I was able to obtain a D-10 (job seeking) visa last month in Korea. Seeing as there wasn’t a lot of information from people who had gotten the visa at the time, I figured I’d write about my experience. Hopefully it can help out someone who is in my position.
If you’re planning to take a break between jobs in Korea, or if you need to quit your job without getting sent back to your country, the D-10 visa is a good solution for us E-2 holders.
Note: This process is easier if you already have a valid E-2 visa in hand. Obtaining it without having some work history in Korea seems to be MUCH harder, and there are some pretty steep requirements listed here. You do not have to meet all these requirements to get the visa if you already have an E-2! This only applies if you already have your apostilled degree and apostilled federal background check on file with immigration!
I had a bit of frustration at immigration trying to figure out the process, as there were no signs that explicitly explained the procedure to get a D-10 visa. Here is what I did:
- Head to immigration first thing in the morning! You will need: ARC / passport / a photo / 60,000 won in cash [50,000 for the status change, and 10,000 to make your new card]
- You will have to fill out a new visa application form, buy 50,000 won worth of stamps (3F), glue your photo on and wait forever.
- There is a photo booth on the third floor (6,000 won I believe), right across from the stamp window.
- When you approach the window, you’ll receive a form with spaces where you must fill in your intended plans for the 6 months you hold the visa, including how you intend to find a new job. [I was very vague with mine and all went well, don’t worry too much about this.]
The immigration worker told me it would take 3 weeks to get my new card, and I had to forfeit my ARC on the spot. I panicked a bit, as I was leaving the country the following week… If you’re in my spot, never fear!
- On the second floor, there is a postal service desk; for 4,000 won you can have your new D-10 visa sent anywhere within Korea. Enlist the help of a friend remaining in the country to send it to you.
- While the new visa card takes a couple weeks to reach you, the visa status change takes one week. If you’re leaving the country, or NEED to have something that states your visa status, wait a week and go back to immigration. You can get a certificate for 1,000 won; it’s just as good as an interim ID card.
** (02) 1345 is the number to call for English assistance with Immigration in Seoul.
** You’re free to leave the country, come and go as you please, but remember that the visa is valid for 6 months, so you must get a job and change the visa back to E-2 before the D-10 expires. Otherwise… I guess you’re back to square one.
** To change it back to an E-2, you don’t need any paperwork aside from a signed contract and the business registration for your new job!
That’s that! Hopefully this post will help someone out there who finds themselves in the predicament I was in.