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Everything You Need To Know About the F-3 Family Visa in South Korea

Updated: Jan 2


family in south korea

Reuniting families is an important part of immigration policies all over the world. South Korea knows how important it is to keep families together, so it offers the F-3 Family Visa to make it easier for family members of Korean citizens and foreigners living in the country to move there. We will tell you everything you need to know about the F-3 Family Visa in this blog post.


With the F-3 Family Visa, spouses and children under 18 can join their families in South Korea. Whether you are a foreigner with a long-term visa in South Korea or the spouse or child of a Korean citizen, this type of visa lets you live with your family and enjoy the benefits of living in the country.


It's important to note that immigration policies and visa requirements may change over time. Therefore, while we strive to provide up-to-date information, we recommend cross-checking the details with official sources such as the South Korean embassy or consulate in your home country.


Now, let's delve into the details of the F-3 Family Visa and guide you through the process step by step.


I. Understanding the F-3 Family Visa


To be eligible for the F-3 Family Visa, you need to meet certain criteria based on your relationship to a Korean national or a foreigner with a long-term visa in South Korea. Here's a breakdown of the eligibility requirements:


  1. Spouse and Minor Children of Korean Nationals: If you are married to a Korean national or have a Korean parent, you can apply for the F-3 Family Visa. The marriage must be legally recognized, and you will need to provide a valid marriage certificate as proof.

  2. Spouse and Minor Children of Foreigners with Long-Term Visas: If you are married to a foreigner who holds a long-term visa (such as an E-7 or E-2 visa) in South Korea, you can also apply for the F-3 Family Visa. The marriage must be legally recognized, and you will need to provide a valid marriage certificate as proof. Additionally, your spouse should meet the requirements of their own visa category.

When applying for the F-3 Family Visa, you will need to submit specific documents to support your application. These may include:


  • Completed visa application form

  • Valid passport

  • Passport-sized photographs

  • Proof of relationship (marriage certificate or birth certificates for children)

  • Proof of financial support (such as bank statements or employment contract)

  • Medical examination certificate (depending on the length of stay)

  • Criminal background check certificate (depending on the length of stay)

Gathering the necessary documentation can be a crucial part of the application process. To ensure you have all the required documents, refer to the official website of the South Korean embassy or consulate in your home country. They will provide detailed guidelines and checklists specific to your situation.


Relevant links:

II. Visa Validity and Extension


Once your F-3 Family Visa is granted, it will have an initial validity period. The duration of the visa may vary depending on various factors, including the relationship to the Korean national or the foreigner with a long-term visa. Typically, the initial validity of the F-3 Family Visa ranges from one to two years.


To extend your stay in South Korea beyond the initial visa validity, you can apply for a visa extension. Here's an overview of the visa extension process:


  1. Renewal Process and Timeline It is important to start the renewal process well in advance of your visa expiration date. Typically, you can apply for an extension within 60 days before your current visa expires. Check the official website of the South Korean immigration authorities for detailed information on the renewal process and required documents.

  2. Possible Challenges and How to Overcome Them Renewing your F-3 Family Visa is generally straightforward if you continue to meet the eligibility criteria. However, challenges may arise if there are changes in your marital status or the status of the Korean national or foreigner with a long-term visa. In such cases, it is advisable to consult with the immigration authorities or seek assistance from an immigration lawyer to ensure a smooth renewal process.

For detailed information on the visa extension process and specific requirements, visit the official website of the South Korean immigration authorities. They provide comprehensive guidelines and instructions to help you navigate the process successfully.


III. Rights and Benefits for F-3 Visa Holders


As a holder of the F-3 Family Visa in South Korea, you are entitled to several rights and benefits, including:


  1. Employment Opportunities for Visa Holders With an F-3 Family Visa, you unfortunately unable to work in South Korea. However, the F-3 visa holders are eligible to change to a job seekers visa while residing within the country.

