H-1 Visa - Working Holiday
This will be my final post about Visas, and requirements for each Visa type in Korea.
Following details are referenced from "Visa Instruction Guide" by the Ministry of Justice, Korean Immigration Service
Range of Activities: Tourism Employment
Eligible Applicants: You are a citizen of a country that has signed an agreement or memorandum of understanding on working holiday with the Republic of Korea, visiting the country for the main purpose of tourism while planning to temporarily work to secure tourism expenses
Maximum Length of Stay: Period of stay in accordance with an agreement
Visas Issued at the Discretion of the Chief of Mission
1. Where to Apply
Diplomatic missions with jurisdiction over a country which signed the agreement with the Republic of Korea
However, nationals of Austria can apply for a visa to the Embassy of Austria in Japan and China, Consulate General of Austria in Shanghai and Hongkong, and the Austrian mission in Taipei in accordance with the agreement
2. Visa Type
Multiple-entry visas with 1 year of period of stay and 1 year of validity period
Exceptions: Hongkong (multiple-entry visas with 1 year-period of stay and 3 month-validity period), Austria (multiple-entry visas with 6 month-period of stay and 1 year-validity period), Portugal (multiple-entry visas with 3 month-period of stay and 1 year-validity period)
3. Korea-U.S. WEST Program
(Eligible Applicants) Undergraduates or recent graduates* of universities
* The period after graduation must not exceed 1 year.
(Conditions) Accompanying dependant family members is not allowed
(Visa Type) Multiple-entry visas with a period of stay of 1 year and a half and a validity period of 1 year and a half (2,000 persons per year)
(Conditions for Issuance) U.S. citizens who do not accompany dependant family members.
*A criminal record certificate, medical examination and medical insurance are not required.
(Reference) Visas must be renewed every five years (effective as of 1 Nov. 2013)
4. Required Documents
Visa application, photograph,
passport, application fees
Application fees are exempted for nationals of Japan, France, Hongkong and Chile (Nationals of Australia are required to pay 392 dollars as of Apr. 1, 2015 according to reciprocity).
Criminal record certificate
Italy, Israel, Portugal, Belgium, Taiwan, New
Zealand, France, Ireland, the Czech Republic,
Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands
Medical examination report
Submitted or only specific diseases are
examined according to reciprocity
Except for Australia, Japan and the U.K.
* A medical insurance product that guarantees 40
million KRW or over is recommended but the
head of diplomatic missions can apply it
differently based on reciprocity.
Round-trip ticket and documents
such as a certificate of deposit
balance that prove your financial
ability to stay in Korea for a certain
period of time (3 months)
Certificate of Enrollment or a
certificate proving your final level of
Based on reciprocity:
* These documents are not required in principle as
specific regulations are not set out in the
Other documents such as a travel
schedule and activity plan
* A brief plan is acceptable and if the plan is
confirmed through a phone interview, it can be
1. Visa Application Form (form #17), Passport, One Standard Size Photograph, Fee
2. Round-trip ticket
3. Financial documents such as a Bank Account Balance Statement, which can prove that you are capable of supporting yourself during your stay in Korea for at least 3 months.
4. Travel Schedule and Activity Plan
5. Documents proving that you have a medical insurance that guarantees your return to your country and medical treatment during your stay in Korea (for Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan, Hong Kong, France, Czech only)
6. Proof of enrollment or certificate of graduation from your final school (the principle of reciprocity will be applied.)
7. Criminal Records (for Hong Kong, Denmark, Taiwan, New Zealand, France, Ireland, Czech, Austria, Hungary only)
8. Health Check-Up Results (the principle of reciprocity will be applied.)
※ The head of a diplomatic mission abroad may ask additional documents in order to examine the purpose of entry, genuineness of the invitation, and the qualifications of the inviter and the invitee.
Eligibility for the Visa Issuance Confirmation: Not eligible for a Confirmation of Visa Issuance
Eligible Applicants for H-1 Working Holiday visas
- You are a young, healthy and good citizen of a country which has signed a bilateral working holiday agreement with the Republic of Korea or which has exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding, declared a joint statement, or exchanged a diplomatic note while meeting following criteria.
* There are currently 16 participants for Working Holiday Programs (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan, Czech, the U.S., the U.K., Austria, Hungary)
1. You are age 18-30. (Nonetheless, Australian citizens must be 25 years old or less, American citizens must be university students or university graduates)
2. You have a valid passport, round-trip tickets and financial expenses that can afford your early period of stay while you are coming to Korea for the purpose of tourism mainly.
