D-7 Visa: Assignment to Branch or Liaison Office in Korea
One of our customer established its branch office in Korea. After they set up the branch office, they planned to assign their employee to the branch office as a CEO. In this case, they can apply for D-7 visa. An important document to assess appropriate type of the visa is a copy of permission for the establishment of branch office or a copy of an acceptance of declaration (“외국기업 국내지사 설치 허가서 또는 신고수리서” in Korean). If the branch office has this document, the right type of the visa is D-7 visa. Let’s see what condition the employee and branch office have to meet below.
Standard condition for the employee
The employee coming to the branch office in Korea should have worked for the head office or other affiliates for more than 1 year. However, this condition can be exempted. You need to prove that the head office transferred more than USD 500,000 to the branch office as operational fund. For example, a copy of foreign currency transfer from the bank is a standard document as the proof. Normally the company does not transfer USD 500,000 for initial fund to the branch office, so it is important to meet the condition of 1 year employment.
Standard condition for the branch office
The standard condition for the branch office is not mentioned in the immigration manual. In other words, there is no special condition for the branch office or liaison office. Most important documents should have already been issued from government authority and a bank when the branch office was set up. However, there are some documents people sometimes miss. They are an assignment letter and employment certificate from the head office, and a proof of foreign currency transfer. The head office should prepare the assignment letter and employment certificate. The name of the head office is indicated in the copy of permission for the establishment of branch office. And Immigration office only considers that company as the head office. Immigration office will not accept the assignment letter and employment certificate if other company issues the documents. Immigration office also requires the proof of foreign currency transfer. That is because they think the branch office requires some fund to operate initially. If the branch office is making sufficient profit, you would not need to prepare the proof of foreign currency.
Please also see another post regarding the D-7 visa here. Distinguishing D-7 visa and D-8 visa would be difficult if you are not familiar with the Korean visa system. Please see our other writing about the D-8 visa here and here for better understanding.