Work in Korea for Foreigners – Build a career in the South

Last Updated on May 12, 2022 by 90 Day Korean
Work in Korea for Foreigners

If you’re looking for work opportunities and want to know about work in Korea for foreigners, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ll go into more detail about work in South Korea for foreigners.

Work in Korea for Foreigners

Note: We can’t assist you with finding a job in South Korea, we specialize in learning Korean, this post is to provide information and point you in the right direction.

Below is a free PDF guide for “Work in Korea for Foreigners” that you can download:

What to expect for jobs in Korea for foreigners

The number of foreigners coming to work in Korea has been steadily increasing over the past couple of years. As you might suspect, a good majority of the foreigners working in Asian countries are indeed working in South Korea as native English teachers.

As a popular job, the demand for English teaching positions for native English speakers is very high in South Korea. It’s usually not difficult to get some kind of English teaching job for those with teaching experience, whether in private, public, or cram schools. However, getting the absolute best English teaching jobs in South Korea can be difficult.

Although getting a job in South Korea may not be as easy as it is for an English teacher, it is still possible. However, do bear in mind that there is no single way for you to land a job in this country. Also, note that not every method will work for everyone.

How to get jobs in South Korea as a foreigner

What you need to land a job in South Korea 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.

F-series Visa

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.

Young business people

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 South Korea, it’s not an option for newbies.

Graduate from a Korean University

But while work in South Korea for foreigners can be more complicated without that F-series visa, it’s not impossible! Perhaps the second easiest way for a foreigner to get a job in South Korea is by graduating from a Korean university. Recent college graduates, and past alumni from universities, whether with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, can do this.

You can demonstrate that you’re already familiar with Korea’s culture and language to a degree. Still, 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 getting a job directly in the field of your university degree.

The only main restriction is that the company 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.

Apply from your home country

Unfortunately, for those new to South 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 South Korea. Make sure you are notified of the latest job alert for Korean job opportunities.

Try searching for the best one you can find, and make sure to read through the job description carefully. 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.

Is speaking Korean necessary?

Knowing how to speak Korean will also help you tremendously. Even knowing a few words and sentences will help, so it’s a good idea to at least know these words and how to construct Korean sentences to start.

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.

However, understanding and speaking Korean can be very helpful, especially in your daily life. We have an online course that guarantees to teach you how to have a 3-minute conversation in Korean.

Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 60 minutes!

Where to find jobs in South Korea for foreigners?

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 job fairs arranged every fall. One is for foreign residents in South Korea, and the other is specifically for international students in South Korea.

Young Smiling Business People Working In Office.

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

Craigslist Korea

Website: https://seoul.craigslist.co.kr/

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

Saramin

Website: https://www.saramin.co.kr/

Saramin is a website entirely in Korean so it may be terrifying to navigate through at first. However, this is one of the 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.

JobKorea

Website: https://www.jobkorea.co.kr/

Another job portal that is mainly used in Korea is JobKorea. Similar to Saramin, this website is purely in Korean. However, it’s a great site to explore for jobs as there are a lot of job postings even for foreigners.

PeopleNJob

Website: https://www.peoplenjob.com/

It is said to be the best job portal to find a job in South 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 there posted in English.

LinkedIn

Website: https://www.linkedin.com/

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

Once you land an interview, be sure you’re familiar with proper Korean business etiquette so you make an excellent first impression. Familiarizing yourself with the work culture in South Korea will also help you become more prepared.

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

Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

    7 replies to "Work in Korea for Foreigners – Build a career in the South"

    • Avatar for HILLARY AGABA HILLARY AGABA

      Hello, I am a teacher by profession and currently teach English in Uganda. However, My husband has been posted to South Korea where he will be working for 2 years and he has to travel with his family. What are the options of getting a teaching job in Korea during my stay there.

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi Hillary! There are tons of great opportunity to teach English in Korea. Just make sure you also have a work visa. ^^

    • Avatar for Maria Maria

      Hi, I live in Greece and I would like to work in Korea as an administrative assistant. Do you know if that is possible?
      Thank you.

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Your best bet might be to find a multinational company that has an office in Korea. Maybe you can find a Greek company that has a presence in Korea and reach out to them. ^^

      • Avatar for Ashlee Mac Ashlee Mac

        Hello there!

        Check HireDivetsity website there an administration assistant position for Credit Suisse. You never know

    • Avatar for HYEJOO IN HYEJOO IN

      Hello! We are Hirediversity, we are helping international students seeking jobs in Korea. As a result, we opened a job posting site on February 2019. In addition, we provide advice on visas and labor relations (Four Major Insurance and Working Hours), which resulted in helping 300 students to find jobs in Korean Companies. Furthermore, we have carried out campaigns with around 150 Korean Companies to hire international students.

      We want to create a new global standard for the “Foreign Job Seeking” market. We want to simplify the process with IT technology, eliminate asymmetric information to match the needs of both employers and prospective employees. We want to provide a new/valuable experience to both sides through the data we obtain.

      come and check our jobseeking website “hirediversity”

Comments are closed.