E2 VISA INSTRUCTIONS (Americans)
Updated: Mar 12
E2 Visa Instructions for Americans
Please follow the instructions below to get your teaching visa for South Korea. This information is for teachers going to private language schools only.
If you haven’t applied for a job in Korea yet, please fill out the two-minute online job application on our website. We will introduce you to our vetted schools that match your job-seeking criteria. Our partner schools are all over Korea, ranging from major chains to minor chains to independent schools. All our schools follow Korean labor laws and honor their contracts. The directors, vice directors, and academic coordinators are lovely to work with. We will work with you side-by-side during the process, from the job search, placement, arrival in Korea, and beyond. This saves you time and money, not having to sort everything out independently.
STEP 1 – Document Collection, Notarization, and Apostille Authentication.
You must begin organizing the following documents before you get a job offer:
A) University Degree (notarized and authenticated with Apostille. Note: Korean immigration usually doesn’t accept original degrees because documents are not returned after submission. You will submit a photocopy of your degree that is notarized by a public notary and has an Apostille notarization.)
· 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. OR get a copy of your BA degree and FBI CRC (PDF), Both apostilles notarized in 2-3 business days by Monument Visa Services-follow this link to learn how: enter.
B) University Transcripts
· These are not required for E2 visas for private schools
C) FBI Criminal Background Check or Criminal Record Check (CRC) (notarized and authenticated with Apostille. Note: all American Teachers MUST submit an FBI criminal record check. State or local checks are not accepted.)
· Your FBI check cannot be over six months old when applying for your teaching visa.
· Only FBI Checks are accepted: the CRC takes 8-10 weeks to go through the FBI website. * To save a lot of time, use an approved FBI channeler (list here) and get fingerprinted by a Live Scan fingerprint store (every major city has them, so just Google search “Live Scan fingerprinting [enter city name]” and it takes 1-3 days to get your CRC to send as a PDF.
· After receiving the FBI CRC, get it apostilled and don’t go through the Department of State in Washington, DC. It can take 7-14 weeks to get your apostille if sent through the mail, so be sure to either go in person or have a friend/relative get the apostille for you. There are also private companies (Monument Visa Services) that can get the apostille for you in 2-3 business days- click here to see how.
· In some cases, getting the apostle through the Secretary of State of your State is possible, but most State's Secretary of State doesn't apostille notarize federal documents. In this situation, start by having your FBI check notarized using an Affidavit form (see the E2 visa guide for a sample Affidavit). If your notary has their version, use that one). Then, send or take the notarized copy to the Secretary of State for Apostille Authentication.
· Please note: we recommend getting the apostille through the Department of State if you do this a few months before applying for a job. If you need to get the CRC apostille notarized quickly, use Monument Visa Services for the [VIRGINIA STATE-LEVEL APOSTILLE, which only takes 2-3 days. Follow the detailed blog post here.
D) Health Statement
· This is a simple questionnaire form from the Korean government on which you answer the questions. Once you arrive in Korea, a blood test and physical exam will be administered.
· The test will include testing for marijuana, narcotics, prescription medications, TB, HIV, and other infectious diseases. Even if your state has legalized marijuana, if you test positive for it in Korea, you will have your visa revoked, your employment contract canceled, and you must leave Korea at your own expense.
E) Passport Photocopy
· It is a photocopy of the information page of your passport and signature page.
· Make sure you have at least six months on your passport before it expires.
· Make sure there is at least one empty page in your passport
· Print a copy of your resume.
F) Signed Copy of the School Contract
· The contract will be provided to you by e-mail once you agree to it and the school accepts you as their teacher.
G) Four Passport-Sized Photos
· These are standard passport photos – the same that you would need for a new passport.
· The photos must not be older than six months.
We move on to Step 2 once you have been offered and have accepted a teaching contract in Korea.
