Emigrate to South Korea

⇒ South Korea culture

⇒ Climate

⇒ Language

⇒ School system of South Korea

⇒ Health care system

⇒ Vaccinations and medical certificates

⇒ Tax system

⇒ Economy

⇒ Prices by index

⇒ Real estate

⇒ Company foundation

⇒ Visa

⇒ Safety

⇒ BACK TO OVERVIEW ⇐

South Korea culture

The culture of South Korea is rich and diverse, marked by thousands of years of history, traditions and modern influences. Here are some characteristics that distinguish South Korean culture:

  1. Courtesy and Respect: In Korean culture, great emphasis is placed on courtesy and respect for others, especially the elderly and those of higher social status. It is customary to express oneself with bows and polite expressions.
  2. Confucian Influences: Korean culture has strong roots in Confucian philosophy. Confucian values such as respect for elders, hierarchy and sense of duty are still present in society.
  3. K-pop and K-drama: South Korea is known for its K-pop music and K-dramas, which have a large following worldwide. Korean pop music has a unique style and choreography, while K-dramas are popular television series in many countries.
  4. Traditional clothing: Korean Hanbok is the traditional clothing of the country. It consists of colorful robes with elegant lines and is worn on special occasions such as weddings and holidays.
  5. Food and Kimchi: Korean cuisine is known for its variety and delicious flavors. Kimchi, fermented vegetables, is an integral part of every meal and an important part of Korean food culture.
  6. Tea culture: Tea plays an important role in Korean culture. The traditional tea ceremony, which involves tea culture and etiquette, can still be experienced in many tea gardens and cultural events.
  7. Technology and innovation: South Korea is known for its technological advances and innovative industry. The country is a leader in the electronics industry and is considered one of the most connected nations in the world.
  8. Festivals and Holidays: South Korea celebrates a variety of festivals and holidays, including Seollal (New Year), Chuseok (Harvest Festival), and Buddha’s Birthday Festival. These holidays are often celebrated with family celebrations, traditional games and cultural events.

South Korean culture is proud of its identity, history and traditions, while remaining open to modern developments and global influences. This has helped make the country a fascinating destination for cultural exploration and travel.

Die unbeschreibliche Natur von Südkorea - Auswandern nach Südkorea und ansehen

Climate

The climate in South Korea is temperate, with four distinct seasons. However, the different regions of the country may have different climatic conditions due to their geographical location and altitude differences. In general, the climate can be described as follows:

  1. Spring (March to May): Spring is a pleasant season in South Korea. Temperatures are gradually rising, and nature begins to bloom. Cherry blossom (Sakura) is a famous event that attracts people from all over the world. The average temperatures are between 10°C and 20°C.
  2. Summer (June to August): Summer in South Korea can be hot and humid. Temperatures can often reach 30°C and higher, accompanied by high humidity. Rain showers and occasional typhoons may occur.
  3. Autumn (September to November): Autumn is one of the most beautiful seasons in South Korea. The weather is mild, the humidity decreases, and the landscape is painted in bright colors by the autumn coloring of the trees. The average temperatures are between 10°C and 20°C.
  4. Winter (December to February): Winter can be cold in South Korea, especially in the northern areas of the country. Temperatures can drop below freezing, and snow is common in some parts. In the southern regions, however, it usually remains somewhat milder. The average temperatures are between -5°C and 5°C.

It is important to note that temperatures can vary by region. The western coastal regions are generally milder and wetter, while the eastern coastal regions are drier. The regions at higher altitudes, such as the mountains in the east, often have more snow in winter.

Language

Two main languages are spoken in South Korea:

  1. Korean: The official language and the most spoken language in South Korea is Korean. There are several dialects, but Standard Korean (also known as Hankukmal or Seoulmal) is the official written language used in the media, educational institutions, and government. Most South Koreans speak Korean as their native language.
  2. English: English is taught as a foreign language in South Korea and is widely spoken, especially in urban areas and among younger generations. English language skills are beneficial in many aspects of life, such as tourism, business and education. English is often taught as a second language in school and many South Koreans can carry on at least basic English conversations.

Although Korean and English are the dominant languages, South Korea also has small minority languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and other regional dialects spoken by immigrants and ethnic minorities. Overall, communication in South Korea is often quite possible in urban areas for foreign visitors who do not speak Korean, as many Koreans have basic English skills. Still, it is helpful to learn some basic Korean expressions to facilitate interaction with the locals.

