Visas for invester into South Korea
(1) Corporate Investment (D-8) visa
The Corporate Investment (D-8) visa is issued to foreigners who are going to own and manage a small or medium business in South Korea or who are sent as specialists to work at businesses owned by companies outside Korea. Individuals wishing to apply for this visa on their own must invest a minimum of 50 million won.
The amount of money required as an investment by foreigners to obtain the visa has risen over the years. In 1991 a foreign investor was required to invest only 25 million won, then in 2001 this was raised to 50 million won. In 2010 the government announced that it was looking to increase this further to 100 million for a number of reasons. Due to inflation, a rise in the cost of living and other costs they felt that 100 million was more representative of what was required as a minimum investment to start a business in Korea. However, there was also concern that some foreigners were taking advantage of the visa and using it to reside permanently in Korea without actually creating any business. Once the visa has been issued the government doesn't keep track of the investment, so some foreigners were using agents who provided the investment money for a fee in order for them to obtain the visa. Concern was raised that the increase would do nothing to deter abuse of the visa and would instead discourage foreign investment in Korea. The regulations surrounding the visa and foreign business ownership have been criticized for requiring a Korean guarantor even though the foreigner has invested a large sum of money and been given permission to open nearly any business they wish.
(2) Intra-Company transfer (D-7) visa
Intra copany transfer visa can be applicable for those who wish to work in a branch office or subsidiaries installed in Korea. The transferable person should work as important manager or technician.
Applies to those who worked for over 1 year at the headquartes branch office or other business location of a foreign company, group or public organization with the intention of working for an affiliation, subsidary or branch office located in the Republic of South Korea as an essential professional worker.
This is not applicable to those who qualify for corporate investment (D-8) status and the 1 year working requirement does not apply to those with the intent to work for the key national industry or national projects. One should receive an approval from the minister of justice,.