Maybe all those light sticks and photo cards weren’t a waste of money after all? With the growing popularity of Korean culture in foreign countries, South Korea has recently introduced the digital nomad and K-Culture visas, with an aim to make Korea more welcoming to overseas visitors.
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The first visa that was introduced is the digital nomad, or workation visa which is set to be active around mid 2024. This visa intends to increase the circulation of foreign nationals into South Korea by extending the remote working stay from 90 days to one year.
So what about the second visa? As absurd as it sounds, the K-Culture training visa is aimed specifically at fans of K-pop and K-drama. But why? The K-Culture visa, also known as the Hallyu visa, was created in response to the growing success of Korea’s entertainment industry. The term Hallyu directly translates to ‘Korean wave’, and was coined in the 90s to describe an exponential increase in the popularity of Korea’s cultural exports, particularly in music, drama and film. In recent years, the entertainment industry has proven to be the main driving force behind increased tourism in South Korea.
South Korea has previously introduced the E-6-1 visa, designed for foreigners who want to engage in arts-related professions in Korea, such as literature, music, visual arts, and other entertainment activities. However, the Hallyu visa intends to take this experience to the next level.
To be eligible for the Hallyu visa, you must enrol in an approved cultural institute, and successful applicants can stay in South Korea for up to two years. These benefits are a big step up from the E-6-1 visa, which has a shorter duration of 90 days, and requires trainee contracts with South Korean entertainment labels. With the Hallyu visa, not only can you stay much longer, but applying to an approved academy is much easier to attain than an artist contract, for example.
The long stay duration might already sound appealing to you, but the real cherry on top of the Hallyu visa is the training and networking opportunities. During their stay, Hallyu visa holders will gain direct insights from professionals in Korean music, film, animation, and gaming sectors. For a budding professional, this experience would be a valuable peek behind the scenes of one of the world’s fastest-growing arts industries.
If that wasn’t enough, to spark further interest, plans have been implemented to hold ‘K-Culture Events’ throughout 2024. This spotlights all the food, music and beauty you can experience in Korea. Alongside these, the South Korean government intends to use artificial intelligence to improve development of English language guides and transport booking tools to make South Korea more livable for overseas visitors.
We know that a lot of our Beauties are K-Culture fans too! Whether you want to explore the arts and entertainment industry, or be immersed in the to and fros of Korean city life while working abroad, these new visas and their opportunities could be worth researching about.
By attracting K-culture enthusiasts from all corners of the globe, the Hallyu and workation visas intend to make the country more tourist-friendly, and educate the world on Korean culture first hand, beyond the confines of social media.
What do you think, Beauties? Are you brave enough for two years in South Korea?