What Is a South Korean Shipping Visa (E-10) and How to Obtain It

What Is a South Korean Shipping Visa (E-10) and How to Obtain It | FAQs

What Is a South Korean Shipping Visa (E-10) and How to Obtain It

South Korea is a leading exporter in the world and is home to some of the largest shipping companies. If you’re a foreign national looking to join the country’s thriving shipping industry, you’ll need to obtain a South Korean Shipping Visa, also known as the E-10 Visa. This article will explain what an E-10 is, who is eligible for it, how to apply for it, and its benefits.

What Is an E-10 Visa?

The E-10 Visa, also called the “Maritime Crew Visa,” allows foreign nationals to join the vessels of South Korean shipping companies for the purposes of transportation, cargo handling, and other related services. It is similar to the C-1/D Visa in the United States, which allows foreigners to work on board vessels during their short stay in the country.

Who Is Eligible for an E-10 Visa?

To be eligible for an E-10 Visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a valid passport and other required documents.
  • Be a crew member of a foreign ship that is operating in South Korea or is scheduled to enter the country’s ports.
  • Have a contract of employment with a South Korean shipping company.
  • Pass a medical examination to confirm that you are fit to work on board a ship.

How to Apply for an E-10 Visa

Here are the steps to apply for an E-10 Visa:

  1. Find a South Korean shipping company that is willing to hire you.
  2. Get a letter of invitation from the company. This letter should include your name, position, expected duration of stay, and other relevant information.
  3. Fill out the E-10 Visa application form online or at your nearest South Korean embassy or consulate. You’ll need to provide your personal and employment details, as well as your travel itinerary, among others.
  4. Pay the visa fee, which varies depending on your nationality and the duration of your stay.
  5. Submit your application along with the required documents, such as your passport, letter of invitation, employment contract, and medical report.
  6. Wait for the processing of your application, which usually takes a few days to weeks. You may be required to attend an interview or provide additional information, so be sure to check your application status regularly.
  7. If approved, you’ll receive your E-10 Visa, which will allow you to work for the South Korean shipping company for the duration of your stay.

Benefits of an E-10 Visa

An E-10 Visa has several benefits, including:

  • Legal permission to work for a South Korean shipping company.
  • The ability to enter and exit the country freely using the same visa.
  • The opportunity to gain experience and develop your skills in the shipping industry.
  • The chance to interact with people of different nationalities and cultures.


How long can I stay on an E-10 Visa?

The duration of an E-10 Visa depends on your employment contract with the South Korean shipping company, but it usually lasts up to six months. You may apply for an extension if necessary.

Do I need a sponsor for an E-10 Visa?

Yes, you need a South Korean shipping company to sponsor your E-10 Visa. You’ll need to submit a letter of invitation or employment contract from the company as part of your visa application.

Can I bring my family with me on an E-10 Visa?

No, an E-10 Visa is only for the visa holder. If your family members want to join you in South Korea, they’ll need to apply for their own visas based on their purpose of travel.

Can I change my employer while on an E-10 Visa?

No, you cannot change your employer or work for any other company while on an E-10 Visa. You’ll need to apply for a new visa if you want to work for a different South Korean shipping company.

Can I apply for permanent residency in South Korea with an E-10 Visa?

No, an E-10 Visa is not a pathway to permanent residency or citizenship in South Korea. If you want to stay in the country permanently, you’ll need to apply for a different visa or meet the eligibility requirements for naturalization.

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