Foreign investor’s visa
Question: I am a foreigner and I am thinking of starting a small business in South Korea. Is it possible to get a visa or do I need to be sponsored by a Korean company or partner?
Foreign investors are eligible to obtain a D-8 residence visa provided they meet certain criteria. To qualify, an employee of a foreign company or an individual must establish a company in Korea or enter into a joint partnership with a Korean firm and invest over 50 million won in the project.
The types of foreign investment generally allowed are foreign direct investment (FDI), portfolio establishment, branch establishment, legal entity establishment, factory establishment, real estate acquisition and investment in infrastructure.
However, the kind of business does not matter as long as the company acquires a registration certificate of foreign investment from either a Korean bank or the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA). The registration application process is as follows: the investor prepares documents which include the registration certificate of their business and submits them to the Immigration Bureau of the ministry of Justice. The Immigration Bureau will then inspect the documents. If the application is approved, they will send out a visa issuance notice certificate (generally called a blue form) to the person coming to Korea. When the person submits the blue form to the local Korean embassy in his or her home country, a D-8 visa will be issued. The application process is free of charge.
The length of stay can vary, with most being valid for one year. Extensions are possible.
A law office should assist, since before obtaining the visa is advisable to properly register or establish a business in Korea.
- Korean Start-up Visa: First Visa Issued to Korean American Entrepreneur
- Amendment to the Korean Foreign Investment Promotion Act 2019 – Investment Incentives in Korea
- Korean Visa Rules Still not Strict Enough for Some in the Korean Government
- Exit Ban of Foreigners in Korea for Not Paying Taxes, Custom Duties or Violation of Law: Immigration Law Basics
- Korean Immigration Law: Challenging a Korean Immigration Deportation/Exit Order in Korea
- Korean Immigration Law’s 20% Rule Challenged
- Visa Benefits for Korean Homosexuals in America: Defense of Marriage Act Held Unconstitutional
- Korea’s New Electronic Passport Without Resident Registration Number in 2020
- Korean Act on Special Cases Concerning the Establishment and Operation of Internet Banks
- Korea Immigration Deportation, Departure/Exit Orders: Immigration Law Basics