Employ Candidates Compliantly in South Korea

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  1. Overview: South Korea
  2. Global HR Compliance
  3. Global PEO and payroll
  4. Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
  5. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
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Immigration support for hiring expats in South Korea via a PEO

If your business objectives are related to hiring expatriate personnel in South Korea, there are some things you need to consider. Among them are:

  1. the peculiarities of immigration procedure in the country
  2. documents required to get a work permit
  3. in-country employment and payroll for foreign citizens after visa has been issued.

Given the fact that expats are often sent abroad for short-term projects, many companies often opt for no entity hiring. This means companies look for simpler, more cost-effective options versus onboarding and paying expats through their own local subsidiaries

For companies hiring and paying expats overseas and particularly in South Korea, a global PEO with work permit support as part of the service might be a viable alternative to incorporation in the country. A PEO service company will walk you and your expats through every step of immigration procedure in South Korea. After the work permit or visa have been received, a PEO provider would officially onboard and payroll your expats in a foreign country on your behalf.

Acumen International has been hiring and payrolling our clients’ expatriates in South Korea both short- and long-term. If you need to legally hire and pay the expatriates in South Korea, we can help you. Regardless of business objectives and timelines, Acumen International can arrange end-to-end work permit support for hiring your expats in full legal compliance with local labor legislation after the permit documents have been issued.

Acumen’s ‘work permit and hiring expats through a Global PEO’ solution is designed for:

  1. employer companies like yourself that want to relocate the selected expats to South Korea
  2. individuals that have an employer that is ready to finance their immigration and foreign employment in the country
  3. the service is mainly used by companies hiring highly skilled personnel that they send abroad to fill some top positions in South Korea.

Note: Having a single provider that would sponsor a work permit or visa on your behalf and then employs expats in South Korea, minimizes risks of visa rejection. In addition, it takes the hassle associated with immigration procedure off your head.

Unlike other global Professional Employer Organizations, Acumen International can provide extra benefits in addition to work permit received for further employment of expats in South Korea. This includes medical insurance, housing, office rent, mobile phone and car provision to meet-and-greet, dependents relocation, etc.

Attention: we are not an immigration service! We do not provide a work permit and immigration support as a standalone solution to individuals willing to find jobs overseas.

Estimated time for work permit issuance

Typically, the procedure of work permit issuance in South Korea takes from 3 weeks to 1 month until entry to South Korea, and a further 2 weeks to 1 month before the entire process is completed.


Major steps to get a work permit in South Korea

  1. E7 Visa Approval Application
  2. E-7 Visa Consular Application
  3. Entry to Korea
  4. Alien Registration Card Application

Documents for work permit in South Korea, main applicant

Name Notes Copies
Resume/CV (5 years) Showing relevant professional experience and education for at least the last five years. One clear copy
1 Passport Photograph 3.5cm x 4.5cm 3.5cm x 4.5cm, in color, resolution minimum 600 dpi. The photograph should be of an appropriate quality for biometric processing. Face forward, mouth closed, eyes open. One original
Copy of Passport Information Page valid for 12 months One clear copy
Confirmation of Addresses Confirmation of home country address and Korean residential address One clear copy
Recommendation Letter or License (if required) Obtained from the Korean professional organization relevant to the Immigration Department’s occupational code which best matches the applicant’s job. One original
Passport valid for 12 months minimum With at least 2 blank visa pages One original
Visa Application Form (Korea) One original
Visa Application Fee Varies depending on nationality and currency exchange rate. One original
Certificate of Health (Consular) Nationals of high TB-burden countries who are also resident in any of these countries (Nepal, East Timor, Russia, Malaysia, Mongol, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, India, Indonesia, China, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, Pakistan, Philippines) must submit a “Certificate of Health”, including TB test result, issued by a designated hospital when applying for a long-term visa (more than 90 days) at a diplomatic mission. Children aged 5 years and under are exempt from this requirement. One original
Power of Attorney (personal) If using an agent or representative to make the application as a third party. One original

If you need to have your expat personnel legally work for you in South Korea without having to set up your own business entity for that, trust us to assist you with work permit and immigration support, and then employ your expats locally on your behalf.

Contact our team to let us take up your foreign employees’ immigration matters and relieve you of the responsibility of getting work permit by working with our local partners to organize and obtain all the necessary permits, as well as provide you with a detailed update on the progress of the process.

Call us for more information about how you can get a work permit for your expatriate staff and employ them through Acumen International in South Korea.

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