Compatriot Visa

Compatriot? What is that?

Before I dive right into what kind of compatriot visas exist, I have to explain what is compatriot. By the immigration office, the compatriots are defined as:

Individuals who used to have Korean citizenship but have renounced their citizenship to obtain citizenship of another country. Or individuals who have parent or grand parent who used to have Korean citizenship but has renounced their citizenship to obtain citizenship of another country.

To put it simply, you were a citizen of Korea but you gave up to be a citizen of another country. Commonly, this happens when a Korean citizen married a foreigner and decided to live outside of Korea. It is much more convenient for them to have a citizenship of the country that they are residing in. There are also cases where Korean citizens lived abroad a long time and decide to apply for a citizenship in a country that they are residing in.

It would be unreasonable to punish them for making such decisions. So, these visas are designed to allow those who have renounced their Korean citizenship and their family to comeback to Korea if they so choose.

H-2 Visa

H-2 visa is almost like an employment visa in that the primary purpose of the visa is to allow foreigners to work in Korea. There are various kinds of H-2 visas and therefore there are various qualifications that you can meet to obtain one of h-2 visas.

The definition of compatriot is slightly different than what I have written earlier. H-2 visa defines compatriots as individuals who are older than 25 years old and are staying in China or post-Soviet states. The definition slightly varies depending on what type of H-2 visa you are applying for. There will be another post about H-2 visa to go over this.

For now, it would be easier to understand it as an employment visa with special qualifications. The advantage of this visa is that an individual with this visa can apply for an F-4 visa. Motivation behind applying for H-2 visa is usually because the applicant does not meet the qualification for an F-4 visa at the moment.

F-4 Visa

F-4 visa is one of the best visas to get as a foreigner. This visa ensure that one can stay in Korea indefinitely and can apply for F-5 visa every easily. Many people do not even apply for an F-5 visa because they do not feel the need to do so.

That just explains F-4 visa. It is a visa with almost no restrictions that many people do not really feel the need to apply for permanent residence once they get an F-4 visa.

Perks of Compatriot Visa

The defining perk of compatriot visas is that they can invite their family members. To be exact, they can invite their and spouse underage children. This applies to both H-2 and F-4 visas.


If you are looking to return to your roots and immerse yourself in Korean culture, then compatriot visa is clearly the best option for you. It has very little restrictions and the requirements are typically related to your heritage. You simply need to get appropriate documents.

Only part that you would need help on is probably the letter of explanation part. Even if you are fluent in Korean, an immigration lawyer's writing is much more convincing to the eyes of immigration office workers.

Additionally, although the requirement is typically reasonable, the documents to prove your qualificationis lengthy and daunting. It would be much more convenient to work with an immigration lawyer if you can afford it.

Compatriot Visa

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