  2. Access to Education and Healthcare Services F-3 Family Visa holders have access to education and healthcare services in South Korea. Your children can attend schools and universities, while you and your family members can benefit from the healthcare system in the country.

  3. Social Benefits and Welfare Programs Depending on your circumstances and eligibility, you may be eligible for certain social benefits and welfare programs offered by the South Korean government. These programs aim to provide support and assistance to families residing in the country.


IV. Obligations and Responsibilities for F-3 Family Visa Holders


While enjoying the benefits of the F-3 Family Visa in South Korea, it is essential to fulfill certain obligations and responsibilities. Here are some key points to keep in mind:


  1. Complying with South Korean Laws and Regulations: As a visa holder, it is crucial to adhere to the laws and regulations of South Korea. Familiarize yourself with the country's legal framework and ensure you conduct yourself in accordance with the local laws.

  2. Maintaining Valid Visa Status: It is your responsibility to maintain the validity of your F-3 Family Visa. Ensure that you renew your visa on time and comply with any visa-related requirements, such as reporting changes in personal information or address to the immigration authorities. The renewal process may be started two months before the expiration date.

  3. Regular Reporting Requirements (if any): Depending on the specific circumstances and visa conditions, you may have certain reporting requirements. This could include reporting changes in marital status, family dependents, or address to the immigration authorities. Stay informed about any reporting obligations and fulfill them promptly.

V. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the F-3 Family Visa in South Korea:

  1. Can I work with an F-3 Family Visa? No, F-3 visa holders are not eligible to work. They will need to apply for the appropriate work visa while living in the country before securing employment.

  2. Can I study in South Korea with this visa? Yes, you can pursue educational opportunities in South Korea with an F-3 Family Visa provided by the Damunhwa and Danuri Educational Centers. Your children can attend schools and universities, while you may also have the option to enroll in various government-sponsored educational programs.

  3. Can I bring other family members to South Korea? The F-3 Family Visa is specifically for spouses and minor children of Korean nationals or foreigners with long-term visas in South Korea. If you wish to bring other family members, such as parents or siblings, you may need to explore other visa options or family reunification programs.

  4. Can I switch to another visa category in the future? Depending on your circumstances and goals, it is possible to switch to another visa category in the future. Explore the requirements and options available here, and consult the South Korean immigration authorities for detailed guidance.


It is important to note that immigration policies and visa requirements can change over time, so we recommend consulting the official website of the South Korean immigration authorities or contacting the South Korean embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date information.


We hope this blog post has provided you with the clarity and knowledge you need to navigate the F-3 Family Visa process effectively. Best of luck with your journey to reunite with your loved ones in South Korea!


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2,027 views6 comments

6 comentários


manoj karuna
manoj karuna
14 de abr.

Can f3 visa holders change their visa to d4 visa

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Jane Cameron
Jane Cameron
09 de fev.

Hi! Could you give an example of the options for FAQ's paragraph number 3 (Can I bring other family members to)?


  • Exploring 'other options visa', what can we find for the immigrant to be able to take his elderly mother to Korea?

  • And about the 'family reunification program', how does this apply for elderly mother of the immigrant?


I intend to immigrate to Korea and I am doing informal preliminary research to get an overview of this topic, I would be very grateful if you could answer me. I need to take my mother, she is elderly and financially dependent on me. Thank you.

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Jane Cameron
Jane Cameron
23 de fev.
Respondendo a

Yes, very helpful and I will consult about it. Thank you.

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Sage Madarang
Sage Madarang
30 de dez. de 2023

How true is it that f3 visa holders can work. Other resources say otherwise. Can you provide official reference on this?

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jonathan28700
02 de jan.
Respondendo a

Hi Sage, thanks for reaching out!

We wanted to clarify that F-3 visa holders can't work directly, but they have the advantage of applying for a work-eligible visa while in Korea, even before securing a job contract. Our apologies for any confusion in our initial post. https://www.visa.go.kr/main/openMain.do We've updated it accordingly. If you have more questions, feel free to ask! -Jonathan, Fleet Delivery

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