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If a foreigner intends to acquire any land in Korea, in principle, the foreigner can purchase it regardless of the target land’s relevant district office. The foreigner only needs to report to the competent government office after the land acquisition. However, prior approval is required for acquisition of land in a military facility protection zone and cultural property protection zone, ecosystem conservation zone, or some islands that are used for military purposes. In addition, acquisition of land in Korea by a foreigner or a foreign company of a country that prohibit s purchase of land in such country by a Korean or a Korean company may be prohibited based on reciprocity.
Introduction to the system
There are three main laws governing land acquisition by foreigners in Korea. Firstly, the Foreigner’s Land Acquisition Act prescribes general matters regarding foreigners’ local land acquisition. Secondly, the Foreign Investment Promotion Act deals with incentives for any foreign-investment company such as simplif ied investment notification procedures, tax reductions or exemptions and favorable conditions on purchasing government properties if they register under the said law and acquire any land in Korea. Thirdly, the Foreign Exchange Transaction Regulations stipulate matters regarding foreign exchange inflow and outflow related to non-resident’s acquisition of local land.
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