E2 Visa Process
The E2 English Teaching Visa for Korea is available only to the seven English-speaking countries (AU, CAN, IRE, NZ, SA, USA, UK). English teachers must be native English speakers and they must have graduated from a university located in one of the seven English-speaking countries. E2 visas also require teachers to have a clean national Criminal Record Check (CRC) and must be able to pass a medical check (drug test) upon arriving in Korea.
E2 English Teacher Visa Process
Before starting the E2 teaching visa process you will need to prepare several documents to be able to start the visa process. You will need 1. a clean National Criminal Record Check (CRC) [USA-FBI CRC w/apostille notarization, UK-Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) CRC w/apostille notarization, CAN-RCMP CRC w/authentication from a Korean Consulate, etc. 2. a Notarized Copy of your diploma w/apostille notarization or for Canadians w/authentication from a Korean Consulate 3. a Passport (with at least 6 months validity).
The E2 Teaching visa is a 2-step process. You must 1st receive and accept a job offer (employment contract) from a school (visa sponsor). You then need to apply for a visa number by sending the required visa documents to the school. The school will then apply for your Visa Issuance Number. After the school receives the visa number it will be sent to you and then you can apply at the nearest Korean Consulate to finish the visa process. The vis process usually takes about a month but can take as long as five to six weeks.
Documents to send to Korea
copy of original degree with Apostille
*one set of sealed university transcripts (ONLY for EPIK-not required for private school jobs)
notarized FBI Check with Apostille
health check statement (signed and dated)
photocopy of the information page of your passport
copy of your resume
a signed copy of the contract (x3)
four passport-sized photos
STEP 1 - REQUIRED E2 VISA DOCUMENTS
1. NATIONAL CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK (CRC)
FBI Criminal Background Check (notarized and authenticated with an Apostille notarization. -Note: American Teachers MUST submit an FBI criminal record check. State or local checks are no longer accepted.)
-Note: American Teachers can request a state-level apostille notarization through Monument Visa (which takes less than a week), instead of getting the federal-level apostille (which takes 4-6 weeks).
RCMP Criminal Background Check.
-Note: Canadian teachers must submit an RCMP CRC and then it must be notarized by a public notary (lawyer) and then authenticated by a Korean Consulate.
RCMP Criminal Background Check
-Note: British must submit a (CRC) or Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) must be apostilled by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). If the CRC is not signed by the issuing officer, it also needs to be notarized by a solicitor. The solicitor must be on file with the FCO or their signature will not be accepted. Your apostilled CRC/DBS must be less than 6 months old when it arrives in Korea.
2. UNIVERSITY DEGREE (COPY-not the original)
University Degree (notarized and authenticated with Apostille. Note: Korean immigration will no longer accept original degrees: only photocopies notarized with Apostille.)
must be a four-year Bachelor’s degree (at minimum) in any discipline
must be from an accredited university
to get a notarized copy with Apostille:
* Make a photocopy.
* Have the copy notarized by a notary public (this does not have to be in the same state as your university).
* Send or take the notarized copy to the Secretary of State (in the same state as the notary public) for Apostille Authentication.
NOTE: For British Teachers, a photocopy of your Bachelor's Degree (or higher degree) needs to be notarized by a solicitor and then apostilled by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).
NOTE: * Applicants who have graduated but do not have their degree in hand, can submit a letter of graduation that is issued by their university. The letter must be written on official university letterhead, be dated, and signed (or stamped) by the university registrar. The letter needs to be apostille notarized.
3. SIGNED CONTRACT
A signed contract from your school is required. You will send three (3) copies of the signed contract to your school and they will sign all three. One will be for you, one for the school and one will be submitted to the immigration office.
4. SIGNED RESUME
You need to include a resume that has all of your contact information on it. You should also sign the resume to guarantee all of the information is correct.
5. FOUR (4) PASSPORT PHOTOS
You will need at least four (4) passport photos. 1. Visa application for Visa Issuance Number 2. Medical Check Application 3. Visa Application for the Korean Consulate 4. Alien Registration Card (ARC) Application. Also ask the passport photographer to give you the high-resolution passport photo file in case you need to email the high-resolution passport file to your school.
