7 Genius Ways to Move to South Korea Without a Job (and 3 Dumb Ones)


Work, who needs it?

I’m going to cover some great and not so great ways to move to South Korea without a job.

This post is for academic purposes only. Follow it at your own risk.

1. Throw money at the problem

Let’s just get this out of the way first. Yes, money will solve almost everything. Invest 100,000 USD in Korea and you get a visa. Boom, problem solved.

2. Buy a house

Under the umbrella of money fixes things, you can put a down payment on a house in the Incheon Free Economic Zone Region (Songdo, Yeongjong and Cheongna) and also get a visa.

3. Marry a local

Ah, the tried-and-true marriage of convenience. Seen it happen a few times with mainly good results. Everyone’s a winner! Except romance.

4. Find out your long-lost parent is Korean

Stranger things have happened. You never know who’s hanging around the branches of your family tree. If one of them happens to be Korean, you get a one-way ticket to F-4 visa town. Comes with the right to not work anywhere you please and stay indefinitely in Korea.

5. Go to uni

Sounds a little too much like work for my tastes, but drinking till sun up and attending class in a stupor is the life for some.

6. Learn Korean

Another one that requires more effort than I’m comfortable with. Enrolling in a language course gets you a D-4 visa that lasts as long as your course does.

7. Get adopted by a local

It can go the other way too.

Extra points if you live in the basement and yell at your new mom to make you Kimchi jjigae.

8. Go on visa runs every 90 days

Not a long-term solution, but one I’ve seen work for a year or so. It’s only a matter of time until they start asking questions at immigration. Use at your own risk.

9. Working holiday visa

Hear me out. You don’t actually have to work on one of these. It gives you the opportunity to find gainful employment in the country including freelancing and part-time gigs. Get an H-1 visa and you’re good for a year.

10. Be YouTube famous

Just have so many subscribers that they’ll have no choice but to let you in.

But seriously there’s an E-6 Art and Entertainment visa that covers a lot of ground. It’s good for all types of things like music, dance, sport, literature, etc.

It does require some labor at some point because your sponsor might have something to say about that.

How much does it cost to move to South Korea?

It depends on how you’re going to move.

If you’re bringing a suitcase or two, it only costs a plane ticket.

If you want to move your furniture, it could be a lot of money. One example I’ve heard is 8,000 dollars for enough furniture to fill a house. It’s cheaper to keep your things in a storage unit if you’re only going to be in Korea for a few years.

Moving a car costs 2,500 to 5,000 USD. You won’t really need one in Korea, because there’s many public transport options and taxis.

They have a different rental system in Korea than what you’re used to. Monthly rent in Korea is considered a waste, so it’s usually not that high. Deposits on the other had are high and can be around 10,000-50,000 USD for a nice place. You can also use jeonsae which is a lump sum deposit of 100,000-500,000 USD you put up instead of rent.


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