STEP 2 – Send your Documents to Korea
1. copy of original degree with Apostille
2. notarized criminal record check with Apostille
3. health check statement
4. photocopy of your passport (information page and signature page)
5. copy of your resume (signed)
6. a signed copy of the contract
7. four passport-sized photos (one is glued to the visa application)
Please send your documents by FedEx, DHL, UPS, or South African Post Office Registered Mail.
Once you’ve sent your documents, please retain a copy of your invoice with the tracking number of your package and the address you sent it to, and please send us a copy of the tracking number and the website that will allow us to track the documents.
It is IMPORTANT to get the tracking number and send it to us to track. Once your documents are in Korea, your school will apply online or take the documents to the Ministry of Justice and Immigration in Korea to get you a Visa Issuance Number [VIN]. Usually, it takes 7-10 working days. The immigration office will issue a Confirmation of Visa Issuance Number (VIN), also referred to as the Visa Reservation Number or Visa Confirmation Number.
The school will forward this number (by e-mail) to you (or us). You will need this code to put on your teaching visa application for the Korean consulate.
STEP 3 – Mail or Bring your Visa Paperwork to the Korean Consulate
Once you have your VIN, send or take your application and application documents to the Korean Consulate or Embassy nearest to you.
E2 Teaching Visa Application Form – here are some fields on the application form that you might have questions about:
· Classification: OR – ordinary (unless you are a diplomat!)
· Occupation: English Teacher
· Purpose of Entry: To teach English (work)
· Potential Length of Stay: 1 year (an E2 visa is for 13 months, so you can arrive before your contract start date for training and stay a bit after to travel, etc.)
· Address in Korea: same address to which you sent all your documentation
· Who Will Pay For The Expenses For Your Stay? (Employer)
· Guarantor or Reference in Korea: The Directors’ name in the VIN confirmation
Take the Visa Application form and the required documents to the Korean Consulate with jurisdiction for your state or area.
Required Documents to Apply for an E2 Teaching Visa at the Korean Consulate:
· Completed E2 Visa Application Form
· Passport: Make sure you have your passport ready, that there is six months validity left on it, and that there is at least one empty page. Make sure it’s signed too.
· Photo: You must send a passport picture with your application.
· Confirmation of Visa Issuance Number: Fill in the reservation number at the top of the application form.
· Consul’s Checklist: A simple two-page document required by the consulate. (if required)
· Fee: The cost will be: $45 (check on their website to confirm the fee amount) * This must be cash or a money order. * As an American, you are generally given a multi-entry visa immediately upon application (typically without asking for it). Ensure that if you don’t have this multi-entry capability, your visa will expire if you leave Korea to visit Japan, Thailand, or elsewhere for vacation. You can purchase a single re-entry visa from immigration before you depart Korea.
Always call your consulate to ensure you are familiar with their procedures.
Each consulate has different processing times (5-15 days), so ask them when it will be ready and let us know as soon as you know so plans can be made. If you didn’t go in person, call the consulate to make sure they received your documents and to find out when your visa will be ready.
They might request an interview IN PERSON with the Consul General if they need additional documents and proof. Your visa will be processed after that.
Once you have received your passport back with your E-2 visa, you are all set to begin your journey to Korea! Your Placement Coordinator should have been working with you to arrange your flight and arrival instructions. Keep in touch with your Placement Coordinator so they can make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.
Here is a list of Korean Consulates in the United States and their jurisdictions. Please find the one that is responsible for your US state or US overseas territory:
Atlanta Consulate – responsible for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virgin Islands
Boston Consulate – responsible for New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont
Chicago Consulate – responsible for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
Dallas- responsible for Texas DFW (Dallas, Fort Worth)
Honolulu Consulate – responsible for American Samoa, Hawaii
Houston Consulate – responsible for Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Texas
Los Angeles Consulate – responsible for Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and South California
New York Consulate – responsible for Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
San Francisco Consulate – responsible for Colorado, Northern California, Utah, Wyoming
Seattle Consulate – responsible for Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington
Washington DC Consulate – responsible for Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia
Guam Consulate in Hagatna – responsible for Guam, Northern Mariana Islands