South Korea’s real estate investment visa will hike up USD 600,000 from USD 420,000 in 2022
- S. Korea's Jeju Island RBI threshold will be tripled in 2022 for USD 1.2 million -
By citinavi team
Reflecting the fact that this year's consumer price index increased by about 22% and the production price index by about 16% compared to 2010, the standard amount for investment immigration is to be reflected, and criminal background checks for foreign investors will be strictly enforced.
The Ministry of Justice discussed ways to raise the standard amount of immigration for investment in real estate and public service projects to 700 million won (roughly USD 600,000) instead of current USD 420,000.
Self-governing province of Jeju island is the highly invested Free Zone and it has decided to triple the minimum investment requirement for foreigners buying real estate. According to the proposed amendment visa policy, foreign applicants would have to invest at least 1.5 billion won (around $1.3 million) instead of the current 500 million won (around $420,000) in order to apply the resident visa.
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.
Global Migration in Asia foreshadowed by the Revised Korean Dual Nationality Act (Amendment Bill announced in April 2021); Justice ministry seeked to ease citizenship rules for children of permanent residents. Once this amendment bill finally accepted, foreigners are not necessary to renounce origin citizenship.
The revision, if made, will allow children up to the age of 6 to immediately gain citizenship without preconditions. Those aged 7 and above will be required to have lived here for at least five years. All applicants will be able to keep their original nationalities as well if they agree not to exercise foreign citizenship in South Korea.
Visa options and RBI revise policy 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 $420,000.
In 2022, Korean RBI programs will significantly reform the investment immigration system. - The Ministry of Justice held the 10th Investment Immigration Council in December 2021 to discuss the improvement of the investment immigration system.
Plans were discussed such as raising the standard amount for real estate investment, reducing the target area for immigration to a depopulated area and reducing the scope of accompanying family members who can receive benefits while staying with investors to spouses and minor children. Now, to revitalize investment, unmarried adult children are allowed to receive residence/permanent residence status together with investors. However, there are cases where the investment immigration system is abused as a means of employment, so the plan is to limit the scope of accompanying family members to under age children.
Real Estate Investment Programs USD 420,000 Condominium, villa, tourist pension (500 million won)
Residence (F-2) qualification is allowed for investor and permanent residence (F-5) is granted if investment is maintained for 5 years
Deadline : ~ 2023-05-19
1 Busan Haeundae Resort Condominium, villa, tourist pension
Deadline :~ 2023-04-30
2 Jeju Special Self-Governing Province East Busan Tourism Complex Condominium, villa, tourist pension (.... expected to be tripled in spring 2022)
3 Incheon Free Economic Zone (Songdo, Cheongna, Yeongjong) Condominiums, villas, houses, tourist pensions
4 Yeosu, Jeollanam-do (Gyeonggi-do) Condominium, villa, tourist pension
5 Alpensia, Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do Condominium, villa, tourist pension
Current status of investment immigration system
❍ Real estate investment in 8 regions
inclusive of 3 regions where the investment period has expired
Attracted a total of 1,941 real estate investments worth KRW 1.29 trillion
< Real Estate Investment Immigration System Investment Attraction Performance > (Unit: case, KRW 100 million)
Sum number of cases 1,942 (Price 12,972.7) (Unit: cases, 100 million won)
year ~ 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021.11
1,396 183 148 142 62 7 4
Price 9,168.3 1,206.2 1,012.2 1011.8 483.2 56 34.5
❍ Public projects
616 cases, public interest fund investment of KRW 299.2 billion
<Public project investment immigration system investment attraction performance> (Unit: cases, 100 million won)
year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021.11 Sum
number of cases 3 43 78 58 46 96 120 92 80 616
Price 13 203 378 258 232 488 606 416 398 2,992
-As of September 2021, the deposit balance of KRW 217.9 billion is being invested in 274 companies,
and the accumulated fund income is KRW 7.68 billion (full reinvestment of the accumulated profits)
By the Amendment Bill of Korean Dual Nationality Law in April 26, 2021 Justice ministry seeked to ease citizenship rules for children of permanent residents.
Under the current law, underage children of permanent residents have to wait until they are 18 to apply for citizenship, unless their parents have already naturalized. The revision, if made, will allow children up to the age of 6 to immediately gain citizenship without preconditions. Those aged 7 and above will be required to have lived here for at least five years.
All applicants will be able to keep their original nationalities as well if they agree not to exercise foreign citizenship in South Korea. The ministry said the move aims to help children of permanent residents build a Korean identity and more successfully settle down here, while also tackling the country's low fertility rate.
However, South Korea citizenship law change proposal sparks anti-China backlash
Anti-China sentiment and differing views on nationality could be fanning debate over a proposal to lower the entry barriers to South Korean citizenship.
“As of last year there were 8,459 people reported as children from parents with permanent residency and around 85 percent of their parents were from China,”
said Seok Bong-jun, an employee of the Ministry of Justice’s Nationality Act Task Force. Civic groups also worry that some people might abuse the system for personal gain. This is because the revised law allows certain children to obtain dual citizenship, depending on the nationality laws in their parents’ home countries. Some people could obtain Korean citizenship to enjoy health care and social welfare benefits, they suggest, then discard it when they have to fulfill obligations such as mandatory military service.
A measure proposed by the Ministry of Justice -- first made public in April 2021 -- called for easing the pathway to citizenship for children born to long-term foreign residents, by simply notifying the ministry.
But a presidential petition opposing the revision has gathered over 300,000 signatures. The justice ministry has said it is still taking into account public opinion and the advice of experts before submitting the proposal to the Ministry of Government Legislation.
South Korea faces the challenges as it seeks to ensure a robust future population in the face of declining birthrates and rapidly aging workers, and the potential policy implications of increasingly negative views of China, its biggest trading partner.