3. You do not have dependents who are accompanying you.
4. You have no past experiences in the Working Holiday Program (for France, Germany, Denmark, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the UK only)
5. You are healthy
6. You have no criminal history (for Hong Kong, Denmark, Taiwan, New Zealand, France, Ireland, Czech, Austria, Hungary only)
Those who are not eligible for H-1 Working Holiday visas.
- Those who meet following criteria will be excluded from eligible applicants for the Working Holiday Program.
1. You want to work as a Receptionist, Dancer, Singer, Musician, Acrobat at an adult entertainment establishment.
2. You want to get a professional job which requires certain qualifications (Doctor, Lawyer, Professor, Pilot, Foreign Language Instructor, etc.)
3. You want to focus all your energy on employment rather than tourim after the entry (Although there is no limitation on working at a same place for a long time, based on a principle of reciprocity, Hong Kong nationals are prohibited from working in the same place for more than 6 months.)
4. You want to engage in journalism or political activities which are not suitable for the purposes of the agreement.
Nationals of the countries with a valid passport
*Refugees recognized by the countries, stateless persons and permanent residence holders are not eligible applicants as they are not nationals of the countries.
- The submitted documents and passport will be verified (and checked through relevant organizations in the countries if necessary)
Persons aged between 18 and 30 at the time of visa application
* In the case of Australia, Canada and Japan, the age limit is extended up to 30 as apposed to 25 on the agreement according to reciprocity.
Persons without criminal record
- If a person was sentenced to pay a fine of 3 million KRW or more and it was confirmed, a visa will not be granted. (It is restricted to nationals of countries that are required to submit a criminal record certificate.)
* However, if there is a considerable ground to extenuate a crime including criminal negligence, a visa can be issued through diplomatic missions.
- If a person had departed from Korea after getting a departure or deportation order due to violation of the Immigration Control Act, Municipal Law, etc., a visa will not be granted. Persons in good health (according to reciprocity)
- Applicants' health status will be judged according to the specific requirements for each country
* Hospitals can be designated for medical examinations.
- While the head of diplomatic missions may exempt medical examinations, etc. for the nationals of a country not affected by any specific requirements, applicants who have purchased a medical insurance product that is effective in Korea are deemed to be in good health.
* If a medical examination is required for the nationals of a certain country due to an outbreak of communicable diseases, etc in the country, the head of diplomatic missions may not grant a visa according to the result of the medical examination.
≪ Medical Examination Requirements by Countries≫
(except for 3 countries whose agreement with Korea has not come into effect)
Test for tuberculosis
The Netherlands, the U.K.
Basic Examination: X-ray
- Additional examinations when requested by consuls: a urine and blood test
Australia, Canada, New Zealand,
Proof of good health
No specific requirements (including the
case with no documents required to be
Austria, Ireland, Denmark, Germany,
Spain, Italy, Japan, the Czech Republic,
Portugal, Hungary, Hongkong
Persons with a medical insurance product (according to reciprocity)
Persons who have purchased a medical insurance product, etc. that guarantees 40 million KRW or more (for the purpose of medical treatment and repatriation)
* A medical insurance product that guarantees 40 million KRW or more is recommended but the head
of diplomatic missions can apply it differently based on reciprocity.
Persons who do not accompany dependant family members, etc.
Persons who have not participated in working holiday programs
- Exceptions: Canada, Ireland and Sweden
* While this requirement is not set out in the agreement with Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, the countries apply it for Korean nationals. Therefore, it is applied as well for the nationals of the countries according to reciprocity.
Persons with financial ability to cover living expenses, etc. in Korea
- Round-trip ticket* and documents** such as a certificate for deposit balance that prove your financial ability to stay in Korea for a certain period of time (3 months)
* A person who can proves a deposit balance equivalent to a round-trip ticket price may be granted a visa even without a round-trip ticket.
** The minium requirement for deposit balance can be changed according to the decisions of each diplomatic mission but normally, a visa is granted to persons with deposit balance of 3 million KRW or more for living expenses (Minimum requirement standards for deposit balance can be changed based on reciprocity by referring to 【Table 1】)
Persons with the main purpose of tourism
- (Standards) A visa may not be granted to persons who fully engage in employment or academic activities
- (Academic Activities) Academic activities such as enrollment in a private academy (hagwon) and language training course are allowed but studying in a regular academic course that falls under D-2 student visa activities is not allowed.
《Countries Affected by Limited Period of Academic Activities》
3 months (Canada), 4 months (Australia), 6 months (Ireland, Denmark, Hongkong, Israel, Belgium, Austria)
* A visa is not granted to the persons who plan to engage in activities irrelevant to the purpose of the agreement such as news coverage, political activities, etc.