Now days many local companies in Korea are looking to hire foreign employees. The companies expect to use the foreign employees’ knowledges and expertise. It is sometimes difficult for some companies to get what they want from local Koreans. However, the immigration office cannot accept every visa application just because the companies want. Therefore, the immigration office thoroughly considers level of expertise and substitutability of local Koreans. To evaluate those two aspects, they require 2 important documents from foreign employee for E-7 visa (local hire). They are a degree certificate and a career certificate. These 2 documents are very important. And it is not enough to stress this many times. Please see our other post about E-7 visa eligibility here. Now let’s take a closer look at those 2 important documents.

Degree Certificate

The degree certificate is to prove an applicant’s educational level. The degree certificate should indicate the applicant’s name and what kind of degree it is. The standard immigration manual says that the degree certificate is not required if the applicant has 5 or more work experience in the same filed. But in actual practice immigration officers have been requesting for the degree certificate even though the applicant has 5 or more work experience. Applicants must keep this in mind. Additionally, the degree certificate should be translated into English if it is not in English. Lastly the degree certificate should receive an Apostille in the country where the university is located. Apostille is not available in all countries. A country should be a member of the Hague Apostille Convention to issue the Apostille. If the degree certificate is from the country that is not the member, it must receive a legalization from Korean embassy (consulate) in the country. The immigration office used to request only the copy of the degree certificate. However, they request the Apostille or legalization from Korean embassy since March 2019.

Career Certificate

One of 2 important documents from foreign employee for E-7 visa (local hire) is this career certificate. It is like an employment certificate or verification issued by current employer or previous employer. Normally this certificate includes the applicant’s role and working period at the company. Most employer can issue this certificate in English. If it is not in English, it should be translated into English. Occupation, job or role in the certificate needs to be matched with the applicant’s occupation at the hiring company in Korea. Lastly this career certificate should receive the Apostille in the country where it is issued. For example, the applicant should get the Apostille from USA if the company issued the certificate is in USA. Likewise, the certificate needs to receive the legalization from Korean embassy if the country is not the member of the Apostille Convention.

Depending on the level of expertise and substitutability of Korean citizens, immigration officers are flexibly managing and reviewing the application standards. Because of this, the degree certificate and career certificate are very important. Of course, the required documents from the hiring company in Korea are also important. But immigration officers will not even review other documents if there are no degree certificate and career certificate. Please feel free to contact Livinko if you need sample degree certificate and career certificate.