Life in South Korea is difficult
Welcome to the website of the Federal Foreign Office
Compulsory health insurance for longer stays
Since July 2019, all foreigners who stay in Korea for more than 6 months are required to pay contributions to the Korean health insurance.
Information on this is available from the National Health Insurance Service. The English-speaking number 033-811-2000 can tell you how to proceed and whether there are any exceptions.
If German civil status documents with an apostille are required for the registration of family members, please contact the responsible registry office that issued the certificate, or please note the information on the apostille procedure.
Life in Seoul
The Seoul Global Center offers foreigners who live in Seoul helpful tips on questions of daily life (opening an account, mobile phone contract, etc.) and information about sights in the city.
The Korean government and the city of Seoul have posted similarly helpful information for foreigners on the following websites:
Seoul Global Center
HiKorea - Information about living, working and residence permit in Korea (https://www.hikorea.go.kr)
Seoul city information
Simplified entry to Germany and Korea
Semi-automated border control systems under the name "EasyPASS" have been installed at German airports since 2014. The introduction of EasyPASS increases the efficiency of border police controls and reduces waiting times for all travelers. The system is a success story: up to 40 percent or 13.5 million travelers who are subject to mandatory checks use the systems today.
The group of users has been continuously expanded: in addition to EU and EEA citizens and Swiss, US citizens and passport holders of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have been allowed to use the accelerated border control procedure. On December 1, 2018, another user group was added with the nationals of the Republic of South Korea. In return, German citizens can also use the e-Gates in the participating countries.
The corresponding cooperation agreement was signed in Berlin on June 22, 2018. In November 2018, the concrete procedure was agreed in Seoul and the start date of EasyPASS was set for December 1st.
The first South Korean EasyPASS user registered shortly afterwards at Berlin-Tegel Airport.
Notice from the Immigration Office
Please note the following notice from the Korean Immigration Office:
According to Art. 35 of the Immigration Act, all foreigners registered in Korea are obliged to notify the Korean Immigration Office within 14 days of any changes relating to their name, gender, date of birth, nationality, change of address, passport number or passport validity. Otherwise a fine will be charged. In the case of passport renewals or changes, the penalty should only be calculated 44 days from the date of issue of the passport. In exceptional cases, the embassy can confirm the collection date of the passport. Please note the information on the website of the Immigration Office: https://www.hikorea.go.kr
The new passport number can also be communicated easily online (hikorea - e-application).
Working Holiday program
A Working Holiday Agreement has existed between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Korea since April 19, 2009, which enables young people between 18 and 30 years of age to spend up to 12 months on vacation in the other country. The program participants should thus gain an insight into the culture and everyday life of the country. Vacation jobs can be accepted to provide additional financing for the stay.
Interested Germans can contact the representations of the Republic of Korea in Germany for further information. In addition, the Korean government has set up the Working Holiday Info Center, which is available for general information and can also help with finding vacation jobs in Korea.
Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Berlin
Working Holiday Info Center
Internship opportunities in the Republic of Korea
Internship at the German Embassy in Seoul
The Foreign Office offers German students who have completed their basic studies the opportunity to complete an internship at a German diplomatic mission abroad. The available places are allocated in a central selection process. If you are interested in an internship at the embassy, please apply exclusively using the online application form on the website of the Foreign Office.
KOPRA - the coordination office for internships
The Coordination Office for Internships e.V. (KOPRA) is a comprehensive internet platform for internships related to East Asia. KOPRA offers companies from Asia and Europe the opportunity to publish their internship offer, for which potential interns can apply. Applicants can also enter their profile in an applicant database, in which the company can search for a suitable candidate. This service is free of charge for companies and students. In addition, KOPRA offers information and support in the preparation and implementation of the internship. The KOPRA office in Seoul organizes regular meetings and thus offers the opportunity to exchange experiences with former interns.
Further internship opportunities
Internship at the German-Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Internship at the Goethe-Institut Seoul
Internship at the German School Seoul International for prospective teachers and educators
Internships with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Taxation of pensions from the statutory pension insurance
The pensions from the statutory pension insurance and the other benefits of the basic pension in old age have been taxed more heavily from year to year since 1.1.2005. This also applies to pensioners who live abroad. You can find more information on the homepage Pension Abroad of the Ministry of Finance of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Working in Germany and the Republic of Korea
The Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund has published an extensive information brochure on the German-Korean social security agreement. Here you will find answers to questions about compulsory insurance, reimbursement of contributions, pension insurance and health and long-term care insurance in both countries. You can find more information on the homepage of the German Pension Insurance Association.
Important information from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung (DRV) on the effects of the Covid19 pandemic on the issuing of life certificates and pension payments abroad
The spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus ("Coronavirus") affects the requirement for the annual certificate of life. A simplification of this year's life certificate procedure has now been agreed for the German Pension Insurance. You can find details here
Please note that these instructions only apply to pension payments from the German Pension Insurance. In the case of life certificates and pension payments from other pension providers (e.g. company pension, pension funds or private pension insurers) there may be other regulations that you must clarify directly with your pension provider in individual cases.
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