Work in Korea for Foreigners

While most foreigners first come to Korea as students – international, exchange, or language – the amount of foreigners coming to work in Korea has also been on the rise in the past couple of years. And a good majority of the foreigners working in Korea are indeed working as native English teachers. But what about those coming from countries that speak a different language than English? Is it possible for them to work in Korea as well?

Although getting the job may not be as easy as it is for an English teacher, it is still possible. In this article, we’ll go into more detail about work in Korea for foreigners. However, do bear in mind that there is no one single way for you to land a job in this country. Also note that not every method will work for everyone.


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What Are The Requirements to Work in Korea as a Foreigner?

This is the big question, isn’t it? The truth is, it varies. It depends both on your background, on whichever immigration officer you get that day, and on the specific demands of the companies you’re looking to apply to.

The easiest way to get a non-teaching job as a foreigner is by having an F-series visa. Why is that? Because by having an F-series visa, you no longer need a visa sponsored by the company. This massively broadens your options of companies and job positions to apply to. Unfortunately, getting that visa isn’t exactly a piece of cake. Unless you get married to a Korean person, you usually need to have held onto a job (or several jobs in the same field) for a good while before you can qualify for one. So while it’s the easiest way to get a job in Korea, it’s not an option for newbies.

But while work in Korea for foreigners is more complicated without that F-series visa, it’s not impossible! Perhaps the second easiest way for a foreigner to get a job in Korea is by graduating from a Korean university. You can do this either with bachelor’s or master’s degree. By doing this, not only can you demonstrate that you’re already familiar with the country’s culture and language to a degree, but the immigration will also be more lax on what kind of jobs you are qualified to apply for. In other words, you’re not strictly limited to only get a job directly in the field of your university degree. The only main restriction is that the company absolutely has to be able to provide you with visa sponsorship. If they can prove that a Korean can’t do the job, they’ll be able to.


Unfortunately, for those new to Korea, it is trickier to land a job. Perhaps the best way to go about it would be to find a company in your own country with branches in Korea. Otherwise immigration will require the job position to be in the field of your degree with prior working experience. You will also need to have a few years worth of job experience in that field before you’ll qualify for the work visa.

Knowing how to speak Korean will also help you tremendously. Though, do note (and perhaps take a sigh of relief), that most of the companies open to visa sponsorships for foreign employees are looking specifically for those that are fluent in languages other than Korean.



How To Find The Job?

Now it’s time to lay out some methods through which you can get started on your job hunt. One of the quickest ways to find many companies at once is by attending a job fair. There are two main ones arranged every fall. One is for foreign residents in Korea, and one specifically for international students in Korea.

Besides that, along with networking, there are also several websites out there through which you can find and apply to jobs. Here are a few great examples:


Craigslist – This is a hit or miss type of a job portal. However, the job advertisements are usually in English and the employees sought after are definitely foreigners. It may not be where you find your dream job through, but it’s likely the least intimidating site to start with.

Saramin and JobKorea – Now, these two sites are entirely in Korean so they may be rather terrifying to navigate through at first. However, they are also main job portals for Koreans themselves to find a job, and there are plenty of jobs from different fields posted where they are looking for foreign language speakers.

PeopleNJob – It is said to be the best job portal to find a job in Korea for foreigners. It looks overwhelming at first glance, but you’ll be relieved to know that there is also an ample amount of jobs on there posted in English.

JobSee.Kr – Unfortunately, not that many jobs are posted here. However, you’ll be able to quickly decide whether the job is worth pursuing due to the formatting of the site.

LinkedIn – Unlike the other portals listed here, this is the main place from where you can find all the big foreign companies looking for employees in their Korean branches. Companies are posting job ads all the time and you can get notifications right in your phone, too!


Good luck with your job hunt! Do you know of great ways to find a job in Korea? Let us know in the comments below!


Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

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