Travel Guide

The Complete Guide to the F-2-7 Visa Point System in South Korea [2023]

October 12, 2023

Are you interested in long-term residency in South Korea? The F-2-7 visa might be what you're looking for. This guide provides a detailed look at how this visa works, the point system behind it, and what you need to do to qualify. Sometimes referred to as the f27 visa, our aim is to offer clear and concise information to help you navigate the F-2-7 visa process. Let's take a look.

I. Understanding the F-2-7 Points Visa (Long-Term Residency Visa)

1.1. What is the F-2-7 Points Visa? (F27 Visa Korea)

The F-2-7 Points Visa is South Korea's way of welcoming and rewarding foreigners who have a strong connection to the country. Think of it as a 'thank you' for your time and contributions while living there.

What makes this visa special? Flexibility. Unlike many visas where you're tied to one job or reason for being in Korea, the F-2-7 lets you change jobs easily. And if you've ever thought about setting up your own business in places like Seoul or Busan, this visa has your back.

1.2. Understanding the Points System

The F-2-7 visa uses a clear points system to decide who gets it. By understanding this system, you can see where you stand and find out how to improve your chances. Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • Age: Your age matters. The visa recognizes all stages of professional life, from young professionals to those with years of experience.
  • Korean Language Skills: Being good in Korean shows that you’re serious about living and working in the country. It's not just about talking, but also understanding Korean culture.
  • Income: How much you earn is important. It shows that you can live comfortably in Korea and contribute to the economy.
  • Education and Job Experience: Your education and work experience can earn you points, especially if you’ve studied or worked in areas Korea finds important.
  • Other Things: Doing volunteer work? Have some special skills? These can also earn you points.

1.2. Breakdown of the F-2-7 Visa Points System

To qualify for the F-2-7 visa, you need to earn at least 80 points from the categories below:

Age Points (25 max.)

18~24 years: 23 points

25~29 years: 25 points

30~34 years: 23 points

35~39 years: 20 points

40~44 years: 12 points

45~50 years: 8 points

Over 51 years: 3 points

Education Points (25 max.)

Associate (Engineering): 15 points

Associate (Other majors): 10 points

Bachelor (Engineering or 2+ majors): 17 points

Bachelor (Other majors): 15 points

Master (Engineering or 2+ majors): 20 points

Master (Other majors): 17 points

Doctorate (Engineering or 2+ majors): 25 points

Doctorate (Other majors): 20 points

Korean Language Points (20 max.)

KIIP 1 or TOPIK 1: 3 points

KIIP 2 or TOPIK 2: 5 points

KIIP 3 or TOPIK 3: 10 points

KIIP 4 or TOPIK 4: 15 points

KIIP 5 or TOPIK 5: 20 points

Yearly Income Points (60 max.)

100 million won: 60 points

90~<100 million won: 58 points

80~<90 million won: 56 points

70~<80 million won: 53 points

60~<70 million won: 50 points

50~<60 million won: 45 points

40~<50 million won: 40 points

30~<40 million won: 30 points

Minimum wage~<30 million won: 10 point

Volunteering Points (7 max.)

3+ years: 7 points

2~<3 years: 5 points

1~<2 years: 1 point

Extra Points (40 max.)

From Korean war participating countries: 20 points

Ministry recommendation: 20 points

KIIP Stage 5 completion: 10 points

Top global university degrees:

Doctorate: 30 points

Master: 20 pointsBachelor: 15 points

Recognizing Top Global University Degrees

One of the unique features of the F2-7 visa points system is its recognition of degrees from top global universities. This not only emphasizes South Korea's respect for high-quality education but also encourages individuals from these esteemed institutions to consider long-term stays in the country.

Times or QS 500 Top Global Universities

For the purpose of the F2-7 visa, South Korea refers to the list of top global universities as published by the Times Higher Education and QS World University Rankings.

Holding a degree from a university listed on either of these rankings can significantly boost your points:

  • Domestic degrees (from a Korean university):
  • Doctorate: 10 points
  • Master: 7 points
  • Bachelor: 5 points

Points Deductions (up to 80):

  • Immigration Law Violations:
  • Penalties over 3 million won: -30 points
  • 1 million~<3 million won: -20 points
  • 500,000~<1 million won: -10 points
  • Korean Criminal Records:
  • Fines 2 million~<3 million won: -30 points
  • Less than 2 million won: -20 points
  • Fines exceeding: -40 points
  • Violations by dependent or invitee: -10 points

Learn more about the revised point system here.

