Teaching Visa Process
Obtaining Your Work Visa: Once a contract is agreed to and signed by our applicant, the next step in the process is for the employer to obtain an E-2 visa work permit from Korean Immigration for him or her. Up to this point, even though the school has extended an offer of employment and the applicant has accepted and signed the contract, the teacher is not officially an employee. Any agreements are only binding subsequent to the applicant being approved for a work visa from Korean Immigration.
Below is a list of documents each applicant will need to send the school.
PLEASE NOTE: Many teachers have found that gathering these documents takes MUCH longer than they originally anticipated (especially the criminal background check), and this in some cases has led to job offers being revoked, leading the teachers having to go through the entire process all over again. TeachEnglishKorea strongly suggests that applicants begin gathering these documents immediately.
Teaching Visa Process (E-2 visa)
1. Apostilled and Notarized photocopy of Bachelor’s Degree
The applicant must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university to be considered for a teaching visa by Korean immigration. Please note: Canadians need to get a notarized photocopy of their degree verified by their nearest the Korean consulate.
For more information about apostilles, visit www.apostilleinfo.com
2. Apostilled and Notarized Criminal Background Report
Beginning from January 1st 2011, applicants will be required to submit a national level CRC when getting or changing a visa, obtaining an alien registration card etc. Please ask TeachEnglishKorea if you have questions about this very important change!
When you are applying for your criminal background check, be sure that you also request a Sex-Offender Registry Check (some reports do not specify that a sex-offender check has been done). Once obtained, the background report must be Notarized and Apostille authenticated. *Note: Canadians have to get a notarized copy of their CRC verified by their nearest Korean consulate instead of having it Apostilled.
For the Apostille to authenticate your record check for international use it MUST have a local notary stamp/seal on it FIRST.
Note: For US Citizens, Apostille authentication can only be obtained at the authentication office of your local Secretary of State or from the Secretary of State office in D.C. It is important to call the Secretary of State office in your state to find out what will be required to obtain the Apostille, as some require an application and other will not apostille the FBI check at all. If they won’t, you will have to mail it to the Secretary of State in D.C.
IN PERSON DROP OFF is the quickest way to get this done. If you live too far away from your Secretary of State office, it is advisable to send your documents to a friend or family member and have them take the documents in person.
MAIL IN applications can normally take 2 to 3 weeks to process and should be used if no other options are available. If you must mail in your application, be sure to include a RETURN ENVELOPE with postage and address back to you and the fee in the form of a cheque or money order.
For more information about apostilles, visit www.apostilleinfo.com
3. Two Copies of the Original Contract Signed by the Applicant:
Unless the employer has defined the exact start date on the contract, it should be left blank on both copies. The start date will be amended once the applicant arrives in Korea. All work visas are for a one-year duration only, which automatically begins the day the applicant enters Korea, regardless of the actual start date on the contract.
4. A Filled-out and Signed E-2 Applicant Medical Statement:
This is a self-assesment and does not require a visit to a doctor. However after arriving in Korea and before applying for their Alien Registration Card (ARC), teachers are required by law to undergo a medical examination at a designated hospital in their area. The exam will include drug and HIV testing and must be completed within 90 days of arrival. Your school will assist you in arranging the exam. Drug abuse is a very serious issue in South Korea. Any applicant who fails the medical exam will have their teaching visa and employment contract immediately cancelled and will have to reimburse the costs for the flight to Korea, and also pay for their return flight to their home country.
5. A Full Resume With Correct Mailing Address and Phone Number:
The resume must bear the applicant’s signature.
6. A Color Scan of the Information Page of the Applicant’s Passport
Please only scan the information page (with photograph)
7. Four Recent Color Passport Photos
Please make sure to send passport size photos taken professionally at studio. These photos are used in official application forms to submit to immigration office.
- Because of the unreliable nature of regular postage delivery, all documents must be sent by registered courier. FEDEX, UPS and DHL work best in Korea. The cost is usually between forty and one hundred dollars (depending on the company and location) and delivery can be insured and is usually done within three business days. Please contact TEK for the schools mailing address, as these documents should be sent directly to the school.
