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FAQ

  • Title
    Under what circumstance is a foreigner who has worked in Korea exempted from taxation?
  • Content

    Although it may differ slightly depending on tax treaties concluded with other countries, a non-resident who satisfies the following requirements is generally exempted from taxation on earned income derived from Korea.

    - In case where a non-resident has stayed less than 183 days of the calendar year in Korea.

    - In case where the income was paid by a non-resident of Korea

    - In case where the income was not paid by the business in Korea owned by the worker’s employer

  • Title
    If a foreign worker who was dispatched by an overseas parent company receives wage from the overseas parent company, would he or she be obliged to pay taxes in Korea?
  • Content

    According to the tax treaties, a foreign worker can pay taxes in the country where he or she is working. Therefore, if a foreign worker works in Korea, he or she is obliged to pay taxes regardless of whether his or her wage is given by within or without the country.  

    According to the Income Tax Act, the worker above falls under the amount of income generated in Korea by a foreign resident. Thus, he or she is obliged to pay income tax.   

    However, if the working days (less than 183 days) of the tax treaties reached with other countries meet the requirements, then he or she shall not be obliged to pay taxes. 

  • Title
    What taxes and tax rates are applied to foreign-invested companies?
  • Content

    Generally, A foreign-invested company is subject to the corporate tax, local corporate income tax and value added tax. Other types of taxes may be applied if the company is subject to particular cases in accordance with taxation law. 

     

    ○ Corporate tax rate: Progressive from 10 percent to 22 percent 

    - Less than KRW 200 million: 10%

    - More than KRW 200 million and less than KRW 20 billion: 20%

    - More than KRW 20 billion: 22%

     

    ○ Local corporate income tax rate: Progressive from 10 percent to 22 percent

    - Less than KRW 200 million : 1% 

    - More than KRW 200 million and less than KRW 20 billion : 2%

    - More than KRW 20 billion: 2.2%

     

    ○ Value added tax: 10%

  • Title
    Can children of foreign residents in Korea receive childcare subsidies?
  • Content
    Only children who are Korean nationals are eligible for childcare subsidies (for daycare) offered by local governments. 
    However, foreigners are eligible to use toy or book rental services. 
    - How to apply: Register at the relavant local government’s childcare service website and receive a membership card
    - Membership fee: KRW 10,000 ~ 20,000 (Varies by local government)
  • Title
    Can a foreigner receive subsidies for pregnancy and childbirth medical expenses?
  • Content
    Foreigner may be eligible for benefits that are designed specifically for pregnancy and childbirth medical expenses, provided that he/she is insured under the Korea’s national health insurance scheme. 
    ※ What are the benefits for the “Pregnancy and Childbirth Medical Expenses”?
    The Gounmom card is an electronic voucher card for pregnant women which provides benefits to cover pregnancy and childbirth related medical expenses for the purpose of helping women deliver healthy babies and maintain pre- and post-natal health. 
    About the Gounmom Card
    - Eligibility: Woman who have verified their pregnancy with a written confirmation of pregnancy and applied for such support, among the insured and their dependents under the National Health Insurance Scheme 
    - Scope of coverage: Medical expenses related to pregnancy and childbirth
    - How to use the card: The card can be used to pay for medical expenses at a designated medical care institution in connection with pregnancy and childbirth.
    - Amount of benefits: KRW 500,000 per pregnancy (KRW 700,000 for multiple pregnancies)
    - Period of use: From the date of receiving card to 60 days after the due date 
    ※ The amount that has not been used within the above period shall expire
    - Where to submit an application: A branch of the National Health Insurance Corporation, Shinhan Bank (Shinhan Card), Kookmin Bank (Kookmin Card) or a post office
    - Required documents: Application form for support for payment of medical expenses for pregnancy and childbirth and written confirmation of pregnancy.
  • Title
    Are there any emergency medical services for foreigners in Korea?
  • Content
    The emergency call number 119 is similar to 911 in North America. In Seoul, 119 response centers provide emergency medical interpretation services in English,, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Mongolian, but the languages available in other cities may differ. If the language you use is not available, it is advised to use the BBB free interpretation service to call the center.
    ※BBB 24 Hours Interpretation Service: 1588-5644
    - Serviced languages: English, Japanese, Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, German, Portuguese, Arabian, Polish, Turkish, Swedish, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Mongolian
    - Service time: 24 hours
    - Website: www.bbbkorea.org
  • Title
    Is there a sector where a foreigner must have a Korean partner in order to invest in Korea?
  • Content

    o Most sectors do not require Korean partners for investment. However, some specified sectors must have Korean partners for investment in Korea and these sectors limit the amount of stocks and shares of foreign investors.  