School system of South Korea

For emigrating to South Korea with family, the school system is of great importance:

The school system of South Korea is known for its strong focus on academic achievement and competition. Here are the main features of the school system:

  1. Elementary school: Elementary school in South Korea lasts six years and is compulsory for children aged 6 to 12. The curriculum includes subjects such as Korean, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign languages, music and art.
  2. Middle school: Middle school lasts three years and is compulsory for students aged 13 to 15. Der Lehrplan wird erweitert, und die Schülerinnen und Schüler beginnen, sich auf bestimmte Fächer zu spezialisieren.
  3. High school: High school lasts three years and is for students between the ages of 16 and 18. High school is not compulsory, but most students continue their education to prepare for the university entrance exam. At this stage, students can choose between a general curriculum and a specialized curriculum, depending on their interests and future career plans.
  4. Higher Education: Access to higher education in South Korea is extremely competitive. Admission to the university depends primarily on scores on the National College Admission Test (CSAT), which covers a wide range of subjects, including Korean, mathematics, English, science, and social science. Universities in South Korea offer a wide range of degree programs, and academic achievement is considered a critical factor in students’ future careers.

The education system in South Korea often involves a high degree of pressure and competition, as education is seen as a crucial key to social advancement. There is also a strong culture of tutoring and out-of-school learning to improve students’ academic performance. However, in recent years, the government has also taken steps to reduce the pressure on students and make the education system more holistic and creative.

Healthcare system

The healthcare system in South Korea is well-developed and provides high-quality healthcare for the country’s citizens. It is considered one of the best healthcare systems in the world. The health care system in South Korea is generally accessible and inexpensive, which contributes to the high level of life expectancy and general health of the population.

Here are some important features of the health care system in South Korea:

  1. Universal Health Insurance: South Korea has a system of universal health insurance that is mandatory for all citizens. Health insurance covers most health care costs, including doctor visits, hospitalization, medications and other medical services.
  2. Two-tier system: The healthcare system in South Korea includes both public and private healthcare providers. Most citizens use the public health care system, while some people, especially high-income residents and foreigners, use private health care services.
  3. High medical standards: South Korea has state-of-the-art medical facilities and technologies as well as highly qualified medical professionals. Medical standards and the quality of health care are generally very high.
  4. Cost efficiency: The cost of medical treatment and healthcare services is often lower in South Korea compared to many other developed countries. This is partly due to government subsidies and negotiations with pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of drugs.
  5. Telemedicine and e-health: South Korea is a leader in the development and use of telemedicine and e-health solutions. This allows patients to access medical advice and diagnoses over the Internet and improves the efficiency and convenience of healthcare.
Die aussergewöhnliche tierwelt von Südkorea - Auswandern nach Südkorea und ansehen

Vaccinations and medical certificates

Certain vaccinations and medical certificates are required to emigrate to South Korea as a German. However, the exact requirements may change and depend on your immigration status and the purpose of your stay in South Korea.

There are usually no specific vaccinations required for short-term travel to South Korea as a tourist. However, it is recommended that you keep your standard immunizations up to date, including vaccinations for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox and influenza.

However, if you intend to stay in South Korea for an extended period of time or wish to immigrate for other reasons, specific vaccinations and health certificates may be required. For example:

  1. Work Visa: If you are looking to immigrate to South Korea for work, a health check, including a medical exam and certain vaccinations, could be part of the application process. The exact requirements vary depending on the intended area of work and length of stay.
  2. Study or education: Students or pupils who wish to immigrate to South Korea may also need to provide proof of a health check and certain vaccinations.
  3. Long-term stays: For long-term stays, for example when applying for a long-term visa or naturalization, a health check including some mandatory vaccinations may be required.

Tax system

The tax system in South Korea is progressive and includes various types of taxes that apply to both residents and non-residents. The main types of taxes in South Korea are:

  1. Income tax: Income tax in South Korea is progressive and calculated in different tax brackets. Tax rates vary depending on the amount of taxable income. The maximum tax rate for residents is usually 42% for annual income above a certain threshold. Non-residents are subject to a flat 20% tax rate on their South Korean income.
  2. Corporate tax: Corporate tax in South Korea is generally 25% for companies. Small and medium-sized enterprises may benefit from reduced tax rates under certain conditions.
  3. Excise tax: Excise tax is levied on certain goods and services such as alcohol, tobacco, motor vehicles, gasoline and luxury goods.
  4. Value Added Tax (VAT): VAT in South Korea is usually 10% and is levied on the sale of goods and services.
  5. Real estate tax: A real estate tax is levied on real estate ownership in South Korea. The amount of tax depends on the value of the property.
  6. Capital gains tax: Capital gains such as dividends and capital gains are subject to capital gains tax in South Korea. The amount of tax varies depending on the type of capital gain.

