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Opening a Bank Account in Korea: A Complete Guide for Expats and Non-Residents




*Check/Credit card issued by a Korean bank


Navigating the labyrinthine process of establishing a bank account in Korea as a non-domiciliary necessitates adherence to specific prerequisites, paramount among them being the acquisition of an Alien Registration Card (ARC). The journey to procure an ARC typically spans a minimum of one lunar cycle, rendering the endeavor of account inauguration unfeasible during an expatriate's inaugural month in the Land of the Morning Calm. A select consortium of financial institutions might sanction account creation sans ARC; however, this concession often carries the caveat of necessitating corporeal presence for monetary extractions. An ensemble of additional documents is requisite, encompassing one's travel document, Korean visa, and local contact coordinates within Korea. Circumstantial factors, such as employment or academic enrollment, might dictate the submission of supplementary papers like a Certificate of Employment or university matriculation documents. These stipulations oscillate contingent on the foreign national's objective in Korea, be it occupational or scholarly.


For those seeking to establish a salary-related account, the indispensability of a Certificate of Employment ascends. While instances of account inauguration rebuffs are sparse in Korea, they are not unheard of. Certain banks, cognizant of historical account misuses, may exhibit reluctance in account facilitation for foreigners devoid of an ARC or a comparable identifier. In such predicaments, a restricted account may be provisioned as an interim solution, with the prospect of unbridled service access post-establishment of a transactional history.

Fret not at this juncture, for Jz Associates emerges as a beacon of assistance. One can inaugurate a bank account in Korea, either individually or through a corporate entity, with the possibility of remote management. Individual accounts may encounter certain limitations, such as in the realm of internet banking. Conversely, corporate accounts offer the flexibility of remote fund maneuvering, irrespective of one's global location, provided internet connectivity is established. This convenience extends even to branch offices sans paid-in capital.

For a more granular understanding, do not hesitate to initiate contact at jz@taxjz.com. Should one desire a consultation with an English-fluent Consultant or Accountant in Korea, arrangements can be made via: [Schedule a Call with Jz].


Below is an overview of the Non-Resident Foreign Currency Deposit:

Eligibility: This facility is accessible to non-residents, foreign residents in Korea, personnel of Korean government's overseas missions, and their co-residing family members.

Features of the Deposit:

  • At the Time of Deposit: The mechanism permits the acquisition of foreign currency using Korean Won, designated for deposit. This applies exclusively to funds in a non-resident free Won account or those sanctioned for international transactions.

  • At the Time of Disposal: Options exist for disposal in either Korean Won or foreign currency. Both the principal and accrued interest can be remitted overseas without hindrance.

A prerequisite for depositing held foreign currency into this type of account is the submission of documents validating the funds' clearance for international transactions, such as foreign exchange declaration certificates or contracts. Transactions aggregating over USD 20,000 at the same branch by the same individual are subject to reporting to the National Tax Service.


Non-Resident Won Deposits:

  • Non-Resident Won Account: Encompasses current, ordinary, savings, fixed, and corporate free deposits.

  • Non-Resident Free Won Account: Includes current, ordinary, and fixed deposits.

Characteristics:

  • These accounts cater to temporary deposits during one's sojourn in Korea.

  • They serve the dual purpose of interest accumulation and settlement of current transactions pertinent to international dealings.

Deposit and Disposal Modalities:

  • Deposits can be constituted via Won obtained within Korea or via foreign currency transmitted from overseas or physically carried in.

  • Withdrawals or transfers abroad are permissible in foreign currency. Foreigners also have the liberty to redirect funds to a non-resident Won account for investment purposes in Korean bonds and stocks.

  • While the deposit source is unrestricted, international transfers, barring interest, are subject to certain limitations.

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