Immigrate to South Korea. Things you should know before moving to South Korea

Most of us have stereotypical thinking about South Korea, but there is more than Samsung, dog meat, and strained relationships with North Korea. South Korea is also called one of the Asian Tigers (a group of states that managed to induce a steep leap in their economic and political development). Indeed, this country offers many opportunities for foreigners moving to South Korea from the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and some Asian countries because its economy is among the leading ones in the region. Those who want to immigrate to South Korea will find many opportunities for exploring the local culture and plunging into the high-tech digital world. This article will help you to get ready for moving to South Korea from the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other states. You will find essential tips on how to get accustomed to living in South Korea faster and find out how to arrange your relocation with international removals to South Korea.

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If you know about South Korea as much as a typical tourist, it is better to dedicate some time for the in-depth exploration of this country. Before relocating from the USA to South Korea or immigrating from other countries, the first step is to learn some basic facts about this state. The next step is getting official documents ready once you decide to immigrate to South Korea. Afterwards, choose the right services for international removals to South Korea to assure a safe and fast move to there.

First of all, we want to share some basic information about South Korea. It will help you to understand this country better before moving to South Korea from the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, or any other state.

LocationSouth Korea is located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula in East Asia.
Capital citySeoul
ClimateSouth Korea has a mix of humid continental and subtropical climate. The winter temperatures usually go below zero in winter, while it is rather hot in summer. However, June and July are characterized by heavy rainfalls due to the influence of the East Asia monsoons.
CurrencyKorean Republic won (KRW)
PopulationThe overall population of the country is 51 million people, half of whom reside in the Seoul Capital Area.
LanguageKorean is the official language in South Korea.
TimezoneUTC +9
Surprising factCybersport has the status of official one in South Korea. This means that there are many national tournaments and competitions in cyber games.

If you need a cheap and convenient way to move personal belongings to South Korea or send household appliances abroad with courier services, contact our logistics experts and they will gladly assist you.

Living in South Korea

Relocation to another country is always challenging and difficult. Expats moving to South Korea from the USA or Europe will encounter many differences in the lifestyle and traditions of locals even though the country gets westernized. The Confucian value system has a great influence on all the spheres of life in Korean society. Anyway, this impact is rather positive than negative. Apart from the privileges of living in South Korea, many expats who immigrated to South Korea notice some drawbacks as well. To make it clear, let’s start an in-depth investigation of both the advantages and disadvantages of living in South Korea.


  • The Confucian value system. The basic concepts of this philosophy and ethics code constitute beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, and respect. Indeed, Korean people will first ask you how old are you when they first meet you, in order to determine the style of further communication. However, this might be considered rude in western society. Local people tend to show respect even to those who are several years older.
  • High safety levels. This advantage is derived from the aspect mentioned above. From early childhood, Koreans are taught to be honest, obedient, and law-abiding. While local people usually have strong moral values, some immigrants moving to South Korea from other less developed countries are the ones who usually commit crimes.
  • Healthy lifestyle. Local people are obsessed with healthy eating and sports. Thus, you will notice many people jogging or doing exercises in parks every morning. These habits also tend to pass on to foreigners who immigrate to South Korea.
  • Koreans look after themselves. This aspect supplements the one mentioned above. Apart from physical exercises and healthy diet, Koreans are addicted to cosmetics and daily skincare. You will probably notice no girl without make-up in the street, while about one-third of men also use cosmetics regularly.
  • High-tech country. South Korea is the birthplace of innovations and technological advancements. Robotics, digital technologies, electronics, and shipbuilding are very well-developed in the country.


  • Koreans are too hard-working. There is high competition among employees almost in every sphere. That is why Koreans work hard and overtime constantly in order to keep their jobs. As a result, many Koreans get exhausted at the workplace, which forces the government to implement regulations that would prevent such situations. In some organizations, all the computers are switched off automatically at 6 pm to make workers leave their offices.
  • You will hardly ever find an English-speaker. Recently, English became a compulsory subject in the curricula of Korean schools. However, there are not so many people speaking English in the country in general. As all signs and inscriptions are in Korean, it is highly advisable to learn basic Korean before moving to South Korea from the USA, Europe, or any other state.
  • Too much alcohol. Even though Koreans are fond of a healthy lifestyle, they are also active participants of the “drinking culture”. Locals often meet with their friends and colleagues for a pint of beer or a glass of rice vodka in order to get relaxed after a hard-working day.

Cost of living in South Korea

Most expats who immigrated to South Korea choose Seoul as their place of residence. However, many foreigners are also moving to rural areas as English teachers are in high demand there these days. The cost of living will definitely differ in Seoul and smaller towns across the country. We have prepared a table with the average prices for basic needs of expats they encounter each month.

Apartment rental$400-650 (1-bedroom apartment)
Utility bills$150
A meal of the day$8
A cup of cappuccino$4
International school (optional)$1200-1500

Visa regulations for South Korea

The authorities of South Korea have developed a comprehensive structure for visitors, immigrants, and expats. There are many types of visas for those who want to immigrate to South Korea, so you need to choose the one which corresponds to the purpose of your relocation and duration of stay. The most common visa types among expats are:

  • Short-term business (C-2). This type of visa is for those who want to explore business opportunities in South Korea.
  • Temporary employment (C-4). In case you have a short-term employment contract with a Korean-based firm, then you need to apply for this type of visa to enter and stay in South Korea.
  • Industrial trainee (D-3) visa is issued to those who have a training session at a technology-exporting entity.
  • Corporate investor (D-8) visa is designed for people who want to make investments in a Korean-based organization.
  • Foreign language instructor (E-2). The teachers of English or other foreign languages need to apply for this type of visa in case they plan to work in South Korea.
  • Researcher (E-5). This type of visa is for scientists and researchers who usually work in the high-tech industry and IT sector.
  • Non-professional employment (E-9) visa is made for foreigners coming to work in the manual labour field. The citizens of the Philippines, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Cambodia, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Myanmar and East Timor can apply for this visa.

