Typical Visas in Korea

Business Investment (D-8) visa

1. Eligibility

A D-8 visa is issued to indispensable professional specialists engaged in the management, business administration, production, or technology of a foreign-invested company, or to a person who founds a start-up enterprise with industrial property rights or intellectual property rights from its proprietary technology, and has been certified as a venture business.

• A person who has been dispatched to a foreign-invested company in
Korea from its overseas parent company as an indispensable professional specialist can apply for a business investment visa. It is acceptable to dispatch the employee from an overseas related company as well as from the parent company, although in principle, the overseas work order should be issued from the head office with the work period specified.

• A person who has established a corporation with an investment fund of at least KRW 100 million from overseas can apply for an investment visa.

• An indispensable professional specialist includes executives, senior managers, and specialists engaged in management, business administration, production, and technology. Exceptions are for those engaged in tasks generally replaceable in Korea.

• Where to apply: Immigration office or regional immigration service in the jurisdiction of the place of applicant’s residence or the foreign-invested company’s location, KOTRA Foreign Investor Support Center

2. Where Change to D-8 in Korea is not Permitted

The foreigners can not change their status of sojourn to a D-8 visa in Korea: one who has entered Korea for a group or personal tour; who has a temporary visa (C-3) and entered Korea as a member of a group or personal tour; who has entered on an industrial trainee visa (D-3), a non-professional employment visa (E-9), crew employee visa (E-10), a working visa (H-2), miscellaneous (G-1), or a working holiday visa (H-1) from certain countries.

3. Change of Status of Sojourn and Alien Registration

Applicable to indispensable professional specialists engaged in management, business administration, production, or technology of a foreign-invested company.

4. Extension of period of sojourn

A D-8 visa holder who intends to stay longer than the permitted period should apply for an extension of the period of stay before the expiry of the current sojourn period. The required documents are similar to the documents for change of the place of sojourn and more or fewer documents may be required for review.

Foreigner with special ability (E-7) Visa

An E-7 visa is issued to a foreigner who works in a certain professional field (85 types) where professional knowledge, technology, and skills are required for the enhancement of national competitiveness. A foreigner who has worked on a contract basis for a Korean company with certain qualifications can acquire this visa upon applying for confirmation of visa issuance, in principle. If there is limited availability of professional technicians in a high-tech field, a change of the status of sojourn may be permitted.

Dependent family (F-3) Visa

An F-3 visa is issued to the spouse and unmarried underage children accompanied by a foreigner with a D-8 or E-7 visa. The permitted period of stay of the dependent family members is identical to that of the D-8 or E-7 visa holder.

Typical Visas in Korea

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