D10 Visa Requirements; Forget Collecting Your Documents All Over Again!

d10 visa requirements

For those coming up to the end of their contracts and wishing to take a break before starting a new one, the new D10 visa is an absolute god send! It used to be the case that if you wanted to go home in between contracts you would need to gather all your documents AGAIN and go through the entire E-2 visa process AGAIN too. Not anymore.

The D10 visa (also known as the “looking for work” visa) allows the following without the need for teachers to collect their documents from scratch:

  • Up to a maximum of 6 months to find a new job.
  • Up to a maximum of 90 days outside of Korea.

D10 Visa Requirements

It should be noted that you can only apply for a D10 visa AFTER your contract has ended. It can take a few weeks to process so make sure you book your flights home a few weeks after your contract ends or better yet hold off until you have the D10 visa in hand if possible.

Here are the D10 visa requirements you must follow when you go to your local immigration office:

  • Passport
  • 2 Passport Pictures
  • ₩60,000 -> 130,000
  • Your Alien Registration Card
  • Current bank statement (they want to see you can support yourself in this period)
  • Letter of Release
  • Proof of Residency Form (they may ask to see a residency contract agreement but usually a friends address will suffice.)
  • Plans for Seeking Employment Form (get this at immigration office)

And that’s it! Once you submit your application it may take up to 2 weeks before you can pick up your new ARC card then you are free to leave for up to 90 days and look for work for up to 6 months.

You can leave multiple times too so if you want a month in Thailand, then back to sign a new contract, then a few weeks in Vietnam before starting the new contract you can do that with no problems!

Note: Please call the 1345 immigration hotline well in advance of your contract end date. The D10 visa process is relatively new and somewhat shrouded in mystery and can change depending on which immigration office you go to. 

32 replies
  1. Louis Knutson says:

    sounds great. I have my wife her on an F3 visa, would anyone know how this new rule works for family that is here? would her visa still be tied to mine if its a D10? Thanks

    Reply
    • Lindsay says:

      Hi Louis,

      That is a GREAT question and one I’m not 100% sure about. I would imagine a spousal/dependent visa like the F3 will also be extended to mirror the length of the sponsor’s new D10 visa. I can’t see any reason why that wouldn’t be the case. Best bet is to call 1345 and get a definitive answer – I will do it tomorrow when they open as I am also curious :)

      Reply
  2. Patrick says:

    Any idea why we need a letter of release if we can only apply for the D10 after our current contract has finished? I thought that a letter of release was a piece of paper you got from your hagwon if you were leaving your contract early.

    Reply
    • Lindsay says:

      Hi Patrick,

      The letter of release (LOR) is not required per say but from the stories we have heard it makes the whole process go much smoother. If you can’t get one from your current employer then you should be fine without one if you have completed your contract. Immigration may ask your current employer for personal details to ensure your contract is truly over as you cannot legally work anywhere whilst you have a D10 visa. Again, this is very much in it’s infancy and Korean immigration offices are infamous for being a bit on the unorganized side 😉

      Reply
      • Patrick says:

        Thanks for the quick response Lindsay! We are going to call the immigration number next week to get everything squared away.
        I have one more question: our boss wants to book our plane tickets home and would like a date. From what I have read from D10 stories online (which are all over the place and vary in general craziness) some people have gotten a sticker applied to their E2 that alters the date, and gives you the extra time right at the immigration office. They didn’t have to get new ARC cards at all! If this is the case we could probably get away with leaving earlier after our contract has ended. Have you heard anything about that? Korean immigration is definitely crazy so who knows if what flies in one province would in another..

        Reply
  3. Patrick says:

    Thank you for the quick response! :)

    We are going to call the immigration line early next week to get the low down on everything D10.
    I had one more question for you: In some of the D10 stories I have read online people have just gotten a sticker on the back of their E2, extending the date. They didn’t have to wait the ~2weeks to get a new card. Our current boss would like to book our tickets home ASAP and the earlier we can get squared away with the D10 the earlier we can make it back stateside for a bit. Have you heard anything about this happening?

    Reply
    • Lindsay says:

      Hi Patrick,

      I’ve never heard about having a sticker put on the back of the E2 visa to be honest. I would have thought a new card was in order since in effect you are changing your visa status from E2 to D10…

      Who knows if some offices put a sticker on it? I guess we are very much still in the pilot stage of all of this and in time all the details will unravel.

      For now, all we know is that it’s possible to get a D10 and we know it allows teachers 6 months to find a new job with up to 90 days out of the country.

      Will your boss not give you a stipend for your flights so you can book them yourselves once you have the D10? That would seem like the best thing for you both to do!

      Reply
      • Patrick says:

        I will definitely ask, I think that would be the best too! Thanks again and sorry to barrage you with questions. The thought of getting to visit home without having to redo that paperwork is a little too exciting for me. Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for all the hard work you and the SayKimchi crew did to get Tara and I situated here in Korea. I have lots to be thankful for this year!

        Reply
  4. Steven says:

    I just phoned immigration on 1345 and was informed the cost of the visa is 130,000 Won and it takes about one month.

    Reply
    • Stewart says:

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for the updated information – 130,000 won is correct although we’ve still heard of instances where teachers only paid 60,000! Ahhh, Korea :)

      Reply
  5. peter says:

    Are you claiming that if you have a d10 visa we can simply walk into another position without any documents at all including the apostiled police check and degree certificate?

