Work and Study

Working in Korea: Essentials for International Students

If you are an international student who wants to also work and earn some extra money, here are the essentials that you need to know about working in Korea!

Regulations

Working in Korea is possible for foreign students as long as they are doing it legally and according to the Korean government’s regulations. According to the Guidelines on the Employment of International Students in Korea by the National Institute of International Education (NIIED), below are the rules that foreign students need to follow:

  • In general, students are only allowed to do hourly work such as a part-time job (low-skilled labor), however private tutoring is highly restricted.
  • Students must have a certain level of Korean proficiency and have received approval from their school’s Office of International Affairs (OIA).
  • The level of Korean proficiency will determine how many hours the students can work.
  • If the student is found to be in illegal employment, both the student and his/her employer will be punished according to the law (their visa might be revoked and, in extreme cases, could lead to deportation ).

For the complete regulations, check out the file below:

Guideline from studyinkorea.go.kr

Documents

In order to legally work in Korea, international students must do some paperwork first. To submit the documents, they can go to hikorea.go.kr. (Korean immigration online service) and apply. Here is the list of documents that the applicant needs to prepare.

  • Part-time Job Request Form
  • Academic Transcript
  • Certificate of Enrollment
  • Labor Contract
  • Certificate of Korean Proficiency

After submitting your document package, the immigration office will then decide if the applicant can start working or not. Another thing to note, only students with valid D-2 and D-4 visas can work in Korea part-time as a student. If the student will graduate soon or he/she would like to continue working in Korea after completing their education, they need to apply for a different type of visa. This has to be done immediately before starting to work.

Job-seeking apps/sites

Looking for the right job in Korea can be challenging. Especially when most of the job postings require you to already have a valid working visa. So, you have to make sure that you can legally work in Korea with your student visa. How do you seek the right one then? Some of these sites might be helpful:

Some of them might be available only in Korean, but some also have English service options available. I do recommend using the filter function on some of them to look specifically for part-time jobs. Also, other than those apps and sites, you could also try looking for job postings in Facebook groups.

Cautions!

While searching for the right part-time job, there are some things that you need to be aware of.

First, when looking for a job opportunity, you have to check all the details. Make sure that it is the type of work that you can do with your student visa. Other than that, pay attention to the job description and the requirements. Some places try to take advantage of foreigners. If you find it suspicious, just report it to the app/site’s customer service or the group admin and look for other postings.

Second, pay attention to the contract. After getting the job, you want to have everything about the contract clearly explained. Therefore, you need to ask your employer for adequate information if something isn’t clear. Labor rights don’t always apply to foreigners, so your contract will be your main form of legal protection. This is the minimum information that your contract must contain:

  • Your Name, the Employer’s/Company’s Name
  • Type of Work
  • Your Hourly Wage
  • Working Hours
  • Responsibilities
  • Contract Duration
  • Company’s Business Registration Number

Third, make sure to report your part-time employment to the immigration office. This is a very important step to do as a foreign student to be able to work in Korea risk-free. You can always refer to the sections above to make sure that you have followed the rules. If you fail to do this, the consequences might lead to your visa getting revoked and you will be deported from Korea. So, please keep this in mind before you start working in Korea.

To read about a day in the life of a student turned translator >>Click Here<<

🇮🇩 Christina

An Indonesian who came to study in Korea since 2020. She had visited 35+ cities in her first year in Korea. She's passionate about Public Diplomacy and is a historical places enthusiast. She is also a BTS ARMY. Follow me on Instagram @hellosheis ^^