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D-8 visas are issued to essential professionals engaged in the management, administration, production, or technology of foreign-invested companies, or to founders—and therefore holders of industrial or intellectual property rights—of certified venture companies possessing excellent technical abilities.
A foreigner who has been dispatched from an overseas parent company to a foreign-invested company established in Korea as an essential professional may apply for a corporate investor visa. Employees of related companies may also be dispatched, but in such cases, the dispatch order must, in principle, be issued by the headquarters, and the dispatch period must be specified.
A foreigner who brings in investment funds of KRW 100 million or more from abroad and establishes and operates a corporation as prescribed by the Foreign Investment Promotion Act may apply for a corporate investor visa.
An essential professional refers to any executive, senior manager, or specialist who is engaged in the management, administration, production, or technology of a company. Foreigners who are engaged in tasks that can generally be replaced from within Korea are not considered essential professionals.
Agency in charge of application: Immigration office with the jurisdiction over the place of residence of applicant or foreign-invested company
Immigration office, KOTRA Foreign Investor Support Center
Where Change to D-8 Status Within Korea is Not Permitted
Foreigners who have entered Korea for the purpose of group or personal tours, who have temporary visa (C-3) for the purpose of group or personal tours, and who have Industrial Trainee (D-3), Non-Professional Employment (E-9), Crew Employee (E-10), Working Visit (H-2), Miscellaneous (G-1), or Working Holiday (H-1) visas are not permitted to change their status of sojourn to D-8 while staying in Korea.
Change of Status of Sojourn and Alien Registration
Changes of the status of sojourn and alien registration are applicable to essential professionals who are engaged in the management, administration, production, or technology of foreign-invested companies.
Extension of Stay Period
The required documents are similar to the documents for a change of stay period. More or fewer documents may be required based on performance.
Designated Activities Visa (E-7)
E-7 visas are issued to foreigners who have professional knowledge, technical abilities, or skills when such foreign workers are needed in Korea to enhance national competitiveness.
Foreigners work under employment contracts with Korean companies that have met certain qualifications. Foreigners may, in principle, obtain visas after applying for a certificate of visa issuance confirmation, but those who are limited to a certain field, such as professional technicians, may be permitted to change the status of sojourn.
Accompanying Spouse/Child Visa (F-3)
F-3 visas are issued to spouses and unmarried underage children accompanying foreigners with D-8 or E-7 visas. The stay periods of accompanying family members are identical to the stay periods of the D-8 or E-7 visa holders.