    Reply
    • Stewart says:

      Hi Peter,

      Exactly! Once you finish your contract with your employer in Korea, you are eligible to switch onto the D-10 visa which affords you up to 6 months to seek new employment. You can leave Korea for no more than 90 days during those 6 months.

      No new documents are required since they are already on file with immigration.

      As for your question about it applying if you continue with the same employer, I am somewhat confused? If you continue with the same employer then all you need to do is extend your visa for another year. If you would like to switch schools immediately, you simply transfer your visa to your new school.

      The D10 visa is great for those who want to take a little break or who haven’t secured a new job yet.

      Hope that helps :)

      Reply
      • peter says:

        Thanks, I didn’t know you could just switch to another employer at the end of your contract without any documents or an D10 visa.

        Reply
        • Stewart says:

          Hi Peter,

          Yes, just ask your current employer to touch base with your future employer and get the visa transfer paperwork in order and you are good to transfer.

          Reply
          • peter says:

            If you have a d10 then I assume there is no need for the contact between the new and old employer to take place or the transfer paper?

    • Stewart says:

      Not 100% sure to be honest. From what I’ve learned though they are exactly strict with a balance but at the end of contract most teachers will have their last month’s pay, severance pay and perhaps flight pay as well so it shouldn’t be a problem.

      Reply
  6. Mary says:

    Hi, I’m hoping you can help with a few questions! I am planning on travelling for a month, returning to Korean to fly home for a month and hoping to find a job beginning in January. I will have to apply for the D10 as soon as my contract ends since it can take weeks before I am able to pick up my new ARC. My question is, will I be free to travel outside of Korea as planned during this time? Will the time outside of Korea before the D10 is approved count towards the 90 days?

    Reply
  7. Eve says:

    Hi Mary
    Bear in mind that between your E2 visa expiration and D10 application period you cannot travel and come back to Korea because your E2 would have expired. So the country you are visiting at that time will not allow you to go back to Korea without any working visa. You have to go to your country first then come back to Korea. I’d advice you to wait for your D10 before you leave Korea.

    Reply
      • Mary says:

        Thanks so much for all of the help! Regarding the expiration of the Visa: I am from a country which is allowed 6 months of visa free entry to Korea. Wouldn’t it make sense that I will be allowed in regardless of the status of my visa based on this exception? I will call immigration to double check, but I am not looking forward to it!

        Reply
        • Stewart says:

          Hi Mary,

          Your best bet is to call immigration like you said. It’s still a relatively new system so there are cases which need to be ironed out directly by them.

          I really hope it works out the way you wish.

          Reply
  8. Stewart says:

    Hi Mary,

    Sorry for the delay in replying to this!

    As far as I am aware, the answer to your question is no. Your ARC card trumps your visa stamp in your passport so chances are you would run into problems at the airport getting back in with an expired visa stamp / no ARC card.

    Your case isn’t the norm though so I’d suggest calling directly on 1345 and speaking to someone at immigration. Their help desk is usually very, er, helpful haha!

    Reply
  9. Sam says:

    During/After the application do they give you the option to have the ARC delivered or for an agent to pick it up? Or does it have to be me in person?

    Reply
    • Stewart says:

      Hi Sam,

      Having it mailed to you (to a Korean address of course) is no problem but I have to assume having someone else pick it up may cause problems. I guess as always it’s down to the immigration officer on the day whether they would hand it over to someone else or not so you are best to call them on 1345 and ask directly.

      Reply
  10. Emma says:

    How many months do I need left on my passport to apply? I have an awkward situation where my passport expires a month and a half after my contract ends…

    Reply
  11. Shane says:

    Hi, i am looking to travel for 5 months after my contract finishes and then come back to korea in August. If i left korea for about 80 days then came back for a week and left for another 80 days would that be ok? Is it no more than 90 consecutive days away from korea that is allowed or is it 90 days out of the total 6 month period? If you have any advice on the best way to do this then that would be great. Thanks.

    Reply
  12. Shane says:

    Hi, I was wondering about the 90 days away from Korea rule. I was looking to travel for 4-5 months after my current contract finishes but I wanted to get the D10 visa. My idea was that I could fly out for 60-65 days (After I have gotten the D10 visa), then come back to Korea for a week and then leave for another 60 days. Would this work? Are you allowed to leave Korea for a total of 90 days in a 6 month period or is it 90 consecutive days that is not allowed? I would really appreciate it if you could give me some advice about what I should do. Are there any other options for someone in my situation.

    Reply
  13. 43jb says:

    Hi,

    Can I enter Korea on a tourist visa, then switch to a D-10? Finished my last contract Dec 31, 2013. so it will be 18 months later (Aug 2015) when I plan to return. The reason is I think it will be much easier to find work once I am in the country.

    Thanks everyone!

    Reply
  14. DS says:

    I just wanted to let everyone know: today I went to apply for the d10 Visa at the Seoul Immigration Office. One thing extra that was needed was a Housing Contract of the person/friend you will be staying with, or something that proves their residency. In my case, the Proof of Residency Form was not enough, the immigration officer asked for a Housing Contract. Hope this helps someone.

    Reply

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