South Korea Digital Nomad Visa: Work and Wander with Ease

By Yogi



Welcome to the exciting world of digital nomadism in South Korea, a country that has embraced the burgeoning trend of remote work with the introduction of the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa.

This innovative visa program is a testament to South Korea's commitment to revitalizing its local economy and showcasing its rich culture and picturesque landscapes to the global workforce.

Digital Nomad Guide to Seoul (Korea): Embark On A New Life

As the “workcation” lifestyle gains momentum, South Korea positions itself as an ideal destination for professionals seeking to blend productivity with exploration.


Understanding the nuances of the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa is essential for those looking to take advantage of this unique opportunity. The visa serves as a gateway for remote workers to legally reside in South Korea while engaging with their global clientele or employer.

With the government's initiative to assess the program's long-term viability, this test run phase is a critical moment for digital nomads to experience the perks of living and working in one of Asia's most dynamic countries.

What is the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa?

 What is the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa? The South Korea Digital Nomad Visa, launched on January 1, is a forward-thinking initiative designed to attract remote workers who can contribute to the local economy without displacing domestic employment. It's a strategic move by the South Korean government to not only diversify its tourism but also to integrate the international remote workforce into its vibrant society.

Eligible applicants can enjoy an extended stay of up to two years, immersing themselves in the Korean way of life while maintaining their overseas professional commitments.

Setting a high bar for applicants, the visa targets proficient earners with a minimum income threshold, ensuring that these digital nomads can sustain themselves financially during their stay. This visa is not a pathway to local employment but rather a means to enjoy the Korean lifestyle while working remotely for international entities.

The inclusion of family members in the visa program underscores South Korea's welcoming approach, allowing digital nomads to bring along their spouse and children under 18, thus fostering a sense of community and stability for long-term visitors.

Eligibility requirements for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa

 Eligibility requirements for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa

Proof of remote work

To qualify for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must provide concrete proof of their remote work arrangements. This involves substantiating their employment with a company based outside of Korea, ensuring that their professional activities do not impinge on the local job market.

As part of the application, remote workers are required to demonstrate a robust connection with their overseas employer, which could include contracts, a letter from the employer, or recent pay stubs that verify ongoing employment and income stability.

Moreover, the financial criterion set by the South Korean authorities is clear: applicants must show evidence of an annual income that exceeds 84.96 million won, equivalent to roughly USD 65,000.

This figure, intentionally set at double the nation's gross national income per capita, is a deliberate threshold to attract high-earning individuals who can contribute economically through their spending while residing in the country. By setting such standards, South Korea ensures that the digital nomads it welcomes are not only culturally enriching but also financially beneficial to the local economy.

Financial stability

Financial stability is a cornerstone requirement for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa, reflecting the country's commitment to attracting self-sufficient remote workers. Applicants must substantiate their financial capability with verifiable proof of income, which reassures the government that they can live comfortably without seeking local employment.

This financial vetting process is crucial in maintaining the integrity of the visa program and ensuring that the influx of digital nomads positively impacts the South Korean economy.

Applicants are expected to maintain this level of income throughout their stay, which is why the income requirement is set high. The stipulation of a minimum annual income that is twice the national average underscores South Korea's strategy to invite a caliber of digital nomads who are likely to spend significantly within the country, thereby stimulating local businesses and services. This approach not only enriches the expatriate community but also bolsters the nation's economic vitality.

Health insurance coverage

south korea digital nomad

Ensuring healthcare readiness is another pivotal aspect of the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa application. Nomads must secure private health insurance with a minimum coverage of 100 million won, a precautionary measure to cover potential medical expenses and emergency repatriation.

This requirement underscores the importance of self-reliance among digital nomads, as it guarantees that they can access quality healthcare without imposing a burden on the country's medical system. The foresight in this policy reflects South Korea's dedication to safeguarding both its visitors and its healthcare infrastructure.

With the health insurance mandate, South Korea emphasizes the safety and well-being of digital nomads during their tenure in the country. This prerequisite not only ensures that nomads can receive immediate and adequate medical attention if needed but also aligns with the nation's high standards of public health. By complying with this insurance coverage criterion, digital nomads can enjoy peace of mind, focusing on their work and the rich cultural experience that South Korea offers.

