Residency Certificate | Korvia Guide

///Residency Certificate | Korvia Guide

Residency Certificate | Korvia Guide

A Residency Certificate or Residence Certificate is a document that proves a person is a primary resident of a certain country. In the case of living and working in South Korea, a Residency Certificate can exempt individuals from being double taxed while teaching at a public school in Korea.

Which Countries are Eligible for Korean Tax Exemption?

Citizens of the following countries are eligible to not pay income tax in Korea by providing proof of a Residency Certificate:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Ireland (University positions only)

What if I Don’t Work for a Public School?

Unfortunately the benefit is only applicable to those who are public school teachers and therefore employed by the government. Those that work for private institutions and after-school programs are not eligible.

How Long Will I Be Exempt from Being Taxed?

Individuals that possess a Residency Certificate and submit it to their school will be exempt from income tax in Korea for their first 2 years in Korea only. Those that worked for their first year at a hagwon or private school and then transfer to a public school, will only be able to claim 1 year of tax exemption with a valid Residency Certificate. Those that taught at a private institute or private school for 2 years or more in Korea and then transferred to a public school will not be able to claim any period of tax exemption.

What is the Average Income Tax Rate Without a Residency Certificate?

An income tax of approximately 3.3% will be deducted from your salary.

How Can I Apply for a Residency Certificate?

Those that wish to apply for a Residence Certificate will need contact their country’s appropriate governing tax office. Please consult the following list to find out more information regarding your specific situation.

US Citizens – IRS Official Website | Form 6166 – Certification of U.S Tax Residency

UK Citizens – HMRC Official Website | Tax on Foreign Income

SA Citizens – SARS Official Website | Tax & Immigration

AUS Citizens – ATO Official Website | International Tax for Individuals

NZ Citizens – IRD Official Website | Tax Residency and Status

IRE Citizens – ITC Official Website | Irish Tax & Customs

How Do I Submit My Residency Certificate to Korea?

To obtain tax exemption while in South Korea, teachers will need to submit their Residency Certificate to their school’s administrative office at the beginning of the contract (before the first salary is paid). The worker in charge of taxation will then submit it to the appropriate governing tax office.

Individuals that plan to stay in Korea more than one year (with the possibility of transferring to another school after the first year), it is recommended that you apply for two residency certificate copies. Once you receive the residency certificate, it also advised to make a copy of the original(s) and keep it with you in the event the school may misplace the certificate after submission.

Featured Image Courtesy of JD Hancock and the Creative Commons

By |2018-11-06T16:55:55+00:00August 13th, 2016|Document Guides, Guides|12 Comments

About the Author:

Korvia Consulting
Started in 2006, Korvia Consulting is one of the premiere recruiting agencies in South Korea. Korvia works directly with the Korean government to places native English teachers into ESL positions at public schools in Korea.


  1. Luc December 14, 2016 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Does the US residency certifate work for 2 years or does the resident have to apply for and submit a residency certificate each of the 2 years?

    • Korvia Consulting
      Korvia Consulting December 15, 2016 at 11:15 am - Reply

      Hi Luc,

      Usually, this is one-time submission. However, Korean tax office can request a second copy for the following year if they feel it is necessary.

  2. Jarrod May 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Am I still eligible for a tax exempt status if I’ve worked in Korea in the past and I return to work in Korea again?

    • Korvia Consulting
      Korvia Consulting May 10, 2017 at 5:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Jarrod,

      You are not eligible for a tax-exempt status if you ever get exempted previously.

  3. Melissa August 22, 2017 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Hi – do I need tax records from my home country from the previous year? I was living and paying taxes in another country for 2 years. (I’m American)

    • Korvia Consulting
      Korvia Consulting August 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Melissa,

      You need to apply residency certificate from your home country. You can get free income tax for the first two years.

    • Korvia Consulting
      Korvia Consulting August 29, 2017 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Hi Melissa,

      You just need to obtain most recent year of tax records. 🙂

  4. […] As an American, I filed for the U.S, resident tax exemption granted to US citizens in South Korea. This tax exemption is good for up to two years and means I’m not taxed the Korean income tax from my paycheck! To learn how to become eligible, check out this article! […]

  5. Ben December 29, 2017 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    For UK citizens, there is literally no point in doing this, since it would mean that one would have to pay UK tax instead of Korean tax, and the UK tax is MUCH higher. As someone who has worked for EPIK before, and is preparing to do so again, please heed my advice and just pay the Korean tax. 🙂

  6. Lorena July 6, 2018 at 11:14 am - Reply

    I started in the fall of 2016 with the 2 year tax exemption. Does this mean it expires the fall 2018?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Henry Oh
      Henry Oh July 6, 2018 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      You can have only 2 years income tax exemption so you have to pay income taxes after that.

  7. Courtney Bullock October 12, 2018 at 3:24 pm - Reply


    I submitted my certificate of residency to my school before the first pay period. We are now approaching the second pay period, and I was told that my school’s administration office is unsure of what to do with the document? Any ideas here?


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