Any discussions or solutions involving the new D8 visa regulations for sole proprietorship operators - i.e. conducting the comprehensive transfer agreement from sole proprietorship to corporation.
Roger - I was up at InvestKorea a month or so ago talking with the official there from Korea immigration. I don't believe there's anything new on the D-8 that would make it easier to get; it still takes a large capital investment.
Here's a post I put together from that discussion though which might shed a little light on the visa situation - Answers to Questions about Business Visas in Korea
I hold a D8 visa, but immigration have moved the goalposts on new applicants including renewals - basically axing the sole proprietorship and forcing them to change into corporations, at more expense, with no guarantees of a visa renewal. It puts on off on investing more when the future is so unclear.
You got a D-8 visa without establishing a corporation and with just a sole proprietorship? I didn't know it could be done. How did you do that? Was it several years ago?
Ha ha, yeah it was 2 years ago. To change to a corporation is a process that involves non-guaranteed expense, and legal proceedings. It's all very vague at the moment, and a little too typical for my liking. I'll have to weigh it up. May even go for the F2 visa, as I like Korea so much. I can still finish off what I have to do here without the D8 visa, it'll just have to be done through an off-shore registered business which I can set up in my home country.
That's interesting. I remember that they increased the capital requirements about two years ago; I didn't know they were giving E-8 visas away without any capital though before that.
I guess you have to feel lucky for what you got and consider the current state of affairs to be the norm.
No, I had to bring foreign investment into Korea, 50,000,000W back then - there was no luck or giving away of anything involved at all.
Oh! OK, then the only difference is that they've increased the capital amount. But with W50 million, why did you set up a sole proprietorship? That money would have served for a full corporation.
Good question. From memory, it was easier to set up a sole proprietorship than a corporation back then.
Oh, OK. Yeah, the sole proprietorship would be simpler in many ways.
And of course, one wouldn't expect the new changes to apply to current holders as well. Most of the initial capital is now tied up in projects as operating costs. A little unfair I think.
Anyway, new obstacles bring new challenges, new thinking etc...
There's a lot of discretion up at immigration on who and when to give visas. Email me if you'd like the contact info for the guy I met up at InvestKorea. If you point out that you already made the investments, perhaps there would be a way to find some flexibility.