A traditional building on the water surrounded by cherry blossoms in South Korea

Work and travel in
South Korea

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A town in South Korea near the water

How to

Who can apply?

To work in South Korea through the Working Holiday program, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen
  • be 18-30 years old (inclusive),
  • live in Canada when applying, and
  • have a valid Canadian passport

Other requirements may apply, check South Korea’s website for more details.

What type of work visa do I need?

You need to apply for a Working Holiday visa.

Do I need a formal job or internship offer?

No, you do not need a formal job offer (pre-arranged contract of employment) or a formal internship offer.

Working Holiday visa holders can work in most types of temporary employment during their stay with the exception of certain professional jobs such as doctor, language instructor, athlete, entertainer, etc.

Working Holiday visa holders cannot work more than 1,300 hours per year.

How long can I stay and work?

You can stay and work in South Korea for up to 12 months.

You can participate in the Working Holiday program once.

A young person walks through a forest in South Korea

Start your

About South Korea

South Korea is situated on a peninsula surrounded by seas on three sides with almost 70% of its land covered by rugged mountains. Enjoy South Korea’s natural attractions by hiking the landscape, one of the favourite activities among locals and visitors alike, or visit the country’s vast and beautiful coastlines or islands.

Familiarize yourself with history and tradition throughout the cities of South Korea where you’ll find sites that preserve almost 5000 years of history including 44 heritage items that are recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Visit and admire the traditional architecture of the past and learn about the philosophy of ancient Koreans.

Become lost in South Korea’s city life in Seoul and other major cities which boast lively, exciting urban scenery surrounded by skyscrapers and busy streets that are filled with opportunities for shopping, night life and other cultural attractions.

If you haven’t already tried Korean food, prepare yourself for an amazing experience as Korean cuisine is heavily influenced by its geography with many regional varieties and recipes.

South Korea has the 11th largest economy in the world with world-leading major industries in automobile manufacturing, information technologies, petro-chemicals, steel production and shipbuilding. In recent years, South Korea has seen a dramatic rise in global popularity in terms pop culture and digital and creative industries.

Plan your trip

The best way to make sure your trip is the experience of a lifetime is to plan. Review our travel checklist to find out what you should know or do before travelling to and working in a foreign country.

Before you leave, remember to register as a Canadian abroad to receive notifications in case of an emergency while you are abroad or of a personal emergency at home. The service also enables you to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest.

Recognized Organizations

Need help planning? One of IEC’s recognized organizations might be able to help you find a job, transportation, and provide travel advice.

Most recognized organizations charge a fee for their services.

Download the guide

Korea’s Working Holiday guide (PDF)

This guide provides tips and resources on working in South Korea.

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