Healthcare in South Korea

The healthcare system in South Korea offers high-quality services to nationals and expats. It implements both western and eastern medical practices approved by the Ministry of Health. The entire population is covered by the National Health Insurance (NHI) which is funded by social security contributions, government, and tobacco surcharges. NHI grants primary and emergency treatment, doctor visits, and medicine prescriptions, though patients are required to pay a small amount as well. Expats can be covered with NHI only after they get an Alien Registration Card (ARC) in one of the immigration services offices. Some expats prefer private health insurance in addition to NHI as it usually covers the costs associated with the treatment of chronic illnesses and other complex issues. In general, private healthcare insurance coverage is not widely popular in South Korea.

School and education

The standards of South Korean education are very high even when compared to other developed countries. Children start their education at the age of 6 and need to attend school up to the age of 15. Afterwards, they decide whether to proceed with a general academic program or enrol in technical lyceums and colleges to develop their skills in that sphere. As a rule, primary and lower secondary education is free of charge, but parents have to pay for school materials and uniform.

Many locals and expats prefer a private school option for their children because it grants a better quality of education and smaller class sizes. There are also many international schools for foreigners in South Korea, most of those are located in Seoul. Such schools offer educational programs in English, but be prepared to pay at least $1200 monthly in that case.

Students in South Korea have to study hard to graduate from school and get a degree in one of the higher education institutions. Korean universities also accept international students from other countries. Many foreigners are also moving to South Korea for language courses, so they have to apply for a corresponding type of visa.

The job market in South Korea

The economy of South Korea takes the leading place not only among Asian Tigers but in the whole world. The standards of living and the average salary rates are very high in the country. However, expats should not be too optimistic about finding a job in South Korea as the local labour force is highly competitive.

English-teaching jobs are very popular among expats who immigrated to South Korea. While it is difficult to find many job openings in big cities because those are filled fast, you may find plenty of opportunities in smaller towns and rural areas. If teaching English is not your cup of tea and you are a geek interested in technological innovations, then you will find a bundle of vacancies in electronics, information technology, and shipbuilding industries. Another way of moving to South Korea from abroad is an intra-company transfer to a branch office of the international organization.

Property information

The land suitable for a living is scarce in South Korea as almost all the territory is covered with mountains. That is why local people take advantage of what they already have. As a result, the prices for real estate property are high anyway.

Some immigrants decide to buy an apartment or villa in South Korea, but it appears to be a time-consuming and long-lasting process. The local government makes it very difficult to take a mortgage for foreigners. In case no obstacles prevent you from buying real estate property in South Korea, then be prepared to pay around $3,000 – $12,000 for 1 square meter. The highest prices are typical for luxurious regions of Seoul such as Gangnam.

Renting an apartment is more popular than purchasing one among expats who immigrated to South Korea. Apartments and units in officetels are the preferred options among immigrants depending on whether they move alone or with family members. The average monthly pay for renting an officetel unit will be between $450 and $700 while renting a 1 -bedroom apartment with an ensuite bathroom will be between $500 and $800.

Driving in South Korea

There are several basic tips to consider before driving in South Korea:

  • You must be at least 21 years old.
  • Drive on the right side of the road.
  • Take the following documents with you while driving in South Korea: driver’s license, international driving permit, passport or ID card.
  • Do not violate the speed limits: 60 km/h in built-up areas, 80 km on rural roads, 120 km/h on highways.
  • All passengers must wear seatbelts.
  • Use such mobile applications as free of charge.

Cost of moving to South Korea

Those who are relocating to South Korea are wondering about the average moving costs to South Korea or want to estimate how much is shipping from the USA to South Korea. Certainly, you want to take most of your personal belongings and items of high sentimental value. We at Eurosender would help you with this task by offering the cheapest way to move furniture to South Korea and send other household appliances. Furthermore, you can easily ship even motorcycles, coffee machines, musical instruments, and other items you use daily. With Eurosender, you will get lower than average moving costs to South Korea.

How much is shipping from the USA to South Korea?

Well, sending a single parcel with courier services is not a typical scenario when you immigrate to South Korea from overseas. Depending on the amount and dimensions of the items you are planning to send, the appropriate way of transportation will be chosen. As Eurosender cooperates with renowned logistics providers worldwide, there is flexibility in transportation means ranging from the road to sea freight shipping services.

Arrange everything with our experts and discover the cheapest way to move furniture to South Korea by booking freight shipping services and requesting an individual offer. Our professionals are always ready to help you and estimate the most affordable cost of moving house to South Korea.

The most popular destinations from where you can move to South Korea

Moving to South Korea from Canada

As it was mentioned above, native English-speaking expats, including Canadians, are very welcome in South Korea. Many teachers have already relocated from Canada to South Korea and seem to be satisfied with their new life in this Asian country. Moving to South Korea from Canada is not that difficult as it might seem. International removals to South Korea with Eurosender will facilitate the process of relocation for you as we offer the most affordable cost of moving house to South Korea.

Moving to South Korea from the United Kingdom

British English standards and rules form a beau ideal of the English language worldwide. That is why South Korean educational establishments are waiting for English teachers from the United Kingdom, in particular. If you have already secured a job of an English teacher or simply moving to South Korea from the United Kingdom to work in the technological sector, the international removals to South Korea powered by Eurosender will come in handy. Discover the cheapest way to move furniture to South Korea by booking freight shipping services and requesting an individual offer.

Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.