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South Korea

Passport rank
Visa-free countries

Acquisition: 60 months

Capital required: ₩100,000,000

Acquisition: -

Capital required: -

About South Korea Citizenship and Residency

South Korea offers residency by investment, the South Korea residence by investment program was first introduced in 2010 with the real estate investment option. In 2012, South Korea introduced the Public Business program to complement its offering with business and bond investment options. The programs provide a 2-year resident permit that is renewable. After 5 years of living in the country, applicants become eligible for South Korean permanent residence and citizenship. The South Korean passport is a world-class travel document providing visa-free travel to the U.S, Europe, and China. South Korean non-permanent residents are not liable to taxation on their foreign income.



Public Business Risk-Based Investment Option – Investment amount of 500M KRW or 300M KRW if 55 years old or older, to be held for 5 years in a development project in a less-developed region. Application fees are 130,000KRW per person.

Public Business Guaranteed Investment Option – Investment amount of 500M KRW to be held for 5 years or 300M KRW if 55 years old or older to be held for 5 years in a government fund. Application fees are 130,000 KRW per person.

Real Estate Investor – Investment amount of 500M KRW to be held for 5 years in real estate in specific areas. Application fees are 130,000 KRW per person.


Investment standards have changed in recent years, previously an investment of 50 million won would enable the individual to gain immediate permanent residency. The investment business visa is also known as a D-8 residence visa and is awarded to foreign investors provided they meet the investment criteria.


The conditions to gain a D-8 residence permit are as follows:

  • The applicant must establish a company in South Korea to enter into a partnership with a Korean firm
  • The applicant must invest a minimum of 50 million won into the business enterprise


In 2010 South Korea decided to increase the minimum investment criteria for foreign individuals from 50 million won to 100 million won in a bid to regulate the number and types of foreign investors in South Korea. The country had been experiencing a large number of foreign investors who invest with no intention of creating a business in South Korea. Increasing the minimum amount of investment ensures that the investor who does apply for a D-8 residency visa is serious about investing in South Korea and living there. Foreign investors in South Korea still require a Korean guarantor despite investing a large sum of money into the economy.


Foreign Investment Opportunities can be:

  •  Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
  • Portfolio Establishment
  • Branch Establishment
  • Legal Entity Establishment
  • Factory Establishment
  • Real Estate Acquisition
  • Investment in Infrastructure


Applicants seeking permanent residency in South Korea through investment have unlimited freedom in choosing the type of business they applicant wishes to invest in. The only conditions which must be adhered to are that the company has to acquire a registration certificate of foreign investment, and this certificate has to be authenticated by a Korean bank or Korean trade-investment promotion agency.



Benefits Of South Korea Residency By Investment Program

  • Applicants are provided with a 2-year resident permit
  • Non-permanent residents can be exempt from income tax on foreign assets
  • Eligible for a reduction or exemption on corporate tax, income tax, acquisition tax, and property tax
  • Applicant can qualify for citizenship after 5 years
  • Foreign Investors are not required to forfeit their previous citizenship at a naturalization
  • No physical presence requirements
  • Applicants can bring their unmarried children


South Korea Residency Requirements And Qualifications


  • Provide a police report and be of good character
  • Provide a tuberculosis test certificate
  • Possess a net worth above 300M KRW


Steps And Timeline

Step 1: Month 1 – Notification of the Ministry of Justice in the region in South Korea where the investment will be made. (this step only applies to the Risk-Based Investment option).

Step 2: Month 2 – Upon approval, gather documents and apply to the Immigration Office, along with application fees.

Step 3: Month 6 – The Immigration Office will review your application and invite you to finalize your investment. Upon completion, you must submit proof of the investment to receive your residence permit.


Our Services

Privacy World offers its services to anyone, not only looking to obtain residency and/or citizenship processes but our experts figure out legal ways to:

  • Find the best solution for your needs.
  • Identify and deploy a strategy to help you accomplish your goals.
  • Activate our network of people in the country where you need help without having you search for the best solution or lawyer. We only work with licensed people in every country whom we carefully vet and pass the guidelines and principles of privacy we stand for.
  • Focus on cutting through the red tape and expedite your process.
  • Provide proper communication with you about your case.
    …. and above all: Offer you legal strategies to provide additional layers of privacy for your identity, while obtaining your residency or citizenship!

Privacy World can also help you with incorporating your company in South Korea, assisting in getting you settled in the country, and coordinating with you so that this experience will be less of a hassle.

Want Privacy World to handle your case? Have any questions? Contact us!

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Dual citizenship in South Korea is not allowed. The law explicitly states that one who has acquired South Korean citizenship must renounce the citizenship of another country within one year.

A foreign national must reside in the Republic of South Korea for five years or longer.

Yes, an interview is required.

Yes, proficiency in the South Korean language including reading, writing and speaking.

You must have lived in South Korea for five consecutive years and have spent at least 183 days each year in South Korea, passing a test on Korean culture and history. You have to prove your Korean language proficiency in a test as well.

A resident is subject to income tax on all incomes derived from sources both within and outside South Korea.

A non-resident is subject to income tax only on income derived from sources within South Korea. When a non-resident who does not have a domestic place of business has Korean-source income to report through an annual tax return, most provisions concerning the tax rates and the filling procedures of residents shall apply to them.

No net wealth/worth taxes exist in South Korea at this time.

Inheritance tax is imposed on the transfer of property without consideration as a result of death or if an individual is missing. The tax range from 10% to 50%, excluding local income tax, on the taxable income.