These days, obtaining an E2 visa status has become an arduous undertaking. The Korean immigration has set high standards that require but are not limited to: notarizing diplomas, ordering sealed transcripts, presenting a nationwide criminal record check, and participating in a multitude of health checks. Imagine the agony of repeating this expensive and time-consuming procedure every time you decide to change your job. Fortunately, the advent of the D10 visa is a reason for utter celebration.
This special visa status permits a foreigner to stay in Korea for a extensive period of 6 months, solely for the purpose of seeking employment. The process of attaining a D10 visa is extremely simple. Whether you are leaving a job prematurely or have successfully completed your contract, It is absolutely essential for you to request a “Letter of Release” from your present employer. Upon termination, head promptly to the immigration office with your LOR, current ARC, passport, and ₩60 000. At immigration fill out the appropriate application form and submit all the required documents and money to an official. Your ARC with a D-10 visa status should typically be available within a month.
If for whatever reason, you need to prove your D10 visa status to an authority (i.e. bank, employer), you can easily pick up a certificate indicating your changed status. At the immigration office, the certificate is usually available within a week, for a cost of ₩1 000.
If however, you plan on departing Korea before or after applying for a D10 visa, it is highly recommended that you thoroughly inquire at the immigration office as to how long you can be abroad. Personally, after the completion of my contract, I visited Canada for 2.5 weeks and upon returning to Korea I applied for a D10 visa. I had no problems.
Unfortunately, if you are not successfully hired within 6 months, you must leave the country. If however you do find that ideal job, you are in for a stupendous treat. To change your D10 visa status back to an E-2 visa, will be a piece of cake. There is absolutely no need to laboriously gather all those documents again. Your new employer should accompany you to immigration and present the official with your D-10 visa-ARC and new working contract; along with your passport, photos, application form, and ₩50 000. You can expect to pick up your E2-visa within a month.