South Korea Now Offers a Digital Nomad Visa

Applications for the program opened on January 1.

New year, new country? It's now possible to plan a relocation to South Korea. The country just launched a pilot program for digital nomads on January 1, according to a press release shared by the nation's Ministry of Justice. The program, called Workation, follows similar visa programs offered by countries in Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

The South Korean digital nomad visa will be available for individuals who are 18 years or older, who are employed and making at least $66,000 per year, and who have worked in the industry they are employed in for more than one year. This income requirement is double the gross national income of South Korea and works out to 7.08 million won (around $5,300) per month.

Like most digital nomad visas, a Workation visa will not permit you to make any profit from work done while in Korea or be employed by a Korean company. You'll also be required to have personal medical insurance with coverage of 100 million won (a bit more than $76,000). The insurance will need to cover hospitalization and emergency evacuation to your home country.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the visa will be valid for one year, and renewable for up to two years. To apply, you'll need to do so in person at your nearest Korean embassy. If you plan to apply for the digital nomad visa, you should contact the embassy beforehand to find out which specific documents you'll need. The official release shares that basics like identification and proof of income will be part of the required application materials.

"Through the introduction of the digital nomad (workplace) visa, it is expected that high-income foreigners will stay in various regions of the country, revitalizing the local economy, and will be an opportunity to promote Korea's landscape and culture," the press release announcing the program states.

Further details have yet to be announced, but for anyone who's been dreaming of living in South Korea, this could be your chance.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Journalism from NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She's worked in digital media for eight years, and before working at Thrillist, she wrote for Mic, The Cut, The Fader, Vice, and other publications. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.