What Makes South Korea a Top Global Relocation Destination?

What makes South Korea a top global relocation destination for workers? South Korea offers many benefits for job seekers. The nation welcomes foreign workers, and its business sector is strong and resilient. Long known as one of the Asian Tigers, South Korea continues to be a regional leader in economic growth. South Korea’s growth is due in large part to the country’s policies and characteristics such as:

  1. Strong focus on exports
  2. Population with high levels of education
  3. High rate of savings
  4. Government directed credit
  5. Restriction of imports

South Korea Economic Performance

The 2019 Index of Economic Freedom ranks South Korea at 29 in its list of 180 countries. The country’s economic statistics show:

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $2.0 trillion
  • Growth: 3.1%
  • 5-year Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR): 3.0%
  • Unemployment: 3.7%
  • Consumer Price Inflation (CPI): 1.9%

Top Jobs in South Korea

Many of the top jobs in South Korea revolve around the country’s passion for sports, the automotive industry, and learning the English language. As a result, jobs in the following professions are in high demand:

Requirements to Enter South Korea

Foreign job seekers looking to enter South Korea must meet specific requirements. However, these requirements are relatively simple and straightforward. The United States Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs indicates the following:

  1. Travelers should exercise normal precautions
  2. Passport must be valid at time of entry
  3. Tourists staying 90 days or less do not need a visa
  4. Job seekers and those staying longer than 90 days require a visa

To obtain an E-2 visa to teach English, teachers must submit a criminal records check and a health certificate. The Korea Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (KOTESOL) teacher association provides helpful information for English teachers.

The Ministry of Justice – Korea Immigration Service mission is to design diversity and integration-attuned policies. Through these policies, the Ministry strives to create a society that upholds diversity and supports respect for all backgrounds and nationalities. Also, the Ministry aims to attain social integration, so new entrants learn to respect common Korean values. There are several types of visas available for entry, including:

  1. Single Entry Visa is valid for three months from date of issuance
  1. Multiple-entry Visas are valid depending on type of visa:
    • Diplomacy (A-1)/Conventions/Agreements (A-3) Visa: valid for three years from date of issue
    • Any visa provided under multiple-entry visa agreement is valid for the duration defined by an agreement
    • Visa provided for national benefit is valid for the duration specified by the Minister of Justice

South Korea Arts and Popular Culture

Foreign job seekers who choose to live in South Korea will find a culture with strong Chinese and Japanese influences. Rural areas are steeped in folk culture that celebrates Korean art and music, often reflective of religion and nature. Modern culture reaches its peak in Seoul, a dynamic and thriving world city with strong foreign influences that impact culture and language. Seoul Festival is a seasonal cultural festival held four times a year every spring, summer, autumn, and winter. It is based on the “Seoul Honorary Citizens Day” held every October to commemorate the 600 years of Seoul’s history as the capital of the country.

What Does This Mean?

Foreign job seekers looking for opportunities in South Korea have an extensive range of resources to assist their search. The country’s economic growth continues its upward trajectory. Also, business performance in major industries is often superior to competitors in other nations. The Seoul-Incheon urban area is the fourth largest in the world, indicating the high level of opportunities available to job seekers. As a result, most job seekers will find a number openings in their fields.

What Should Employers do?

Companies in Seoul should encourage foreign job seekers to pursue opportunities in the country. Companies also should review their relocation programs to ensure they maintain a competitive advantage in relocation for new hires and transferees. A global relocation program that provides the highest level of relocation benefits and services for employees will draw candidates with high levels of skills and talents. A qualified Relocation Management Company (RMC) with knowledge and experience can provide a number of helpful resources. Companies should inquire about global destination spotlights for major cities in South Korea such as Seoul to learn in detail the major attractions of the city and the nation.


GMS’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients understand how they can use global relocation to expand global talent acquisition and achieve corporate objectives. Our team can help your company understand how to leverage global relocation to South Korea and gain all the advantages this economic powerhouse offers for your company, as well as your new hires and transferees.

GMS was the first relocation company to register as a .com. The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation™ technology platform.

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Learn best practices from Global Mobility Solutions, the relocation industry and technology experts who are dedicated to keeping you informed and connected. Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s interest in global relocation to South Korea, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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