After look-see trip, a candidate decided to accept the international assignment. So he will be transferred to Korea. Of course, housing and school for kids will be a top priority. There is one more thing the company should consider before sending the employee to Korea. It is to decide a visa type for the employee and his family. It could be D-7, D-8 or D-9 visa.

Appropriate Visa Type

Our client plans to send the employee to a local affiliated company. The local entity is a “Foreign Invested Company”. And it has a “Certificate of Foreign Invested Company”, official document from local bank. In this case, the employee needs to apply for D-8 visa. Some people may confuse D-8 visa with D-7 visa, but it is a different visa. Simply if the local affiliate company is registered as “Branch”, not “Foreign Invested Company”, the assignee needs to apply for D-7 visa. Therefore it is important to know whether the local entity is the branch office or the foreign invested company. Lastly, the employee’s family can apply for F-3 dependent visa. For more information about D-7, please see our other posts, International Assignment to Korea: D-7 and D-8 Visa. For D-9 visa, please look into this post, International Assignment To Korea with D-9 Visa.

Visa Application  Process

There are two ways to applying for D-8 visa. One is to go through visa issuance confirmation (consular process) and the other is to go through change of visa status. Not many visa types are allowed to go with change of visa status. So being able to proceed with change of visa status would be an advantage for D-8 visa.

Visa Issuance Confirmation

If the visa issuance confirmation is chosen, the local affiliate company needs to apply for the visa issuance confirmation at the immigration office in Korea first. After the visa issuance confirmation number is issued from the immigration office, the assignee applies for the actual visa at any Korean consulate outside of Korea. You can consider the confirmation of visa issuance as a pre-approval number. Finally, the assignee enters Korea with the visa and applies for Alien Registration Card at a relevant immigration office.

Change of Visa Status

If the change of visa status is chosen, the assignee just enters Korea without a long-term visa. Nationals from a country which has a visa waiver agreement with Korea can enter Korea without entry visa. Nationals from a country which does not have a visa waiver agreement with Korea should have a short-term visa as an entry visa. After the assignee enters Korea without a visa or a short-term visa, he/she needs to visit the relevant immigration office to apply for the change of visa status from a visitor to D-8 visa status. Alien Registration Card will be applied at the same time.

Good thing about the visa issuance confirmation is that it can reduce the risk of the assignee going back to his/her home country due to refusal of visa. It is not common for someone to get the refusal of the visa, but it may happen if requirements are not well prepared. Good thing about the change of visa status is that it can shorten the whole visa process because it does not require to go through consular process.