No criminal record

Complementing the financial and healthcare prerequisites, the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa also mandates a clean criminal record. This stipulation is in place to ensure that individuals entering the country will contribute positively to society and uphold the law.

Applicants must provide details of their criminal history, if any, as part of the comprehensive vetting process. A clear record is essential for maintaining the safety and security of the community, and it reflects the applicant's good standing, which is paramount for long-term residency.

This requirement aligns with South Korea's efforts to foster a secure and trustworthy environment for both its citizens and international visitors. By enforcing a no criminal record policy, the country upholds its reputation as a safe destination for digital nomads who are looking to immerse themselves in its vibrant culture and innovative workspaces. It's a reassurance that the digital nomad community will be composed of responsible and law-abiding individuals, thereby enhancing the integrity of the visa program.

Application process for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa

 Application process for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa

Required documents

Moving forward in the application process, prospective digital nomads must meticulously gather the required documents for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa. A crucial document is proof of income, where applicants need to demonstrate an annual income exceeding 84.96 million won, which is twice the gross national income per capita of South Korea.

This financial threshold is a testament to the applicant's ability to sustain themselves economically while residing in the country. Additionally, applicants are expected to submit a detailed account of their remote work arrangements, including contracts or letters from employers, to validate their status as digital nomads.

Furthermore, the documentation must include a valid passport, a completed visa application form, and recent passport-sized photographs. The age requirement stipulates that applicants must be 18 years or older, with at least one year of experience in their current field.

For those planning to bring family members, evidence of the relationship, such as marriage certificates or birth certificates, will be necessary. By providing a comprehensive dossier that meets all requirements, applicants can ensure a smoother visa application process, paving the way for an enriching experience in South Korea.

Visa fees

When it comes to the financial aspects of securing the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must be aware of the associated visa fees. While the exact cost may vary and is subject to change, it is essential for applicants to budget for this expense as part of their relocation plan.

The visa fee is an investment in the unique opportunity to live and work in one of Asia's most dynamic countries. Applicants should check the latest fee structure with the South Korean Embassy or Consulate in their home country to obtain the most current information and prepare accordingly.

The visa fee is not only a standard part of the application process but also contributes to the administrative costs of processing and issuing the visa. It's important to note that this fee is separate from any other expenses such as the mandatory health insurance coverage or potential legal services that may be required for document preparation.

By understanding and anticipating these costs, digital nomads can ensure that their transition to South Korea is as smooth and stress-free as possible, allowing them to focus on the exciting cultural and professional experiences that await.

Processing time

Once all the necessary documentation and fees are in order, applicants can expect a reasonable processing time for the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa. The exact duration can vary, but it is generally advisable to apply well in advance of the intended travel date to accommodate any unforeseen delays.

The South Korean authorities work efficiently to process applications, and digital nomads can typically anticipate a decision within a few weeks. It is crucial to stay informed about the current processing times by checking with the South Korean Embassy or Consulate, as these can fluctuate based on the volume of applications received or other factors.

Applicants should also be prepared for potential follow-up inquiries or additional documentation requests from the embassy or consulate handling their application. Prompt responses to such requests can help expedite the process.

Once approved, the visa grants the holder the freedom to explore the vibrant life and culture of South Korea as a digital nomad, with the possibility of extending their stay for an additional year. This efficient processing time is a gateway to new opportunities and experiences in a country that is increasingly becoming a hotspot for the global digital nomad community.

Benefits of the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa

 Benefits of the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa

Long-term stay in South Korea

With the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa in hand, the allure of a long-term stay in this technologically advanced and culturally rich nation becomes a reality. This visa is a game-changer for remote workers, offering the flexibility to live in South Korea for up to two years, a significant extension compared to the standard 90-day tourist visa.

The extended duration is not only a testament to South Korea's commitment to embracing the digital nomad lifestyle but also provides ample time for individuals to immerse themselves in the local community, forge meaningful connections, and contribute to the regional economy.

Moreover, the option to extend the visa for an additional year further enhances the appeal of choosing South Korea as a base for remote work. This extended stay allows digital nomads to truly settle in, explore diverse regions, and experience the full spectrum of what the country has to offer—from its bustling cities to serene countryside.