- After your school has received your documents and submitted them to Korean immigration, it usually takes between five to ten business days for the issuance of the visa approval number.
After your school has received your documents and submitted them to Korean immigration, it usually takes between five to ten business days for the issuance of the visa approval number. This varies depending on each immigration office in Korea.
While you are waiting for visa issuance, you should check and contact the Korean consulate in your jurisdiction and find out what documents you should mail or bring to them.
Once your visa number issued from Korean immigration, we will send you the visa issuance number.
Along with this visa issuance number, you should get the visa issued/stamped in your passport at a Korean consulate. You can get your visa issued at any Korean consulate outside of Korea, however you should check each Korean consulate if they provide visa issuance since some may or may not.
Typical documents you’ll need to send/bring to Korean consulate:
- Your passport with remaining validity with at least 1 year remaining validity and a copy of the information page on your passport
- Two recent passport-size color photos
- Completed visa application form (Your school’s information is written in the employment contract that you signed.)
- The visa fee ($65 CAD, US$45, NZ$50 USD, A$75, UK27) *Note: Fees can change without warning so applicants should check with their local Korean consulate. Applicants not in their home country may incur additional fees.
- Your visa issuance number
- One official transcript that’s sealed (unopened) and stamped/signature on the back of the seal to indicate that it hasn’t been tampered with. (This requirement may vary with each consulate or embassy, so applicants need to check with them directly.)
Applicants can usually send the above documents to the Korean consulate with jurisdiction over their area by courier before receiving the visa approval number, and then call the number in by phone once it is received. This will save some leg-work, but applicants should call before sending in their documents to verify that this can be done.
- Use registered mail or overnight express as this can take anywhere from one to three weeks depending on the season. Overnight express is necessary unless the departure date is more than a month away.
- Prepaid return postage must always be included as consulates will not pay to return documents. In rush situations, it always helps to provide a copy of the flight itinerary to the consulate.
- Visas are ALWAYS issued faster if the teacher goes to the consulate in person, as opposed to sending their passport and documents via courier.
Flight Arrangements: TeachEnglishKorea handles all flight arrangements and ensures that both the teacher and the school are provided with flight itineraries as soon as they are available. Reservations are normally placed once the teacher’s work visa has been approved by Korean Immigration. Once the teacher confirms the return of their passport from the Korean consulate in their country with their work visa stamped in it, TEK will have the flight ticket paid for and issued, usually in the form of an electronic ticket which is sent to the teacher’s email address. The teacher must normally arrive in Korea one or two days before the start date of their contract.
Once the teacher arrives in Korea, an escort meets them at the airport and transports them directly to the school. Arrival and contact information is always given to the teacher prior to departure. And then the real adventure begins!
Why Choose Us
What Teachers Say
“I was very pleased to find PlanetESL while looking for work in Korea. PlanetESL made the process of interviewing, obtaining a visa and the requisite paperwork easy. Most importantly they lined me up with a reputable school that has delivered everything promised in terms of salary, benefits and housing. I would be happy to trust PlanetESL for future recruitment and to recommend their services.”
“Hi, how are you doing? I’m doing very well here in Sacheon at E.Bo Young’s Talking Club! I’m set up in my apartment and have been teaching now for about 3 weeks. The director and the other teachers here have been great! Thanks again for all your effort!”
“Dear Jiyeon , I am writing to you to thank you for all the time you have invested in me I truly do appreciate it, you were very honest , kind and patient to say the least lol. Thank you SO SO MUCH !! Adam Crego”
“I’m sure that you know that I have arrived okay to Gunpo! I don’t have internet quite yet at my apartment so I am at an internet cafe today. Thank you for all of your help to get here! The supervisors at my school are all very nice and helpful. I will be sure to be in touch with you should I need anything. Best, Amanda”
“Hi Jiyeon, I have just got my mail set up at home, so I can email now. Thank you so much for all your help! I am so happy at my school and everything is going great. I have also moved into my apartment. I am enjoying Korea so far and I’m grateful for all your help! Regards Sane”