If you are retired and plan to retire in Korea, you will need to have proof of adequate funds for living in Korea. Basically, if you are receiving a pension and have some savings you should qualify. This is the case in most countries as they want to make sure you will not require social assistance.
If you plan to retire in Korea, there are several visa options for you to consider.
An F1 visa is for those who would like to stay in Korea with family members or visit family for an extended period of time (more than 90 days) and is also for any domestic help or consular personnel brought along by diplomats (or a foreign investor who has invested more than $500,000.00 USD). This visa also applies to you if you are a Korean national who has obtained citizenship from another country and would like to return home (including internationally adopted Koreans) and is the main visa for children or other minors accompanying certain visa holders to Korea (for more info on this, see the website listed below).
To obtain an F1 visa, the applicant must apply in person to the nearest Korean embassy. Before you are able to obtain this visa, you need a certificate of visa issuance. Either you or the person sponsoring you (in Korea) can obtain this certificate from the immigration office in Seoul or the nearest Korean embassy to the applicant. To get this certificate you need to fill out an application form for recognition of visa issuance. The people at the embassy will be able to help you with this. Once you obtain the certificate of visa issuance, you can apply for the visa. Required documents for this visa are listed below.
An F2 visa is a residency visa for those married to a Korean, or married to someone who has permanent residency in Korea. The application procedures are largely the same as the F1 visa procedures: you first need to obtain your certificate of visa issuance, and then you can apply for the visa. You will need to prove you are married, so provide your marriage certificate. Please note: your spouse in Korea (the invitee, or sponsor) can only apply for your visa issuance number if you were married in Korea. Otherwise, it is up to you, the spouse, to apply for the number at the nearest Korean embassy.
An F3 visa is a visa for those who are accompanying a spouse or other family member to Korea for work purposes but are not getting a work visa themselves. Maybe your spouse plans to work but you are planning to retire. If you are retired and your spouse decides to go to Korea for work or has an F5 (permanent resident) visa, then you can apply for an F3 visa.
If you were a member of the American Army and were based in Korea, there is a special visa for which you can apply: an A3 visa.
F1 visa: valid passport, recent passport photo, completed application form, documents proving familial relationships or proof of Korean descendency (birth certificate, adoption certificate, marriage certificate, etc.), personal reference, documents proving adequate living funds (if applicable), visa processing fee.
F2 visa: valid passport, application for visa issuance, documents proving marriage, documents that prove financial capability, recent passport photo, reference from a spouse with Korean nationality and the processing fees.
F3 visa: valid passport, recent passport photo, completed application form, relevant paperwork proving your relationship to your spouse, certificate of incumbency and certificate of tax payment (if applicable), visa processing fee.
A3 visa: valid passport or ID card, completed application form, documents proving the state of dispatch or employment or a public letter from the Foreign Minister of one’s country of residence.
For downloadable visa application forms for all of the visas, please visit this website:
For those who have been paying into their pension accounts, but do not plan to retire in Korea there is an option to collect this money for most countries.
If you come from Canada, The U.S., Germany, Hungary, France, Australia, Czech Republic, Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Austria, then you are able to apply for a lump-sum refund.
All that you need to apply is to fill out an application (available at your local pension office) and submit the necessary documents proving that you plan to leave Korea (in most cases just an airplane ticket will suffice). However, if you have been paying into your pension and are not from one of the above mentioned countries, then you are not eligible for a refund, but are still required to pay into it even if you don’t plan to retire in Korea. This is because there is not currently a social security agreement for Koreans residing within your country.
For more information on this please visit these websites:
To apply for your lump-sum refund you must visit your local pension office. For more information on this process and the pension office closes to you, please visit this website: