Korean Working Holiday Agreements
What are Working Holiday Visas?
A wonderful way to travel for an extended period of time is through working holiday visa programs. Working holiday visas are agreements made between two governments that allow young citizens (usually between the ages of 18 to 30 or 35) to visit each other’s country. Countries sign pacts as a way of cultural exchange. It improves relations and gives young people a chance to broaden their horizons. Working holidays are an opportunity to learn about another place in great detail. This visa allows the holder to live and work without a job sponsorship visa. It is usually 12 months or more which is much longer than short tourist visas (usually only a few months).
Korea is on board with working holiday visas. Currently, Korea has the same agreement with 12 countries. All visas are for 12 months except for the United States which has an 18 month long agreement. The working holiday visa in Korea is the H-1 Visa.
Visa Application Procedure
All visas must be applied for through the Korean embassy/consulate in your home country. You need to bring all the required documents and you must have the visa in your passport before you leave your country.
Check the Embassy/Consulate websites for more information on the extra procedure. Each country differs slightly.
Documents Required to Apply for the H-1 Visa
à Tip: Get your criminal background check done as soon as possible. In many countries, it can take up to one month.
Arrival in Korea
Once you arrive in Korea you have 90 days (three months) to go to Korean immigration to register for your Alien Registration Card (ARC). This card will allow you to open a bank account, get a phone, and book tickets for transportation and entertainment. It is imperative that you have your ARC while living in Korea and you must turn it in when you depart from Korea.
à Bring: your passport, the completed application visa form (found at immigration) and the visa processing fee (10,000KRW- possibly more) when you arrive in Korea.
You can also make reservations for an appointment at immigration so you won’t have to wait in the long lines. If you need more information about your Korean H-1 visa or about the process once you arrive in Korea, please call or check the website.
Phone: 1345, press 3 for English
Major Immigration Offices
Seoul Regional Headquarters
Google maps: Click here
Sejongno Branch Office
-Working Holiday Agreements
-visa application process
-working in Korea
-countries with a working holiday agreement
PHOTO CREDIT: YHA AUSTRAILIA
Lindsey lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea for over 5 years. While there, she dabbled in different areas of work and explored the culture. She spent time teaching elementary students, business English to adults and high school students about college preparation. She also studied Korean, wrote blogs and tasted as many foods as she possibly could including fermented skate fish. Over the years, Lindsey developed a love for Korea and the culture. She is keen to share her knowledge of Korea with others and she will always consider Korea a second home.