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Video explanation of the process from start to finish with examples
The visa process can be confusing if you don't know what to expect. By following the steps listed below and having us work alongside you, the process should go smoothly.
Gathering your documents
The best place to start on the visa process is gathering your documents. If you have all of these items available, you can feel confident that you are ahead of the game. From there, you can just follow the steps as the process moves along. Here they are:
Phase 1 of Visa Process
1.Mail the following documents to your employer to the address specified. Use Fedex or DHL, or as per school's instructions.
1. Your original degree (don't worry, you'll get it back!)
2. A sealed copy of your official university transcripts
3. A copy of your resume
4. A copy of your passport picture page (copy only, not your passport)
5. Signed contract
6. 2 passport-sized photos
7. Clean criminal record check (click link for details of what is required)
8. Pre-employment health-check (self-completed form, click here to download)
2. It's waiting time. The school will take these documents to be verified by the Korean Immigration department. If all documents are valid, they will issue a visa issuance letter, or a visa acceptance number. Process takes about 7 days.
3. Tired of waiting? OK, time for some action. You will receive the visa issuance letter by mail, or the visa confirmation number by e-mail (more common now).
4. Time to move on to Phase 2 below.
Phase 2 of Visa Process
1.Once you receive the confirmation number or letter, you will bring or mail the following to your local consulate. (see below for mailing instructions)
1. Visa issuance letter or number received via e-mail
2. Your actual passport (must be sent if processing by mail)
3. Visa application form. Right-Click and choose "Save target as..." Click here to download in Word Format or PDF Format or just click and print.
4. 2 passport-sized photos
5. Money order, bank draft, or cash if going in person. Average US Dollars: $45 and Canadian Dollars: $65 but verify with your local consulate first.
6. A set of sealed transcripts. (note: some consulates don't require them, but many do. This is why we say to order two sets. One goes to Korea and one stays with you)
Timeline: The consulates average 5 days for processing. Some can do it in one day, but that's unusual. If you are processing via mail, factor in extra days.
2. Before going anywhere, or mailing anything, you should contact your local consulate and ask the following questions:
1. Is this address still valid?
2. What is the cost to process an E2 visa at your location?
3. What method of payment do you accept?
4. How would you like me to mail the information? What service, and what type of return envelope?
5. How many days will it take to process?
3. Your local Korean consulate will now verify the documents you've sent them, and once approved, they will stamp your passport with the E2 visa and either you will pick it up, or they will mail it to you, depending on the process you've chosen.
4. Instructions for mailing:
If you do not live close enough to a Korean consulate to go in person, you will have to send your documents via mail to be processed. Note that the consulate will not pay for a courier to return your passport and documents, so you must include a pre-paid envelope in your package. Most consulates in Canada and the United States prefer using Canada Post or USPS express envelopes. As noted above, check with your local consulate for their preference.
Please be sure to use Overnight Service in order to get the documents to the consulate as quickly as possible. There have been cases of flights being missed because of using a slower service, so please be sure to use the quickest possible.
Mailing adds extra time to the process, so be sure to have everything ready and then you can mail your package as soon as you receive your confirmation number. Don't wait to call, otherwise, everything may get delayed. This applies even if you are going in person. Having your documents prepared will make everything run smoother.
Application form explained
There are a few areas of the application form that may cause confusion. They are explained here. Any items that don't apply to you, just mark N/A.
Box 11 Issuing Authority: The nation of your citizenship
Box 19 Purpose of Entry: To teach English for _______(school name).
Box 21 Desired Length of Stay: 1 year
Box 23 Address in Korea: Use your school's address and phone number.
Box 27 Who will pay for your trip?: Give your school's name.
Box 31 Reference in Korea: Give your school director's name and contact info.
There are certain times when a school is looking to have a teacher arrive quickly and there is not time to do the traditional process. It may be that one of their current teachers had to leave for a family emergency, or perhaps business is going well and they have a lot of new students but not enough teachers.
Note: As of December 15th, 2007 only teachers doing their second year in Korea are able to do the Japan Visa Run. First-time teachers in Korea must process everything in their home country.
In this situation, they will invite the teacher to come as soon as possible and fly the teacher to South Korea right away. If you were to do this, you would bring all of the required documents along with you, and enter Korea on a tourist visa. Once you are settled into your apartment and with your school, the visa process will begin as noted above, but with you in Korea.
Instead of going to your local consulate, you will go to the Korean consulate in Japan, usually the one in Osaka. The cost is taken care of by the school. This can be a one or two day trip. It is quite common and not difficult to do. We have provided instructions on how to do the "visa run" in Word format.
Click here to download instructions on the Japan visa run. (right click and "save target as... to save)
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