Dubai: If you are a UAE-based worker, who has the option of working remotely, how about enjoying the sights, sounds and culture of South Korea?
On December 29, 2023, South Korea’s Ministry of Justice announced that it was starting the pilot phase of the ‘Digital Nomad’ visa or workcation visa for overseas remote workers, allowing them to stay long-term in Korea. The Ministry said that it will start issuing these visas from January 1, 2024.
“Through the introduction of the digital nomad visa, it is expected that high-income foreigners will stay in various parts of the country and will stimulate the local economy, and it will be an opportunity for us to showcase our country and our culture,” the Ministry said in a statement.
Not only does the visa allow you to live in Korea while you work for your existing company, you can also sponsor your spouse and children to Korea with the visa.
Here is all you need to know.
Who can get the digital nomad visa?
1. You must be employed with an overseas company: Foreigners belonging to overseas companies who can work remotely and who have worked in the same industry for more than one year and their family members.
2. Age requirements: You must be at least 18 years old.
3. Experience: You must and have worked in your current field for at least a year.
4. Income requirements: Your salary should be at least 7.08 million won per month or approximately Dh20,000 per month.
5. You need to sign up for medical insurance: It is necessary to purchase personal medical insurance with coverage of at least KRW 100 million (Dh280,606.47).
Restrictions on working in Korea
Digital nomad visa holders are strictly restricted from domestic employment in order to protect the Korean domestic market, and they must obtain a separate employment visa for domestic employment.
How long is the visa valid for?
The visa will allow foreigners to work remotely in Korea for a company abroad for one year. Visa holders can extend their stay for another year, staying in Korea for up to two years.
You will be required to submit the following documents when applying for the visa:
• Visa issuance application form (Form No. 17)
• One standard size photo
• Proof of income, such as employment certificate, salary statement, account transaction details, etc.
• Criminal record certificate
• Certificate of private health insurance subscription
• Proof of family relationship (if accompanied by family)
How can I apply for the visa?
According to the Ministry’s official release announcing the visa, those who wish to obtain it can apply via Korean embassies in their respective country.
Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Dubai
Villa #12, Street 29b, Jumeirah 2, Dubai (P.O. Box 126127)
Tel : 04 344 9200
Hours of Operation: 8.30am – 5pm (Monday to Thursday), 8am to 1pm (Friday)
Foreigners currently in Korea with a short-term tourist visa such as the B-1, B-2 and C-3 can transition into the workcation visa if they meet all the requirements.