     

    oThe details of limit and specified sectors are revised and announced every year in accordance with Article 4.4 of the Foreign Investment Promotion Act, Article 5.10 of the Enforcement Ordinance of the Act and the Integrated Public Notice of Foreign Investment. (Minister of Trade, Industry &Energy) 

     

    o Example of foreign investment limitation 

    Example of foreign investment limitation
    Sectors (Korea standard industrial classification) Overview Standard of permission
    Power transmission and electricity supply (35120)
    (35120)
    Refers to supplying electricity to specified regions or end-users. Industrial activities include providing electricity to households and industrial and commercial users. Permitted for the following:
    1. the ratio of foreign investment is less than 50%.
    2. the voting stocks owned by foreign investors must be less than domestic stockholders.
    Transportation and treatment of radioactive waste (38240) Refers to the collection, transportation and treatment of radioactive waste. Except for radioactive waste management business in accordance with Article 82 of the Electric Utility Act
    Wholesale of meat (46312) Refers to wholesale business of freshly meat-packed products of livestock and other land animals. Permitted if the ratio of foreign investment is less than 50%.

     

  • Title
    Can a foreigner apply for a Korean credit card?
  • Content
    Foreigners who hold a foreign registration card, are 20 years or older, are employed in Korea and own an account at the applicable bank
    -  Required documents: Income certificate (recent three months), employment contract, foreign registration card, and passport
    - Issuance process: The credit card review team will evaluate the applicant’s documents. If the application is rejected, a credit card can be issued by making a deposit at the applicable bank (KEB Bank). In this case, the credit card limit will be 90 percent of the deposit, and the deposit will be returned after the credit card is cancelled.
  • Title
    What should you do with data roaming when you are abroad?
  • Content
    Every smartphone user needs to use certain amount of data. If you do not plan to use data while you are out of Korea, it is advised to block the data use at the airport before departing the country. If you plan to use data, it is advised to subscribe to an unlimited data plan before departing the country.
     
    Additional information: Unlimited data roaming plans of three telecommunication companies in Korea
     
    1. SK Telecom’s unlimited data roaming plan
    SK텔레콤 데이터 로밍 요금제
    Data Plan Service Charge Data Offered Serviced Countries
    One Pass
    T Roaming Data
    Unlimited One-Pass
    KRW 9,000 /day
    (KRW 9,900 including VAT)
    Unlimited 124 service provides in 100 countries (Subscribers should manually select the designated network operator in each serviced country)

     

    2. Olleh KT’s data roaming plans

    Olleh KT 데이터 로밍 요금제
    Data Plan Service Charge Data Offered Serviced Countries
    Olleh unlimited data roaming
    KRW 10,000 /day
    (KRW 11,000  including VAT)
    Unlimited 98 service providers in 69 countries

     

    3. LG U+ data roaming plan

    LG U+ 데이터 로밍 요금제
    Data Plan Service Charge Data Offered Serviced Countries
    Unlimited data roaming
    KRW 10,000 /day
    (KRW 11,000 including VAT)
    Unlimited 85 countries

     

  • Title
    What should you do if you lost your cellphone?
  • Content
    It is strongly recommended to report loss and request originating call denial immediately to avoid excessive cellphone bills.
     
    If a cellphone was lost in a department store or a subway station, contact the department store’s customer service center or the subway station’s lost & found center.
    The Korea Association for ICT Promotion (KAIT) operates an on-line lost cellphone finding service (http://www.handpone.or.kr/) free of charge, which locates any phone that is sent to the local post office, lost & found center or the police.

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