Moving To South Korea

The place of origin of the hugely popular K-pop, K-beauty and more, South Korea is a country located in East Asia. It is known for its rich culture, advanced technology, and beautiful landscapes. The country has a vibrant entertainment industry, known as the “Korean wave,” which has gained popularity worldwide.

South Korea has a strong economy, with major industries including electronics, automobiles, and shipbuilding. The capital city, Seoul, is a bustling metropolis with modern skyscrapers and historic palaces. The country also offers various tourist attractions, such as historic sites like Gyeongbokgung Palace, beautiful national parks like Seoraksan, and vibrant shopping streets like Myeongdong.

Moving to South Korea from the USA can be really exciting and you need to prepare well.

Moving from South Korea from USA

How International Sea & Air can help for moving to South Korea

It’s crucial to have a proper plan in place when you are relocating internationally. Especially when you are moving between two continents like in this move to South Korea from the USA you will have a load of stuff to take care of to look forward to a hassle-free relocation. At International Sea & Air Shipping we assist you in both the planning and execution stages. Our team can handle A to Z of your move to South Korea from the USA.

A relocation from one country to another requires careful packing of your household goods, choosing the right container and freight services and also post move planning. You will also have to get the document process done to enter the new country and settle there. The challenges are many but can be taken care of if you take our assistance.

At International Sea & Air Shipping our team understands each and every step of an international relocation and are ready to assist you. Whether it is to get you ready for the documentation processes or advising you on the move – we can do it all. We specialize in many aspects of the relocation like moving the household goods or moving your car to your preferred country and the added advantage is that we are affordable.

So, let our professional moving team at International Sea & Air Shipping handle your international relocation to South Korea from the USA while you can focus on the documentation and post move settling down in the new country.

About South Korea

South Korea – officially known as the Republic of Korea – is a sovereign state in East Asia making up the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula.

Around half of South Korea’s population resides in the region surrounding its capital: the Seoul Capital Area, the second largest in the world with more than 25 million residents.

Ranked second in Asia on the Democracy Index, South Koreans have high civil liberties and live in one of the most developed democracies in the world. South Korea is also East Asia’s highest ranked developed country according to the Human Development Index.

The country boasts the eighth highest household income on the planet and has some of the highest quality education and healthcare. It’s also the world’s highest research and development intensive country and has the fastest internet connectivity speed.

Customs Regulations for South Korea

The following list of documents are needed for importation:

  • Passport with identification and entry stamp (copy)
  • Import declaration
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Inventory list (detailed)
  • Certificate of Entry and Departure (for retuning Koreans)
  • Certificate of Alien Registration from the Korean Immigration Office
  • Application for Duty Exemption (issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Korea for Diplomats)
  • Residence Card (from the Korean Immigration Office)
  • Work Visa (that’s been valid for a year or more)
  • Bill of Lading (original)
  • Personal effects and household goods must arrive no later than six months after Customer’s arrival in South Korea
  • Personal effects cannot be cleared until Customer has arrived in South Korea
  • All visitors who enter Korea must submit a written baggage declaration to a Customs officer upon entry
  • A person carrying more than $10,000 worth of any type of payment (cash, check, etc.) needs to declare it to Customs

Some articles may have restricted quantities or require special authorization/ payments of duties and taxes to clear customs in South Korea. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • Real and imitation firearms, ammunition and explosive materials such as fireworks(need permission from Commissioner General of National Police Agency)
  • Drugs, including narcotics and psychotropic substances
  • Animals, plants and items made from animal and plant products (subject to quarantine and may not be allowed to enter)
  • Endangered animals, plants and products made from them as outlined by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)(will require permit from CITES)

In South Korea, some articles may not be imported in a customer’s baggage whatsoever. These items include, but may not be limited to:

  • Narcotics
  • Pornography
  • Subversive material
  • Treasonous material
  • Counterfeit goods or materials

In South Korea, it is very expensive to import vehicles. You may import a car into the country if:

  • You plan to live in South Korea for at least one year (those entering South Korea with a family may import a vehicle if they plan to live there a minimum of six months)
  • The car has been own and registered in the name of the person importing it three months prior to shipping
  • The car is not Japanese
  • The car is a small or medium vehicle (mobile homes, trucks and vehicles that seat more than 10 passengers are forbidden)

You will need the following documents:

  • Certificate of registration (original)
  • An invoice or receipt that provides proof of purchase for the vehicle and states the amount paid for it
  • Customer’s passport
  • Insurance
  • A Custom’s declaration
  • A work permit (valid for at least one year)

All animals are subject to inspection and quarantine upon arrival. Visitors traveling with pets must declare their pets (maximum of four) on the Customs Declaration Form.

