South Korea: Relaxed Policy on Quota Requirements for D-8 Visa

South Korea: Relaxed Policy on Quota Requirements for D-8 Visa – The Korea Immigration Service has relaxed its policy on D-8 visa quota requirements. The quota is used to limit the number of foreign employees a local sponsoring subsidiary may sponsor under a D-8 visa. The quota was previously strictly tied to the amount of foreign-invested capital the local subsidiary had received from the overseas parent company as indicated in its Foreign-Invested Enterprise Registration Certificate. Typically, one D-8 visa was granted for every KRW 100 million invested (about USD 84,000 based on an exchange rate of KRW 1,188 per USD 1). With this relaxation in policy, a local subsidiary may now be allowed to sponsor additional D-8 visas based on other factors (in addition to foreign-invested capital), such as the amount of taxes paid, amount of revenue earned and number of local employees hired by the local subsidiary. Specifically, additional D-8 visas may be granted:

  • for every KRW 100 million in taxes paid annually;
  • for every KRW 1 billion in revenue earned annually; and
  • for every three local workers employed for at least six months by the local subsidiary.

However, when considering a local subsidiary's eligibility for additional D-8 visa quotas, it is important to note that the application of the relaxed quota policy is not rigidly formulaic but subject to some discretion. As such, other factors may be considered by the authorities in favor of granting additional quotas. A case-by-case assessment by Fragomen is required to determine the actual number of additional D-8 visas that may be permitted. This change is a positive development that can give multinational corporations more flexibility in their deployment of foreign intra-corporate transferees to their subsidiaries in South Korea. 

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