2011.

NOTE:  You may have to use Internet Explorer to access  some Korean Government websites. 
Hi-Korea On their homepage, click on Announcements (right-most option of dark blue header ), then click on Notices (left-most menu item).




   K4E Editor: tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at Source of above information: ⇨ Information ⇨ News Release  ⇨ No. 67
Please note that government regulations and proceedures may have changed from what has been described above or may not apply in all situations/cases. K4E recommends that you check with the appropriate government office and/or officials prior to going forward. 

Photo of Dongdaemun (East Gate) at night by  AJ Crabb.

Last Updated on 2017-06-27

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