When importing a petto South Korea, he or she will need to have the following documentation:

  • Microchip implantation
  • A health certificate (must include pet’s identification number)
  • Rabies-neutralizing antibody test
  • A quarantine certificate issued by exporting country

Certain items may be imported duty free if the Customer is over 19-years-old. These items include:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 50 cigars
  • 250 grams of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcohol
  • 2 ounces of perfume
  • Other personal items worth up to $400 (gifts and new items)

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International sea & air shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists 1 (866) 315-4170

Moving to South Korea from the USA – all you need to know

Moving to South Korea from the USA can be an exciting decision and a lot to look forward to. However, for a successful move it is important that you have given proper consideration to aspects like the cultural differences, language barrier, and getting the necessary visas and documentation done in time.

Additionally, setting up healthcare, housing, and finances before the move is essential. Connecting with local expat communities and seeking advice from those who have already made the move can provide valuable insights. Embracing the new experiences and remaining open-minded will make the transition smoother for you.

Researching about South Korea’s customs, traditions, and etiquette will help you in adjusting to the new environment when you move to South Korea from the USA for a longer term. Learning the Korean language will also ease communication and enhance integration.

Documents required to move to South Korea from the USA

If you want to relocate to South Korea from the USA, it may offer you some peace of mind to know that there are different types of visa and residency permits available. In general, any stay longer than 90 days in South Korea will require you to have a proper visa justifying your stay in the country.

Predominantly, there are three major reasons that can help you with your move to South Korea from the USA – you can either move there for work, or to study or to reunite with a family member.

In the following few sections we are going to elaborate on the general requirements and processes for obtaining these visas.

Work Visa

There are different types of work visas that South Korea offers which are suitable to skilled workers or different types of work needs. Take a look –

The D group of work visas –

  • D-5 long-term new coverage.
  • D-8-4 technology and business start-up visa.
  • D-10-2 business start-up visa.
  • D-8-1 investment visa.

The E group of work visas –

  • E-1 professor visa.
  • E-2 foreign language instructor.
  • E-3 research.
  • E-4 technological guidance.
  • E-5 special profession.
  • E-6 culture and art.
  • E-7 specially designed activities.

Depending on your job profile and the length of your stay in South Korea you will have to apply for a suitable visa. After you enter the country on a work visa next you have to register your stay at a local Immigration Office. At the Immigration Office you will have to get your Alien Registration Card (ARC).

Study Visa

The good news is South Korea offers student visas for people willing to move to South Korea from the USA for study. To obtain a South Korean study visa you need to apply for a university in the country and get accepted. After that you will be presented with a “Certificate of Admission”, which will help you to apply for a student visa or the D-2 visa. Depending on the subject or area of your study there are the following visas to choose from when you want to relocate to South Korea from the USA:

  • D-2-6 exchange visa.
  • D-2-1 associate degree visa.
  • D-2-5 research visa.
  • D-2-2 bachelor’s degree visa.
  • D-2-3 master’s degree visa.
  • D-2-4 doctoral degree visa.

Once you have obtained a student visa the next step is to apply for an Alien Registration Card (ARC). This important document you need to obtain within 90 days of your arrival in the country.

If you are aiming to get a permanent residency in South Korea as a student you need to hold an F-5 permanent resident visa. For this purpose you have to have a valid degree from a recognized South Korean university.

Family Visa

In order to get a family reunification visa to move to South Korea from the USA the following criteria have to be met –

  • You have to be a close family member – parents, siblings, children or a spouse of a South Korean citizen.
  • You have to apply and obtain a long-term family visit visa.
  • After entering the country, you will need to apply and get an Alien Registration Card (ARC) within 90 days of your arrival in South Korea from the USA.

Top reasons to move to South Korea from the USA

South Korea is a popular country for expats to move to. The stunning natural beauty, good educational opportunities, vibrant cultural scene, pop-culture, good opportunities for jobs and relatively low cost of living – all account for its popularity among the expat community.

Motto : Benefit all mankind

Capital : Seoul

National Anthem : “Aegukga” (“The Patriotic Song”)


Location : Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea
Area : Total : 99,720 sq km
Land : 96,920 sq km
Water : 2,800 sq km
Climate : Temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter


Nationality : Korean(s)
Population : 48,754,657 (July 2011 est.)
Major Cities : SEOUL (capital) 9.778 million; Pusan 3.439 million; Inch’on 2.572 million; Taegu 2.458 million; Taejon 1.497 million (2009)
Languages : Korean, English widely taught in junior high and high school


GDP : $1.467 trillion (2010 est.)
Exchange Rates : South Korean won (KRW) per US dollar – 1,153.77 (2010), 1,276.93 (2009), 1,101.7 (2008), 929.2 (2007), 954.8 (2006)


Airports : 116 (2010)
Roadways : Total : 103,029 km
Waterways : 1,608 km
Ports & Terminals : Inch’on, P’ohang, Pusan, Ulsan, Yosu