Visa Runs from Korea to Japan

Category : Surviving in Korea / Visa/Legal Issues/Tax
Nov 26, 2014

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Visa Runs
 

In many respects, a visa run is a rite of passage for expats spending longer than one year in Korea. A visa run is necessary when you change jobs. Actually, Korean immigration just changed some rules so you don’t always have to go on a visa run when your contract finishes and you’re changing employers. Now you can switch your visa to a D-10 visa, a job-seeking visa. The D-10 visa is valid for six months. If you get another job within that time you can switch your visa to a working visa status within Korea sans visa run.

You may want to switch your job before your contract/visa expires, in which case you’ll need to get a letter of release to switch employers. If your employer won’t give you a letter of release, you need to go on a visa run. Visa runs are also for people who come to Korea without work and then find a job. Once you find an employer to sponsor your visa, you have to leave the country and apply for your working visa from a Korean embassy or consulate abroad.

It’s a minor pain to leave the country for one night, but it’s the only way to do it. Most people go to Osaka or Fukuoka in Japan since they have Korean consulates and they are in vicinity to Korea. You may get to both cities by air, and Fukuoka can be reached by ferry from Busan.

 

The Process

The process is pretty straightforward. Drop off your forms and passport at the Korean consulate in the morning (before 11:00) on Day 1 and pick it up mid-morning (after 11:00) or early afternoon (after 13:30) on Day 2. Two pieces of advice are:

  • Get to the consulate as early as possible (at 9:00 or 10:00) on Day 1, so you don’t miss getting your application in and so you can tour around for the rest of the day.
  • Prepare all your documents in Korea. Then you can cut the lines at the consulate and it will ensure that you don’t forget something.


 

Once you get back to Korea, you have 90 days to go to Korean immigration in Korea and apply for your Alien Registration Card (ARC).
 

Documents required:

  • Passport
  • Completed application form (picked up at the Korean Consulate or downloaded online)
  • Certificate for confirmation of visa issuance (a blue form from your employer in Korea)
  • 2 color passport photos (3cmx4cm)
  • Application fee: 6,000JPY (about 70,000KRW)

 

Information You MUST Know:

  • Your full address in Korea (it’s good if you know it in Hangeul)
  • The name of the business you will be working for including the address and phone number (also in Hangeul if possible)
  • Your boss’s name (in Hangeul)
  • Your phone number in Korea

 

 Remember

  • Korean consulates are closed for both Korean and Japanese holidays. You can’t get your visa processed on those days.
  • Korean consulates are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Therefore, you need to plan your visa run over two business days (Monday to Friday).
  • You will need to go on a visa run when applying for any E-series visa, not just an E-2 visa.
  • Japanese immigration can sometimes be strict. Know your hotel in Japan and have your departure ticket handy.
  • Your boss should be paying for your visa run (flight/ferry ticket, hotel, and transportation within Japan). You might have to pay the visa processing fee, food and any touring you do.
  • Come prepared. The last thing you want is to end up in Japan without an important document.
  • DON’T FORGET: your visa issuance number (the blue form)!
  • Get your money changed in Korea. It will save you time and the rates are just as competitive (if not more so).
  • Get your photos done in Korea. It’s expensive to get them done in Japan.
  • If you want to spend more time in Japan, stay over the weekend. Do your visa application on Thursday and Friday, Monday and Tuesday or Friday and Monday. Then you have the weekend to explore. Of course, you will have to pay for your own weekend expenses.

The Korean Consulate in Fukuoka

  • Address: 1-1-3, Jigyohama, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, Japan 810-0065
  • Phone: 092-771-0461
  • Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 10:00-12:00 and 13:30-15:30. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Closed for both Korean and Japanese holidays.

 

Directions to the Korean Consulate (Fukuoka)

  1. Take the subway to Tojin Machi Station.
  2. Take exit 1 (follow the signs to the Korean Consulate).
  3. Walk straight for about 5 minutes.
  4. Reach a T-intersection, cross the road and turn right.
  5. Walk straight for about 5 minutes and look for the consulate.