South Korea has also entered into double taxation treaties with various countries to avoid double taxation and to regulate the taxation of income and capital between countries.

Tax tricks

There are legal ways to save taxes in South Korea, similar to most countries. The tax laws in South Korea provide certain opportunities and incentives to reduce the tax burden. Some of the legal ways to save taxes in South Korea are:

  1. Tax Deductions: South Korea offers various tax deductions and benefits for certain expenses, such as educational expenses, donations to charitable organizations, and professional expenses. It is important to properly document all eligible expenses and deductions to take advantage of these benefits.
  2. Retirement plans: Contributions to certain retirement plans, such as the National Pension Service, may be tax deductible, resulting in tax savings.
  3. Housing Savings: The housing savings program in South Korea provides tax benefits for individuals investing in the purchase of their own apartment or house.
  4. Tax-Exempt Investments: There are certain investment vehicles, such as tax-exempt bonds or investments in certain industries, that may be exempt from tax.
  5. Tax reductions for companies: South Korea offers tax reductions and incentives to various companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to promote economic growth.
  6. International tax planning: For international investors and business people operating in South Korea, well thought-out international tax planning can help optimize tax burdens and avoid double taxation.

Economy

South Korea has one of the largest economies in the world and is known for its remarkable economic development and rapid growth. The South Korean economy has evolved from an agrarian economy in the 1960s to a highly developed, technology-driven, export-oriented industrial nation.

Some characteristics of the South Korean economy are:

  1. Export orientation: South Korea is a strong exporter of electronics, automobiles, shipbuilding, mechanical engineering, chemical products and textiles. Exports play a crucial role in the country’s economic growth and account for a significant share of gross domestic product (GDP).
  2. Technological innovation: South Korea has established itself as a leading nation in the technology industry. Companies such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai and SK Hynix are known worldwide and dominate in their respective industries. The country also invests heavily in research and development to drive technological innovation.
  3. Chaebols: The South Korean economy is partly dominated by so-called chaebols, which are large conglomerates that are often family-run. These companies have significant economic and political power and have contributed to South Korea’s economic development. At the same time, however, they have also generated some controversy, as their dominant position in the market can lead to competition problems.
  4. Work ethic and education: The South Korean work ethic is known for its dedication and discipline. The population attaches great importance to education and high qualification, which contributes to the development of a highly qualified and technically skilled workforce.
  5. Trade partners: South Korea has close trade relations with countries all over the world, especially with the USA, China, Japan and countries in Europe. These international trade relationships have helped diversify the South Korean economy and strengthen its resilience to external economic shocks.

Overall, it can be said that the South Korean economy is a success story and the country plays an important role in the global economy. The continued pursuit of innovation and technological development has made South Korea one of the leading players in the global technology industry.

Landschaftlich ist Südkorea ein Abenteuer was Ihnen mit unseren Informationen gelingen wird

Prices by index

Even in one of the largest and most exporting economies in the world like, South Korea, prices can change quickly and vary greatly from region to region, so we refer here to the Cost of Living website. The information on this website is constantly updated so that you are always up to date.

Real Estate

As an immigrant, it is generally possible to buy or rent real estate in South Korea. However, there are some restrictions and certain rules that must be followed:

  1. Real estate purchase: Foreign immigrants can purchase both residential and commercial real estate in South Korea. However, there are some exceptions in certain areas that may be restricted for security or other reasons. Foreign buyers must have a foreigner registration number and cannot purchase property in certain areas, such as military or strategically sensitive zones.
  2. Renting: Foreigners can rent apartments and houses in South Korea. However, there are also some restrictions and it is recommended that foreign tenants have legal residency status.
  3. Land Ownership: It is important to note that purchasing land in South Korea as a foreigner can be more complicated than purchasing residential property. The purchase of land is in some cases only allowed for foreigners who meet certain criteria, such as investors or businessmen operating in certain industries.
  4. Investment Projects: South Korea has various investment projects and incentives for foreign investors to come to the country. These projects could facilitate the purchase of real estate for investment purposes.