6. PASSPORT SCAN
You need to send a scan/copy of your passport (signature page and info page as one scan) in color.
NOTE: Do not send your original passport to Korea.
7. HEALTH STATEMENT FORM
The Health & Medical Form is one of the documents required by the Korean Immigration Office to determine if an applicant qualifies for E2 visa status. The Medical Check includes a General Exam, an AIDS test, and a Drug Test via Blood Tests, Urine Tests, and Chest X-rays.
It is very important that this form be filled out truthfully as a medical exam taken within 90 days of your arrival in Korea will confirm your answers.
Answering “YES” to some of the questions may disqualify an applicant from being eligible for an E2 visa, as certain medical conditions can be a risk not only to the applicant but also to the school, which is responsible for their care and comfort.
If you think that you have to answer, “YES” to any of the questions, please discuss it with us first, prior to sending your documents to Korea. We will be able to review it with you and determine if you qualify for the E2 visa.
A drug test is administered during the medical check in Korea, including testing for cannabis use (please note that depending on exposure, marijuana can stay in your system for a time ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months). Certain over-‐the-‐counter medications may result in a false-‐positive result on your medical exam, so it’s important to let us know if you are taking any medications. A doctor’s note and/or discontinuation of certain medicines may be required.
Mental/Neurotic/Emotional Disorders can be particularly tricky as they can range in their severity. Please let us know if you have and/or are suffering from any types of disorders, including the severity, treatment, and duration.
If you have any questions or concerns, please let one of our team members know as early as possible.
8. VISA APPLICATION FORM (for immigration)
This is the visa form your school will submit to apply for your E2 confirmation number.
Please fill in your personal information, but leave the school's information blank. You do not have to sign the form, as it will be signed by your director.
You will fill in a different form when you apply for your visa at the Korean consulate (Step 2).
STEP 2 VISIT A KOREAN CONSULATE
When your Step 1 documents arrive at the school, they'll be checked and if everything is accurate, they'll be submitted to the local immigration office. Normal processing time is between 5-and 10 business days, but during peak times, it can be longer.
As you wait for your E2 number to be issued, you can prepare your visa application documents for the consulate, so once your E2 number is issued, you'll be able to submit your application in person or by mail. A general outline of requested documents can be found below, but we advise you to contact your local consulate in advance, as requirements can vary.
When your E2 number is ready, it will be sent to you by email (no physical documents will be sent to you by the school, unless you're an EPIK teacher).
1. VISA APPLICATION FORM
Fill out a visa application form and include the E2 number that was emailed to you by your school director or a school representative.
The E2 number includes 4 letters and 8 numbers. ie. USBO 12345678.
Note: This is a different form than you sent to Korea in Step 2.
2. PASSPORT PHOTO
Attach a passport photo (3.5cm x 4.5 cm) to the visa application.
The photo must be professionally take, in colour and on a white background.
3. ORIGINAL PASSPORT
Your actual passport needs to be sent as well, so the E2 visa can be attached. Your passport will be returned when the visa is ready.
NOTE: Check with the consulate since some consulates request a notarized copy of your passport and they don't need your physical passport because they issue you a visa letter instead of a stamp in your original passport.
4. PASSPORT SCAN/COPY
A color scan or photocopy of the information (photo) page in your passport.
5. VISA FEE
Visa fee of $45 (check to make sure this is the correct amount) in the form of a money order if mailed in.
Cash or money orders are accepted for walk-in applications
Visa fees can change without notice, so please double-check with the consulate before sending in a payment.
*6. CONSULATE CHECKLIST
Some consulates still require this checklist, though interviews are no longer required.
Fill in and sign the checklist.
STEP 3 ALIEN REGISTRATION CARD (ARC)
1. ARC CARD REGISTRATION (after arriving in Korea)
When you arrive in Korea, you will have 90 days to pass your medical exam and to apply for your Alien Registration Card (ARC). You will not be allowed to leave Korea to travel until you have the ARC, because most E2 visas are issued with a single entry. You will also not be able to set up a bank account or any utilities in your name until you have the ARC, so it's beneficial to get the medical exam done as soon as you arrive. Most schools will provide assistance with these steps and some will pay for the expenses associated with the medical exam and the ARC.