Fast Track at Airport for Foreign Investors

Foreigners considering investment in Korea's free economic zones can use express immigration desks at airports starting next month. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday said they will issue special passes for the exclusive use of foreign businessmen who want to begin business in an FEZ or take part in development projects here, categorizing them as potential investors.

Up until recently, only diplomats and foreign VIPs had been entitled to such express passes.

They will be issued to foreigners who have signed investment contractors or investment MOUs for any FEZ or submit letters of intent to invest. The minimum amount of investment should be US$10 million for the manufacturing industry, real estate development, or the tourism industry; $5 million for logistics; and $2 million for a research center. Foreigners who have already invested in Korea have been using the express immigration desks since September last year.

The government also decided to simplify immigration procedures for foreign professionals such as academics, lawyers, accountants, doctors, teachers, and interpreters who will work at educational, research or medical institutions in FEZs. They can obtain entry visas if they have letters of confirmation from the administrator of an FEZ.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 11, 2009 10:58 KST