Drastically simplified immigration, exit and naturalization processes for foreigners start Monday to help outstanding foreign workers settle in Korea.
Companies seeking to invite foreign researchers or language instructors can make visa applications online around the clock all year round if they register with the government website (www.visa.go.kr) without having to visit the Immigration Office.
Under the new policy, foreign professionals who have been staying in the country on a E-1-E-5 or E-7 visa will be given an F-2 residence visa if they meet certain criteria according to individual points they acquire based on academic background and income. They will be given a permanent F-5 residence visa if there are no reasons for disqualification for three years.
Jeju island will trial immigration through investment in real estate, giving foreign nationals the right to stay there if they invest more than US$500,000 in a holiday home on the island. They will be given permanent residence if there are no reasons for disqualification for five years.
Issue of re-entry permits for foreigners married to Koreans and foreign students will also be simplified so they can freely travel between Korea and their home countries during their stay here. They can apply for unlimited readmission on the immigration website (www.immigration.go.kr) without having to visit the office and fees of W30,000-W50,000 (US$1=W1,157) will be waived.