By Uglobal Staff
South Korea's self-governing province of Jeju has decided to triple the minimum investment requirement for foreigners buying real estate.
According to the proposed amendment to the real-estate investment immigration visa policy, foreign applicants would have to pay at least 1.5 billion won (around $1.25 million) instead of the current 500 million won (roughly $418,000) for their preferred property in order to become eligible for the resident visa. Jeju is one of nine provinces of South Korea.
Changes to South Korea’s visa programs
After five years on this resident visa, investors are currently granted permanent visas. But the provincial government has proposed that investors need to stay on the resort island longer than just one day per year to meet the minimum stay requirements, however the stay period is yet to be determined. Also, foreign investors would not be allowed to sell their properties immediately after they acquire permanent residency.
Although South Korea does not have a CBI program, investors could gain citizenship after permanent residency, provided the applicant has lived in the country for at least 83 days for each of the last five years. Dual nationality is not allowed.
Visa options in South Korea
If an investor chooses to invest in another part of South Korea, they have other investment immigration options. Those options include investing in a new company with around $100,000 or investing in an existing company for $270,000. The country also offers the D-8 visa if an applicant meets the minimum threshold of around $282,000 for investing in a business. Investment immigration via real estate or government bonds usually comes to around $418,000.
Recently, South Korea's rules for foreigners looking to stay permanently have become stricter.
In December 2020, South Korea announced it was changing rules for its F-2-7 visa program, which allows foreigners to live and run a business in the country for five years. The new rules placed more importance on a foreigner’s annual income rather than the progress they made in social integration programs.
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