This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in South Korea. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.

Overview

BUSINESS VISITOR

Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

  • Attending business meetings or discussions;
  • Making sales calls to potential clients provided that the visitor represents a commercial entity outside of South Korea;
  • Attending seminars or “fact-finding” meetings.
  • Installation, repair, inspection, maintenance or acquisition of machinery as well as training on the operation of machinery.


Type of Business Visas
– Certain nationals may enter South Korea without need of a business visa (visa-exempt nationals).   All other nationals will require a C3-4 Business Visa.

Basic Requirements

1. Invitation letter from the hosting company;
2. Copy of business registration of the hosting company;
3. Intention of a genuine visit for business and not for paid employment;
4. Valid passport;
5. Evidence that there are no restrictions on his or her traveling to South Korea;
6. No intention to permanently reside in South Korea;
7. A ticket for onward travel from South Korea;
8. Proof of funds;
9. Employment certificate issued by the sending company.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country.

Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to South Korea for up to 90 days.  90 day visas can not be extended in Korea whereas 30 and 60 day visas can be extended in Korea for up to 60 and 30 days, respectively.

Typical Documents RequiredAll travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

  • a valid passport or other acceptable travel document and in some cases;
  • a valid visa or authority to enter South Korea.


EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION
 

Basic Requirements

The intra–company transfer D-7 work authorization is the principle visa category for temporary employment in South Korea. This is a category for employers to sponsor qualified skilled workers to work as intra-company transferees in South Korea on a temporary basis.

Process Overview The process for obtaining an intra-company transfer D7 work authorization involves three steps summarized below:

1. D-7 Visa Issuance Confirmation Number (VICN) application filed with the Immigration Office in Korea;
2. Visa application filed with the South Korean diplomatic post (VICN should be submitted);
3. Alien Registration Card (within 90 days of the arrival).

The corporate investment D-8 work authorization is reserved to foreigners who will assume a senior managerial or technical expert (working in manufacturing or technology) role and who are transferred to a South Korean subsidiary registered under Korea’s Foreign Investment Promotion Act. This does not apply to local hires.

Process Overview – The process for obtaining a corporate investment D-8 work authorization involves two steps summarized below:

1. An application for conversion from a C3-4 visa submitted upon arrival to South Korea;
2. Alien Registration Card (within 90 days of the arrival).

Estimated Processing Time – Two to three weeks.

Validity periods – Work authorizations are generally valid for up to twelve months.

Family Members – Dependents cannot work without additional approval.

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