The South Korea Digital Nomad Visa is more than just a permit; it's an invitation to become part of Korea's vibrant society, with the potential to enrich both personal and professional life amidst the backdrop of this dynamic East Asian hub.

Access to healthcare and other services

Access to healthcare and other services is a critical consideration for anyone planning to live abroad, and South Korea's Digital Nomad Visa holders are well catered for in this regard. The country's healthcare system is renowned for its high standards and efficiency, ensuring that digital nomads have access to excellent medical care whenever needed.

Additionally, visa holders can take advantage of other local services, such as banking, telecommunications, and public transportation, all of which are highly developed and easily accessible in South Korea. This comprehensive support system allows digital nomads to work with peace of mind, knowing that their essential needs are covered.

Furthermore, the visa's provision for including a spouse and children under the age of 18 ensures that families can also benefit from these services, making the transition to life in South Korea smoother for those traveling with loved ones.

The integration into Korean society is facilitated by the availability of these services, which are designed to meet the demands of a modern, mobile workforce. By prioritizing the well-being and convenience of digital nomads, South Korea demonstrates its commitment to creating an environment that is not only conducive to remote work but also supportive of a high quality of life.

Opportunity to experience Korean culture

Embracing the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa also opens doors to the rich tapestry of Korean culture, allowing for a deep dive into traditions, cuisine, and entertainment that the country is famous for. The extended stay permits digital nomads to go beyond the surface-level experiences of short-term tourists, offering the chance to participate in local festivals, learn the Korean language, and build lasting friendships within the community.

South Korea's cultural landscape is as diverse as it is captivating, with ancient palaces standing alongside cutting-edge design districts, and quiet temples juxtaposed with the pulsating energy of K-pop concerts.

The opportunity to experience Korean culture is further enriched by the country's efforts to attract visitors through its unique blend of historical heritage and modern innovation. Digital nomads can indulge in the flavors of Korean cuisine, from street food in bustling markets to fine dining in cosmopolitan cities. They can also explore the natural beauty of the country's mountains and coastlines, or unwind in traditional jjimjilbangs (Korean spas).

With the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa, the rhythm of Korean life becomes accessible, offering a cultural immersion that is both profound and personal, enhancing the digital nomad experience with memories and insights that last a lifetime.

Best destinations for digital nomads in South Korea

South Korea offers a mix of modern amenities, technological infrastructure, and a rich cultural experience, making it an interesting destination for digital nomads. Here are some of the best locations for digital nomads in South Korea:

  1. Seoul:
    • The capital city is a major economic and technological hub, offering excellent infrastructure, high-speed internet, and a variety of coworking spaces.
    • It's a vibrant city with a mix of traditional and modern aspects, providing numerous opportunities for networking and cultural experiences.
  2. Busan:
    • South Korea's second-largest city is known for its beautiful beaches, cultural festivals, and a more relaxed atmosphere compared to Seoul.
    • The city has a growing startup scene and offers a range of coworking spaces.
  3. Incheon:
    • As a major port city and home to South Korea's busiest airport, Incheon provides a diverse international atmosphere.
    • The city has modern facilities, and its proximity to Seoul makes it convenient for business and leisure.
  4. Jeju Island:
    • If you prefer a more laid-back and scenic environment, Jeju Island, a popular tourist destination, might be ideal.
    • The island offers a unique blend of natural beauty, traditional culture, and a growing community of remote workers.
  5. Daejeon:
    • Often referred to as the “City of Science and Technology,” Daejeon is known for its research institutes and universities.
    • It has a growing number of coworking spaces and is well-connected to other major cities.
  6. Suwon:
    • Suwon, known for its well-preserved Hwaseong Fortress, is close to Seoul and offers a mix of history and modern amenities.
    • The city has a developing startup ecosystem and is a good option for those who want a balance between work and culture.
  7. Gyeongju:
    • If you're interested in South Korea's rich history and cultural heritage, Gyeongju, often referred to as the “museum without walls,” is a great choice.
    • The city has a more relaxed pace, providing a different experience compared to larger urban centers.

When choosing a location as a digital nomad in South Korea, consider factors such as internet speed, availability of coworking spaces, cost of living, and the lifestyle and cultural experiences you're seeking. South Korea's efficient public transportation system makes it relatively easy to explore different regions of the country.

