South Korea has introduced a new visa program that allows foreign nationals to live and work remotely in the country for up to two years, while they are employed by companies or clients located outside of South Korea. The visa, officially known as the Workcation Visa (F-1-D), is part of the country’s initiative to attract digital nomads and boost its tourism industry.
The Workcation Visa is valid for one year, with the possibility of renewal for an additional year. Applicants must meet certain requirements, such as earning more than 85 million won ($66,000) in 2023, which is double the country’s gross national income per capita for the previous year. They must also have at least one year of work experience in the same industry, and provide proof of employment or work, pay slip, bank statements, criminal record, and personal medical insurance.
The visa holders can bring their family members, such as spouse and children, and enjoy the benefits of living in South Korea, such as its rich culture, cuisine, and attractions. However, they are strictly prohibited from seeking local employment or engaging in any profit-making activity in the country.
The Workcation Visa was launched on January 1, 2024, as a pilot program, and the authorities will evaluate its effectiveness and feasibility after a trial period. The Ministry of Justice of South Korea stated that the visa aims to “allow high-earning foreigners to stay in Korea’s various regions and vitalize the local economy” and to “showcase our country and our culture”
The Workcation Visa is one of the latest examples of the growing trend of digital nomad visas around the world, as countries seek to attract remote workers and diversify their economies in the post-pandemic era. Some of the other countries that offer similar visas include Estonia, Georgia, Barbados, Croatia, and Portugal.