It is possible that foreign employee in same company may have D-8 visa or E-7 visa. And some people may ask why the visa type for them is different. If a foreign company in Korea is registered as “Foreign Invested Company”, the company can sponsor D-8 visa for its employee transferred from the head office. Therefore, you can see that foreign employees in your company have D-8 Visas. But you also see that some foreign employees in your company have E-7 visas.
The reason the foreign employees have different types of visas is because their origin of employment contract is different. If a foreign employee made an employment contract with a head office and is transferred to Korea, he/she needs to apply for D-8 visa. However, if the foreign employee made the employment contact directly with the local entity, he/she needs to apply for E-7 visa.
One company (foreign invested company) in Korea found a suitable manpower who is not Korean and not in Korea. If the company would like to bring the person to Korea for work, the company choose to hire the person locally in Korea or with the headquarter. Depending on the choice, the visa type for the person will be different. If the difficulty and complexity of getting the visa is considered, many company would prefer D-8 visa since D-8 visa would be less difficult and less complicated.
There are two ways of applying for visas for Korea. One is to go through the change of status and the other is to go through confirmation of visa issuance number. The process of the change of status is simpler than going through the confirmation of visa issuance number. For the change of status, the employee can just enter Korea without a visa or with just entry short-term visa. Then the employee can apply for the change of status at the relevant immigration office and at the same time apply for an Alien Registration Card. However, for the confirmation of visa issuance number, the company first applies for the pre-approval number in Korea while the employee stays out of the country. After the visa issuance number is ready, the employee can get the actual visa sticker from one of Korean consulates outside of Korea. After the employee enters Korea with the visa, the employee needs to apply for an Alien Registration Card at the relevant immigration office. D-8 visa is possible to go through the change of status, but E-7 visa is not possible to go through the change of status unless the employee is in Korea already and has a proper long-term visa.
Requirements for D-8 and E-7 are also different. Many of important documents are from the local sponsoring company and a headquarter office for D-8 visa. On the other hand, some documents from the employee are very important for E-7 visa because the local company is hiring the employee and the immigration office looks at the verification of employment and education level very closely and very importantly.
For more information about D-8 and E-7 visa, please see the following posts. E-7 Visa in Korea: Eligibility and Requirements, E-7 Visa in Korea: Essential Documents Requested & D-8 Visa – Employee Transferred to Korea.