Want To Be A K-Pop Star? Don’t Worry About The Visa, Says SK Govt

In a new effort to boost the country’s tourism sector, the South Korean government plans to introduce a visa scheme tailor-made for foreign K-Pop trainees.

By Mrinal
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Visa is no longer a worry if you want to be a K-pop star

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If you are either someone who is obsessed with K-pop or know someone who is, so much so that they want to be a K-pop idol, then the South Korean government is all for your decision, especially if you are a foreigner. In order to attract more tourists to the country, the government will soon release a new K-Culture Training Visa for foreigners who wish to be just like their favourite K-pop idols.

K-Culture Training Visa for aspiring foreign K-pop idols

K-Culture Training Visa

The visa will be introduced specially for foreigners who want to receive training in the entertainment industry of the country. In an announcement, the South Korean Finance Ministry stated that the visa will be launched in 2024 on a trial basis first. Its main aim will be to “leverage the overwhelming global popularity of Hallyu (the Korean wave) of cultural exports”.

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The visa will aim to attract more visitors to South Korea

Through the visa, foreign nationals will be allowed to stay in the country for an extended period of time as they train at companies and academies in Korean entertainment fields like K-pop, dance, singing, acting, and modelling. Further details about the visa will be released in the second half of the year.

Foreigners can now stay in South Korea for an extended period

The Hallyu Tourism

According to the ministry, the number of tourists the country witnesses has skyrocketed due to BTS and the subsequent Korean wave. In 2019, BTS attracted around 800,000 foreign tourists to the country; their three-day concert at Seoul Olympic Stadium alone called in 187,000 foreign visitors as well as generated around 922.9 billion KRW worth of economic impact for South Korea.  In 2023, the country saw an influx of around 11 million visitors.

BTS attracts around one million foreign tourists to South Korea annually

To translate the interest in K-pop and K-dramas into tourism, the government has various plans, such as a digital nomad visa (introduced in January 2024), a digital ‘workation’ visa (for foreigners working remotely and living in Korea), short-term public transit passes, foreign languages on domestic apps, new international flight routes etc. With such moves, the government hopes to achieve its target of 30 million tourists visiting the country and $30 billion in tourism revenue by 2027.

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