Monday, August 23, 2010

ICN : simplified immigration procedures for (some) foreigners

Welcome to Incheon International Airport : no queuing, no question asked, you just have your passport and fingerprints scanned by a machine and voila, you're in or out of Korea. This VIP concept has been provided to Korean citizens but not to foreigners, but that's about to change.

Not for everyone though : to qualify, you have to have enjoyed a permanent residency status for at least 3 years, but that can be lowered to 1 year if you have invested USD 2 M or more into the country.

The Ministry of Justice estimates at 1,300 the number of beneficiaries, but didn't give details about how the new measure will be implemented (ie will the lucky ones be notified or will they have to claim some document at their immigration office ?).

Yesterday, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced another kind of simplification for foreign residents as of next year : the possibility to opt for a 15% flat tax rate. Also : more tax incentives for each employee hired through FDI (KRW 10 M).

The relevant administrations shall be briefed soon regarding all those updates. Remember that as a foreign resident in Seoul, you only need to know one number for all questions regarding immigration, tax, and everyday issues : Dasan 120 for the
Seoul Global Center.

Seoul Village 2010

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