Standard cost of living in South Korea for digital nomads

south korea digital nomad

The cost of living in South Korea can vary depending on the city, lifestyle, and personal spending habits. Generally, South Korea is considered to have a moderate cost of living, with some expenses being comparable to or slightly higher than those in Western countries. Here is a breakdown of some common expenses for digital nomads in South Korea:

  1. Accommodation:
    • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center: $600 – $1,200 per month
    • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center: $400 – $800 per month
    • Monthly rent for a coworking space: $150 – $300
  2. Food:
    • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $5 – $10
    • Meal at a mid-range restaurant for two: $30 – $60
    • Groceries for a week: $50 – $100
  3. Transportation:
    • Public transportation (subway or bus): $1 – $2 per ride
    • Monthly transportation pass: $50 – $100
    • Taxi starting tariff: $2 – $4
  4. Utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage):
    • Basic utilities for an average apartment: $100 – $200 per month
  5. Internet and Mobile:
    • High-speed internet (monthly): $20 – $40
    • Mobile phone plan: $20 – $50 per month
  6. Entertainment:
    • Movie ticket: $8 – $15
    • Fitness club or gym membership: $30 – $80 per month
    • Miscellaneous activities and entertainment: Variable
  7. Health Insurance:
    • Health insurance for expats: $50 – $150 per month

These are approximate figures, and actual expenses may vary based on individual preferences and choices. Keep in mind that living costs in major cities like Seoul tend to be higher than in smaller cities or rural areas. Additionally, the cost of living for digital nomads can be influenced by factors such as coworking space memberships, travel, and personal spending habits.


South Korea Digital Nomad Visa

In conclusion, the South Korea Digital Nomad Visa represents a significant step forward for remote workers seeking a blend of professional flexibility and cultural exploration. As South Korea positions itself as a hub for digital nomads, the potential benefits of this visa extend beyond the allure of its vibrant cities and scenic landscapes.

The government's initiatives, such as the Visit Korea Year 2023–2024, underscore a commitment to enhancing the country's appeal to international visitors, including those who wish to work remotely. While the details regarding residency cards are yet to be clarified, the prospect of longer stays and deeper engagement with Korean society is an enticing one. Digital nomads can look forward to not just a place to work, but a place to live richly, surrounded by the warmth and innovation that South Korea has to offer.

As the world of work continues to evolve, South Korea's Digital Nomad Visa is poised to become a coveted asset for global professionals. The visa's trial run is a promising indication of the country's openness to this growing community, and its success could pave the way for more permanent arrangements. With the promise of high-quality healthcare, access to essential services, and a chance to fully immerse in Korean culture, the digital nomad lifestyle in South Korea is not just about finding a new workspace—it's about discovering a new way of life.



  • Can you be a digital nomad in South Korea?

    There are plenty of coworking spaces and digital nomad cafes in major cities, such as the country's capital, Seoul. The most popular spots for digital nomads in South Korea include Seoul, Busan (the country's second-largest city), and Jeju Island.

  • Can I move to South Korea without a visa?

    Anyone wishing to move to South Korea and stay for a period longer than three months (90 days) needs a visa to move to South Korea. Depending on the purpose of your travel and how long you wish to stay in South Korea, you can choose which type of visa suits you best.

  • Do I need a work visa to work remotely in Korea?

    The Working Holiday Visa is the closest one to a digital nomad visa in South Korea. You can travel through the country for up to one year and work while there.

  • How to get South Korea visa online?

    1. Application Process: Select “Application” >> “E-Visa(Individual)” on the Visa Portal ( 2. Required Documents: Visa Application Form (electronic form on the Visa Portal). 3. Procedure: Applicant – Completion of Application Form (Visa portal). 4. Location of Application. 5. Required Documents. 6. Procedure.

Originally posted 2023-08-02 02:42:28.

About the author

Meet Yogi, the insightful author and resident digital nomad expert at! With a passion for exploring the world while working remotely, Yogi has embarked on a transformative journey as a digital nomad. Through firsthand experiences, Yogi has embraced the nomadic lifestyle and successfully blended work with wanderlust.



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