View Full Version : New visa requirements

11-09-2007, 10:02 AM
In case you've been living under a rock and haven't heard:

On the wake of the pedophile-in-Gwangju case and the fact that it's election season, Korea's about to start implementing MASSIVE changes to the way we are approved to come work here.

Some of the new requirements (apparently set to go into effect Dec. 1) for E-series visas include:

*notarized criminal and health checks (in the US, the wait for a national criminal check is currently over 6 months)

*visas must be issued in the home country (no more Japan runs)

*interviews must be conducted at your nearest consulate in your home country

. . .Wow. #3 is especially crazy. There's no way that consulates have the manpower to handle tens of thousands of interviews, and there's no way that people will pay to fly to a Korean consulate (there are only 2 in Canada, and, I believe, 5 in all of the US) to interview for a job (especially one that they may not get). At least, that's my opinion.

How will these new guidelines affect you?

11-09-2007, 10:19 AM
these sound a bit too far fetched to be realistic. i have to imagine even the hagwons will object to these because i'm sure they don't want to have to pay for their new teacher to fly back to N. America or OZ just so they can start working there when they can just send them to japan or china for a day.

also, how in the world could the consulate conduct interviews for all those teachers? would this be a one time thing or everytime you sign a contract?

do you have the link to more info?

*notarized criminal and health checks (in the US, the wait for a national criminal check is currently over 6 months)
also, i need to get my US criminal background check. where did you hear it was 6 months? do you know if you can pay more to expedite the process? I'd hate to have to wait half a year for that.

very interesting stuff...

11-09-2007, 11:03 AM
Far-fetched is right.

You can find more information on the Korea Herald regarding the visa changes. I can't get the direct URL to the article, but if you go to www.koreaherald.co.kr and type 'visa' into the search bar, the second result tells you what you need to know. Relevantly:

According to a Ministry of Justice press release, foreigners who apply for teaching visas will have to submit a criminal background check and a medical check, and must undergo an interview at the closest Korean consulate to their home town. Visa runs to Japan will also be scrapped. Teachers must now receive and renew visas in their home country.

For the record check:

Allow approximately 16-18 weeks for processing, upon receipt to the FBI.
(Phoning the FBI, you're told that the wait is currently 5-6 months.)

And, a prescient line from Bob Dylan:

You dont need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows

11-09-2007, 11:21 AM
Thanks for the links, brandon!

11-09-2007, 03:35 PM
I can't get on to Koreanherald right now for some reason, but do you know if those requirements are for a first time job? We're renewing our contract in Feb but there is NO WAY IN HELL I am going to travel to the nearest consulate (9 hours away) on my vacation! That's crap!

We teach at public schools and had to get a US background check last year, but it could be done by State... did they specify that it had to be national?

11-09-2007, 03:47 PM
From another source:

2) VISA will not be renewable in Korea. At the completion of one year, if the teacher decides to stay at their current school, they must return to their home country and obtain their visa there

Currently they're proposing to ask for national (FBI for us 'merkins) background checks.

11-09-2007, 10:30 PM
here's a link to a (the?) korea herald article - korea herald is being a bit wonky on my computer and won't let me search, so i got this off google.


11-10-2007, 01:45 PM
I am renewing a contract in January and I was wondering about these new rules going into effect. My director called around to find out about it and as far as he was able to figure out, renewal of a contract should be fine. It can be done from here for a minimal fee. Now I'm still not 100% sure about that and it seems that no one even Korean immigration has any idea what is actually going on so I guess we will just have to wait and see. It was good news though to hear that it was not going to be a problem at least for a renewal of contract, even if I don't completely trust this information.

11-12-2007, 01:35 AM
I've has US teaching liscences in 3 states (Wisconsin, Colorado and Utah). All 50 states require an FBI background check. You go to your local police and get fingerprinted (free-$5) and send in the card for the check through your state. You'd think that an FBI check in one state would be valid in every state (duh, the F is "federal") but I did this 3 times, and again even when I was hired. The prices for the background check varied from $25-$40, and this was up 10 years ago, but it was done pretty quickly. Little inconvenient and pricy, but I had nothing to worry about!!

The other requirements do seem stiff. . . maybe they'll allow "honorary consultes" or video conferencing??!

11-12-2007, 03:17 PM
Sonia, I think there are two big differences from when I was checked to teach in the States and now - one, it was before all the Homeland Security stuff came into being and two, I was going to be teaching children in the US, so there was a preference given in terms of the time schedule. As someone who isn't teaching children in the US, it takes MUCH longer, from what I understand.

That being said, as least at this point, the check I had run for the State of Indiana has been enough to satisfy the officials here, however that was before the recent wave of changes. We'll see if that still holds true.