We will be happy to help you find an apartment or a house. Click here for our real estate listings.

Company foundation

As an immigrant, it is generally possible to start a business in South Korea. South Korea offers various opportunities for foreign investors and entrepreneurs to establish and operate businesses. However, there are some requirements and procedures that must be followed:

  1. Visa: Before you can start a business, you must have an appropriate visa that allows you to do business in South Korea. There are special visa categories for investors and businessmen, such as the D-8 visa (investor visa) and the D-9 visa (commercial agent visa).
  2. Business Type: You need to select the type of business you want to establish in South Korea. This can be a limited liability company, a joint stock company or a branch of a foreign company.
  3. Capital: Depending on the type of business and industry, there may be certain minimum capital requirements that must be met in order to start the business.
  4. Business License: You need to apply for a business license and registration with the Commercial Registry to legally establish your business in South Korea.
  5. Legal representation: it is recommended that foreign founders hire a lawyer or legal counsel in South Korea to ensure that all legal requirements and procedures are handled correctly.

Language: Company formation usually requires the processing of documents in Korean. It can therefore be an advantage to have language skills or to use a translation service.

Company forms

Various types of companies can be established in South Korea, depending on their size, type of business and liability structure. The most common types of companies in South Korea are:

  1. Sole proprietorship: A single owner establishes and operates the business alone. The owner is personally responsible for all debts and obligations of the company.
  2. Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is a popular choice for small and medium-sized businesses. The liability of the shareholders is limited to their contributions and they are not personally liable for the debts of the company.
  3. Joint Stock Company (JSC): A JSC is a corporation whose capital is divided into shares. Shareholders are liable only to the extent of their contributions and have voting rights corresponding to the number of shares they hold.
  4. Limited Liability Company and Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): An LLP is a limited liability partnership form. The partners are not personally liable for the partnership’s debts, but only up to the amount of their contributions.
  5. Establishment: Foreign companies can open a branch office in South Korea to conduct business. However, the branch remains an extension of the foreign company and has no independent legal personality.
  6. Subsidiary: Foreign companies can establish a subsidiary in South Korea, which acts as a separate legal entity. The subsidiary is independent of the foreign parent company and is liable for its own debts.
  7. Joint Venture: A joint venture is a cooperation between a domestic and a foreign company to conduct a joint business. The partners share risks and profits according to the agreed terms.
Visa

There are several possible visas for emigrating to South Korea as a German, depending on your purpose in South Korea. Here are some of the most common visa categories:

  1. E-7 Visa (Work Visa): If you want to work in South Korea and have a job from a South Korean employer, you can apply for an E-7 work visa. This visa is intended for foreign specialists and professionals in specific professional fields.
  2. E-9 visa (work visa for simple work): The E-9 visa is intended for non-professional workers in simple jobs.
  3. E-1 Visa (Professor): If you want to work as a professor or in a teaching position at a South Korean educational institution, you need an E-1 visa.
  4. E-2 Visa (Language Teacher): The E-2 visa is for foreign English teachers at public or private schools or language institutes in South Korea.
  5. F-5 Visa (Permanent Resident Visa): If you are planning a long-term stay in South Korea and meet certain requirements, you can apply for an F-5 Permanent Resident Visa.
  6. F-4 Visa (Ethnic Korean Visa): If you are of Korean descent, you can apply for an F-4 visa under certain conditions, which grants you the right to long-term residence in South Korea.
  7. D-8 Visa (Investor Visa): If you wish to be an investor in South Korea and conduct business activity, the D-8 Investor Visa may be relevant to you.
  8. D-9 Visa (Commercial Agent Visa): The D-9 visa is intended for foreign business people who wish to work as a commercial agent for a foreign company in South Korea.
Security in the country

South Korea is generally considered a safe country for travelers and residents. The crime rate is relatively low compared to many other countries, and the streets are generally safe. Tourists and foreigners often report feeling safe during their stay in South Korea.

The government of South Korea is also making efforts to ensure the safety of citizens and visitors. There is a well-organized police and security infrastructure in the country.

South Korea is occasionally affected by natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes. Check for possible weather warnings and earthquake advisories when visiting the country.

We recommend you to inform yourself about the current security advices of the German Foreign Office: Security Advice Republic of Korea (South Korea).

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