Korean Visa Information – Introduction
Below we have detailed, step by step, the process for obtaining your E-2 visa.
It is very important that you begin working on this process right away! Some schools will not offer you a position until you have gathered all documents for Part 1 listed below. Unfortunately, some of these documents can take a week or even months to process, but they only take a few minutes to apply for. Don’t miss out on a great position because you don’t have all the documents collected yet.
Please note that some schools will operate differently and will require different documents. For example, public schools will almost ALWAYS require two letters of reference instead of one. Please review your individual school information package to see if there are any more documents needed not listed on this page or on the visa flow chart. Also, please pay close attention to the timelines given to you for the documents. It is important that you try to collate the documents listed in a timely fashion. If you think it may take longer, please let us know right away.
All below items will need to be completed. As you collect them, please scan them and e-mail them directly to the Director of Recruiting – Korea. You do not have to wait until you have everything before you send them.
When you have all the below items in hand, you will need to FedEx them to your school in Korea (we will send you this address) as outlined in Part 2 below. Please provide us with the tracking number FedEx gives you. It’s important to note that even though you are e-mailing these documents to us, you must still mail all the hard copies Korea as well.
After reviewing this list of items, please read the following notes as some items have specific requirements that must be followed. It is a good idea to make a photocopy of each item for future reference or for your interview at the Korean Consulate
- National Criminal Background Check
- A signed copy of the employment contract
- Apostille or Appropriate Notarization
- A copy of the first page of your passport
- Two Official Sealed Transcripts
- Four Passport Photos
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Health Statement
When you have all the above items in hand, you will mail them to your school in Korea. We will give you this address, of course! The school will then submit these documents to the Korean Ministry of Immigration.
Private School: After approximately 10 business days immigration provides the school with a Visa Issuance Number in your name (it typically looks like this: HSBO000070). This number will be given to us, and then we will pass it along to you.
Public School: Often times, it takes longer for public schools to process your documents. When it is complete, the public school will mail to YOU a visa issuance letter, not a number. Essentially, this will be a letter of acceptance into the program.
Health Statement: Applicants will be required to submit a health statement form to Korean Immigration when they apply for their working visa (mentioned in part one of the visa process). This form is attached to this e-mail as well. You must answer this form as honestly as possible. Shortly after your arrival to Korea, you will be required to visit one of the local hospitals or health clinics to undergo a health screening. You will be tested for HIV, other contagious diseases and illicit drug use (including marijuana use).
It’s best for you to see your doctor within 3 months prior to heading to Korea to make sure you are free of any major sickness or disease. If the responses on your health statement form are inconsistent with your health screening results, your visa could be revoked and your contract terminated. Ultimately you could be deported and blacklisted, making it almost impossible to work in Korea again. SEE YOUR DOCTOR!
Criminal Background Check: Applicants must obtain a criminal background check or Criminal Clearance Letter, to prove they are clear of any criminal offenses.
Each country has its own specific process involved in obtaining what is required by both Korean Immigration and the Korean Consulate in your region.
The school or the government will not cover mailing costs for the checks or associated notarization. When mailing your checks to be notarized, be sure to include a posted, return envelope with your mailing address on it.
WANT TO LEARN MORE? Visit our Guide to Teaching for EPIK
- Introduction to EPIK and SMOE
- Teach for GEPIK
- Teach for SMOE
- Private Schools vs. Public Schools in Korea
- Teach English in Korea – FAQ Page
- Overview of the EPIK & SMOE Application Process
- Private School (Hagwon) Application Process
- Korean Visa Application
- Learn about teaching locations in South Korea
- Guide to Living and Teaching in South Korea