KOTRA’s Foreign Investor Support Center (FISC) is comprised with government officials from the central and local governments, officials from relevant government agencies, and KOTRA staff members who are experts in various fields. In addition to general investment consulting, FISC provides various services ranging from foreign investment notification to administrative services required for operation of business. The following services are provided for walk-in visitors (refer to Table 3 of the Enforcement Decree of the Foreign Investment Promotion Act).
According to Article 7-2 of the Immigration Act (Prohibition of false invitations, etc.), it is prohibited to engage in the following acts in order to enter a foreigner into the country.
– Recording false information, providing false guarantee of identity, or engaging in other illegal acts to invite a foreigner or mediating such an act
– Applying for a visa or confirmation of visa issuance under false grounds, or mediating such an act
※Persons that engage in the above acts are subject to imprisonment of up to three years or fine of up to KRW 20 million.
In order to work as a masseur/masseuse in Korea, one must be visually-impaired and hold a qualification certificate as a masseur/masseuse. According to the Medical Service Act, only visually-impaired persons are allowed to be a masseur/masseuse. In order to receive a certificate for qualifying as a masseur/masseuse, one must complete the prescribed training and will then receive a qualification certificate from the city mayor or provincial governor. Therefore, if a foreign investor establishes a massage shop in Korea and hires foreigners as employees, it constitutes a violation of the law.
※ When a non-disabled person (including foreigners) engages in the massage business, he/she can be subject to up to three years of imprisonment or a fine of up to KRW 30 million for violating the Medical Service Act.
In the case of Non-professional Employment visa, the process for changing the status of stay is restricted in Korea, so it is advised to complete the processes required to acquire a status of stay (e.g., foreign investment notification, registration of foreign-invested company, registration of corporate register certificate), depart the country, and then re-enter Korea after receiving a visa from a diplomatic mission from the home country. However, it should be noted that the funds created through employment in Korea cannot be recognized as foreign investment funds.
◎ Foreign investment under the Foreign Investment Promotion Act means a foreigner (individual or corporation)'s remittance of investment funds from overseas for investment in a Korean corporation or company. After the required investment processes are completed and a visa is issued from an overseas diplomatic mission of Korea or a visa is not issued for inevitable causes, an application for change of status of stay to Business Investment (D-8) can be filed at an immigration office having jurisdiction over the place of stay in Korea.
A foreigner who is born in Korea and wishes to receive status of stay must report to the immigration office having jurisdiction over his/her place of stay within 90 days from the date of birth. If an application for grant of status of stay is not filed within that period, a penalty shall be imposed for violating the Immigration Act (Article 79). However, if the child departs from the country within 90 days from the date of birth, he/she can leave without being granted a status of stay
– Application form
– Passport of foreigner's child (When an application for a passport is being processed at an embassy: Register with passport application receipt slip, and submit passport after registration)
– One copy of the alien registration card of the child’s father or mother
– Birth certificate of child (※Certified copy of family register in the case of Japan, Taiwan)
– One color photograph of child, 3cm x 4cm – Fee: Grant of sojourn status (KRW 80,000)
A foreigner who invested USD 500,000 or more and the executives dispatched to a foreign-invested company that invested USD 500,000 or more can apply for a visa issuance for a domestic helper who he/she hired overseas at least one year ago from the date of visa application. Also, businesses that invested USD 100,000 or more but less than USD 500,000 that are high-tech businesses* hiring three or more full-time domestic employees can apply for a visa application for a domestic helper as well.
◎ The invited domestic helper can submit the following documents to the South Korean embassy or consulate in his/her country, and enter Korea by applying for and receiving a Household Assistant (F-1) visa. (However, if he/she is residing in a third country for a long period due to acquisition of permanent resident status or employment, the person may apply at the South Korean mission located in the country of residence.)
◎ The invited domestic helper must notify the immigration office governing his/her place of stay when the cause for visa issuance becomes invalid, such as expiration of employment contract, termination of employment, loss of employer’s Business Investment (D-8) status, etc.
– Visa issuance application, passport, one standard photograph, fee
– Copy of foreign-invested company registration certificate, certificate of corporate register, or copy of business registration certificate
– Employment contract, employer's recommendation letter and letter of guarantee
– Document certifying employment of at least one year (proof that the person has been employed overseas for at least one year from the point of application)
– Documents certifying educational background of domestic helper – Employment certificate in the case of executives/employees
– Documents proving the income conditions of the employer (receipt of income tax withholdings, certificate of income amount, salary payment statement, copy of bankbook, etc.)
– Document proving full time employment of Korean nationals under employment (person with investment amount of less than USD 500 000)
The Ministry of Justice operates an exclusive immigration checkpoint (exclusive lane for D-8 visa holders, ABTC card holders, Immigration Priority Card holders, diplomats, flight crew, etc.) at Incheon International Airport for foreign investors, employees and executives of foreigninvested companies (D-8 visa holders), and APEC Business Travel card holders in order to expedite their immigration inspection process.
※APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) – Card holders from member nations (19 nations*) can receive visa exemption and expedited immigration inspection through an exclusive immigration lane when entering the country.
– For every single entry into the country, a stay period of 90 days is granted (same as multiple-entry visas)
– The effective period is five years from the card issuance date. When the effective period of the passport is expired, the card also expires, so the card must be reissued after passport renewal.
– Webpage: http://abtc.kita.net (refer to related information and issuance procedure)
The following are instances that require reporting. When one of them occurs to a foreigner who has registered as an alien, a report must be filed to change alien registration information within 15 days from the day on which the cause has occurred, to the head of the immigration office having jurisdiction over his/her place of stay.
※ Report of change in alien registration information as per Article 35 of the Immigration Act
① When the name, gender, birthdate and/or nationality has been changed
② When the passport number, issuance date and/or effective period has been changed
③ When the name of the alien's company has been changed in the case of business investment
※Documents to be attached: Passport and alien registration certificate, report of change in alien registration information, documents proving change in information
☞ When a registered alien does not report the above changes in the alien registration information to the relevant immigration office within 15 days of the day on which such change has occurred, he/she shall be subject to punitive measures (fine) for violating Article 35 of the Immigration Act.
When a foreigner who has registered as an alien changes his/her place of stay, a report on move-in must be made within 15 days from the date of move-in. The report on move of residence must be made to the head of the relevant district (city/gun/gu, or eup/myeon/dong) of the new place of sojourn, or the head of the Foreigner's Department of the Immigrations Office that governs the new place of sojourn.
※Required documents upon report: Passport, alien registration certificate, report on change in place of sojourn, documents proving change in place of sojourn (copy of lease agreement, etc.).
☞When a registered alien does not file a report within 15 days from the date of change in place of stay, he/she shall be subject to punitive measures (fine) due to violation of Article 36 of the Immigration Act.
If a family’s D-8 visa holder finishes his/her activities in Korea and permanently departs from the country, the visa holder’s status of stay and period of stay expire with his/her departure, and his/ her family members’ status of stay as Dependent Family (F-3) is affected as well. If the remaining family members wish to remain in Korea due to the children’s school schedule, they should visit the immigration office having jurisdiction over their place of stay and inquire whether the wife can change to Residence (F-1) visa and the children to Elementary/Middle/High School Student (D-4-3) visa.