Working Holiday Programme (WHP) in South Korea

You’ve been learning Korean, choosing the sights you’d like to visit in Seoul as well as the foods you wish to taste… All you are lacking is your Working Holiday Visa (WHV) for South Korea. Travel under the Working Holiday Programme (WHP) and pay for all the sightseeing by taking up short-term employment. Many countries have signed bilateral reciprocal agreements with South Korea allowing young people to work and live there for up to a year.

How to obtain a Working Holiday Visa for South Korea?

To get a Working Holiday Visa for South Korea (H-1 Visa), you must:

  • be aged between 18 and 30 (25 for some nationalities) on the day you apply to join the WHP,
  • be a citizen of a country which has signed an agreement with South Korea,
  • hold a valid passport,
  • not have already been granted a Working Holiday Visa for South Korea,
  • have sufficient funds to cover expenses at the beginning of the stay and the cost of a return ticket,
  • not be travelling with dependents,
  • have a clean police record,
  • have WHV insurance for the duration of your stay.

Do note there may be additional requirements for the citizens of some of the participating countries.
The Working Holiday Visa for South Korea is valid for a maximum of 12 months and is not renewable.

Applying for a Working Holiday Visa for South Korea

Applications for a WHV for South Korea must be lodged at the closest embassy or consulate of the Republic of Korea. Applications must enclose:

  • the completed application form,
  • the valid passport,
  • a return flight ticket or proof of purchase,
  • proof of sufficient funds,
  • proof of student status,
  • a criminal record check,
  • a schedule an plan of the trip,
  • in some cases: payment of application fee, medical certificate.

South Korean WHV restrictions

The WHP in South Korea encourages tourism: working must not be the main purpose of your stay. Also, there are some employment restrictions. Working Holiday Visa holders may not:

  • work as receptionists, dancers, singers, or acrobats in places of entertainment,
  • work as doctors, lawyers, teachers, pilots, reporters, journalists or researchers.

As for study, a working holidayer may only take Korean language classes.

To find out more about the WHP in South Korea:

Get more information about the application process on Hi Korea e-Government for Foreigner website.
Join the WHP community in South Korea page on Facebook.
Join the WHP community in South Korea page on Twitter.

Date of publication May 2 2012

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