II. Time Period and Extension for the F-2-7 Visa

Navigating visa extensions can sometimes be a daunting process. However, the F-2-7 visa simplifies this with clear criteria based on points and income.

2.1 Extension Criteria for F-2-7 Visa

To be eligible for the extension of the F2-7 visa, applicants must satisfy the following:

  • Hold a score of 80 points or higher.
  • Achieve a yearly income that matches or exceeds the Gross National Income (GNI*1).

2.2 Period of Stay Based on Points or Income

The duration for which you can stay in South Korea on the F2-7 visa varies depending on your total points or income points:

  • 3 to 5 years: Total score is 130 or above, or income points are more than 50.
  • 1 to 3 years: Total score ranges from 100 to 129, or income points range from 30 to 49.
  • Up to 1 year: Total score is between 80 and 99, or income points are below 29.

This structure ensures that individuals with higher contributions, either through skills or economic stability, are rewarded with longer stays.

2.3 What If I Can't Extend My F-2-7 Visa?

In instances where the F-2-7 visa extension is not granted, visa holders will need to transition from the F-2-7 visa to the D-10 visa.

Being aware of these parameters ensures a smoother transition and clarity on your next steps should you wish to extend your time in South Korea.

III. How to Apply for the F-2-7 Visa

Navigating the process of applying for a visa can be daunting. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the F-2-7 visa application.

3.1. Preparing Your F-2-7 Visa Documents

Before you start the application, make sure you have all necessary documents ready. Here's what you need:

Individual Application:

1. Application form (통합신청서):

  • Application form [download].
  • Fill out in advance.
  • Attach a 3.5x4.5 photo. If extending your visa, you can print and stick the photo directly onto the application.

2. Foreign passport:

  • Bring original and a copy.

3. Foreign ID card:

  • Original and one copy.

4. Points document (점수표):

  • Found on the 8th page of this document.

5. Employment details:

  • Contract from your current office (submit a copy, show original if asked).
  • Employment certificate from your current office (should be recently dated).

6. Proof of education (copies of diplomas):

  • If obtained abroad, provide an apostilled notarized copy. If obtained in Korea, the regular degree certificate will suffice.
  • If your university ranks within the TOP 500 in QS or THE rankings, bring a printout for extra points.

7. Proof of language proficiency:

  • Latest KIIP certificate from the socinet website or TOPIK certificate.

8. Income details:

  • Earned Income Certificate for 2023: Acquire from a local tax office or tax website.

9. Residence proof:

  • Copy of the Housing Contract and Confirmation of Residence [download].
  • 주민세 letter (provided at the counter if you don’t have it).

10. Occupation and income report:

F-2-7 Occupation Pg 10-12 PDF

11. Visa extension stamp:

  • 60,000 KRW cash only.

12. Foreign criminal record:

  • Needed if you left South Korea for over 3 months or are applying for the F-2-7 visa for the first time.
  • No necessary if you have been living in Korea and have not left the country for longer than 90 days.
  • Should be recent (not older than 3 months), apostilled, translated, signed, and sealed.

13. Volunteer activities:

  • If applicable, documents can be acquired from 1365 or from [this website].

Other Visas for Staying Long in Korea

The F-2-7 visa is popular, but it's not the only option:

  • F-2-99 Visa: This is a visa for people who marry someone from Korea.
  • F-2-21 Visa: If your family comes from Korea but you were born outside, this visa is for you.
  • F-2-18 Visa: This visa is for people with special work skills that Korea needs.

Each visa has different rules and benefits. The F-2-7 visa works for many people, but the other visas are better for some specific situations.

The F-2-7 Points Visa is a great opportunity for many people around the world. South Korea is opening its doors to talented people. With this visa, you can make a long-term plan to live in Korea, whether in the quiet countryside or a busy city. The steps to apply are clear. And with the F-2-7 visa, your dream to live in the Land of the Morning Calm is closer than you think.

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