 

Getting to Fukuoka 
 

By Ferry

The easiest way to get to Fukuoka is by ferry from Busan. You can catch the ship at Jungangdong International Ferry Terminal in Busan. The terminal in Fukuoka is the Hakata Ferry Port.

 

Ferry Name: MiraeJet

  • Schedule
  • Travel time: 3 hours
  • Tickets: 115,000KRW (One way) / 230,000KRW (Round trip)
  • Phone: 051-441-8200
  • Website

 

By Air

You can also fly to Fukuoka Airport located in Hakata-Ku, Fukuoka. Air Busan, Asiana Airlines, and Korean Air all fly into Fukuoka multiple times a day. Prices differ depending on season and advance booking.

  1. Air Busan
  2. Asiana Airlines
  3. Korean Air

The Korean Consulate in Osaka

  1. Address: 2-3-4, Nishi-sinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan
  2. Phone: 81-6213-1401 or 81 92 771-0461/3
  3. Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00-12:00 and 13:30-17:00. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Closed for both Korean and Japanese holidays.

 

Directions to the Korean Consulate (Osaka)

  1. Take the train or Subway to Namba Station.
  2. Take the Mido-Suji/North Exit.
  3. Turn left at the street.
  4. Cross the crosswalk on the right (about 30m from the station exit).
  5. Then cross the street to be on the same side as Subway, the sandwich restaurant.
  6. Walk straight, pass McDonalds and cross over a small stream.
  7. The consulate is about 100m ahead.

 

Getting to Osaka


By Air

The only way to get to Osaka is by air from either Seoul or Busan. The main airport in Osaka is the Kansai International Airport.  Air Busan, Asiana Airlines and Korean Air all fly there. Prices differ depending on season and advance booking.

By Air

The only way to get to Osaka is by air from either Seoul or Busan. The main airport in Osaka is the Kansai International Airport.  Air Busan, Asiana Airlines and Korean Air all fly there. Prices differ depending on season and advance booking.

  1. Air Busan
  2. Asiana Airlines
  3. Korean Air

 

Holidays – All Consulates are closed

Korean Holidays

  • Jan 01: New Year's Day
  • Jan 02: Second Day of New Year
  • Feb: Seollal, (Korean New Year)«
  • Mar 01: Independence Movement Day
  • Apr 05: Tree Planting Day
  • May 05: Children's Day
  • May 15: Buddha's Birthday
  • Jun 06: Memorial Day
  • July 17: Constitution Day
  • Aug 15: Liberation Day
  • Sep 15: Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving)«
  • Oct 03: National Foundation Day
  • Dec 25: Christmas

 

«Chuseok and Seollal are based on the full moon of lunar calendar, so the dates change yearly.

 

Japanese Holidays

  • January 1-3: New Year (Shogatsu)
  • Second Monday in January: Coming of Age (Seiji No Hi)
  • February 11: National Foundation Day (Kenkoku Kinenbi)
  • March 21: Spring Eqinox Day (Shunbun No Hi)
  • April 29: Green Day (Midori No Hi)
  • May 3: Constitution Day (Kenpo Kinenbi)
  • May 4: "Between Day" (Lokumin No Kyujitsu)
  • May 5: Children's Day (Kodomo No Hi)
  • Third Monday of July: Ocean Day (Umi No Hi)
  • Third Monday of September: Respect for the Aged Day (Keiro No Hi)
  • September 23: Autumn Equinox Day (Shubun No Hi)
  • Second Monday of October: Health and Sports Day (Taiiku No Hi)
  • November 3: Culture Day (Bunka No Hi)
  • November 23: Labour Thanksgiving Day (Kinro Kansha No Hi)
  • December 23: Emperor's Birthday (Tenno No Tanjobi)

 

Note: If a Japanese national holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be given off as well.

Tags : Travel. Visa. Korea. Japan. Airport.

Lindsey lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea for over 5 years. While there, she dabbled in different areas of work and explored the culture. She spent time teaching elementary students, business English to adults and high school students about college preparation. She also studied Korean, wrote blogs and tasted as many foods as she possibly could including fermented skate fish. Over the years, Lindsey developed a love for Korea and the culture. She is keen to share her knowledge of Korea with others and she will always consider Korea a second home.

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