About Korea > Adoption, Domestic & Overseas

Visa for Ethnic Koreans

Visa for Ethnic Koreans

The F4 visa is for ethnic Koreans with foreign passports and has been issued since December 1999  to what the act refers to as ‘Overseas Koreans’ .

People of Korean descent who are not Korean citizens,  Koreans who were adopted internationally can obtain an F4 visa, which grants them many of the same legal rights as Korean nationals for a maximum of three years, including the right to work without restrictions. Overseas Koreans who can apply for the F4 Visa include persons who

  • emigrated prior to 1948
  • were born in Korean but are now citizens of another country
  • were born of a person born in Korean but now holding citizenship in another country.

An Overseas Korean planning on being in Korean longer than 90 days, should apply for an F4 visa. It is valid for three years and an application for renewal can be made to the local immigration office. It is best to make the application about a month or so before the expiration date.

Documents required to apply for the F4 visa:*

  • Passport, must be valid and should be valid for at least two more years
  • Residence report form for Foreign National Koreans
  • Application form for granting visa
  • Adoption certificate (to be obtained from your Korean adoption agency, issued within the last 3 months)
  • A copy of the Family registry, notarized (to be obtained either at your Korean adoption agency or directly at the district office for those adopted through the Holt agency)
  • 2 current passport pictures
  • Name change document(s) (from Korean to current name) – depending on your nationality the adoption certificate might be ok. For U.S. citizens it is advisable to bring your naturalization paperwork. If you had another name change after you were naturalized in your adoptive country, you also need a document that proves this change. For other countries other documents might be requested, e.g. Einbuergerungszertifikat,Geburtsurkunde (Germany).

* (the above list is from GOA’L – clearer than what is available on Korean government sites)
See GOA'L for more details regarding the F4 visa.

F4 & SOFA: Apparently those who are eligible for F4 Visa status, who also fall under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), are required to choose. They are not eligible for both SOFA and F4 status. 

K4E Editor: Korea4Expats.com 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 info@korea4expats.com.
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.  


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Last Updated on 2021-12-12

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