British – E2 Visa Instructions
UK citizens, please follow these instructions to get your teaching visa for South Korea. This information is for teachers going to private language schools only. The process for public schools is different.
And hey, if you haven’t even applied for a job in Korea yet, you should fill out our one-minute online application. It’s free and our team will connect you to the hiring directors in the best schools (and then help guide you step by step). This saves you time and hassle not having to figure everything out on your own.
(UPDATED September 3rd, 2013)
STEP 1 – Document Collection, Notarization and Apostille Authentication.
You must begin organizing the following documents before you get a job offer:
A) University Degree University Degree (notarised and legalised with Apostille. Note: as of August 31, 2010, Korean Immigration no longer accepts original degrees: only photocopies notarized with Apostille.)
- must be a 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
* send or take the notarised copy to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the United Kingdom for the Apostille
B) University Transcripts
- This means you need to contact your university registrar and ask them to give you your university grades in a sealed (that’s unopened) envelope from your university with a stamp or signature over the seal
- You’ll have to order two sets of sealed transcripts.
- One set will be sent to your school in Korea.
- The other set will be sent to the Korean Consulate only once your reservation number has been issued – this is explained in Step 2
- Remember: DO NOT open them!
C) Criminal Background Check (notarized and legalised with Apostille.)
- Your record check cannot be more than 6 months old when you apply for your teaching visa.
- A ‘Basic’ check is fine – advanced checks are not necessary.
- Use the ACRO Police Certificate Form that you can download here.
- If they ask, tell them it is for the issuance of your working visa for South Korea and if they require a company and address please use Footprints Recruiting and provide our address.
- Have the results sent to you.
- The record check takes up to 40 days to process.
- Check back to make sure progress is being made – you would be amazed how these little things can slip through the cracks and get lost.
- Please note: You can get local or regional police checks or use other background checks like Disclosure Scotland; however, this is less certain and you are likely to run into problems with Korean Immigration (we have seen this happen to some of our British teachers), so it is best to go with the ACRO check.
- Your record check must then be notarised by a local notary public or lawyer. Once notarised, send it to the United Kingdom apostille office for an Apostille Certificate.
* Apostille is a French word for authentication or legalisation.
* According to the “Hague Treaty” of 1961, this is the agreed upon method to ensure the international validity of public documents.
* Find your Apostille office contact info here.
* In-person drop-off: the authentication can be done quickly
* Mail in: if you mail in your application be sure to include:
Return envelope with your address and postage.
Indicate that the document is bound for South Korea.
Do not send it to the Korean Consulate/Embassy. Send it only to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
You will receive an Apostille certificate that accompanies your record check
D) Health Statement
- This is a simple questionnaire form from the Korean government on which you personally answer the questions. Once you arrive in Korea, a full blood test and physical exam will be administered.
- The test will include testing for narcotics, TB, HIV, and other communicable diseases. The government suggests that they are not testing for THC or marijuana but please note that smoking marijuana in Korea is a criminal offense and is NOT handled lightly. Foreigners are not exempt and are in fact targeted. DO NOT BRING ANY DRUGS TO KOREA, OR USE ANY THERE.
- If you do not pass the health exam in Korea you will likely have your visa revoked and will not have a job or health insurance.
E) Passport Photocopy
- No, this is not a photocopy of the cover of your passport – we have had that a lot…
- It is a photocopy the information page of your passport.
- Make sure you have at least six months on your passport before it expires.
- Make sure there is at least one completely empty page in your passport.
- Print a copy of your resume.
G) 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.
H) Five 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 6 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
- copy of original degree with Apostille
- one set of sealed university transcripts
- notarized Criminal Record Check with Apostille
- health check statement
- photocopy of the information page of your passport
- copy of your resume
- a signed copy of the contract
- two passport-sized photos
- Please send your documents by Royal Mail Airsure or by International Signed For (both of these systems allow for online tracking).
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 Footprints a copy of the tracking number and the website that will allow us to track the documents. It is IMPORTANT to spend the extra few pounds to get the tracking number
Once your documents are in Korea, your school will take these documents to the Ministry of Justice and Immigration in Korea to get a Visa Authorization Number for you.
Within 7-10 working days, the immigration office will issue a Confirmation of Visa Issuance Number; also referred to as the Visa Reservation Number or Visa Confirmation Number.
The number will look something like this: UJBO 08007392 (the first four characters are letters, the remaining characters are numbers)
The school will then 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
We move to this step assuming that you have received your Visa Confirmation Number. If you don’t have it, please check with your Placement Coordinator and they will contact the school to see where things currently stand. Korean immigration usually takes 7 to 10 business days to process applications in Korea.
Once you have your Visa Issuance Number it is time to mail or take your application form and visa documents to the Korean Consulate or Embassy nearest to you (see the link below).
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
- Potential Length of Stay: 1 year
- Address in Korea: same address to which you sent all your documentation
- Who Will Pay For The Expense For Your Stay?: Employer
- Guarantor or Reference in Korea: same person to whom you sent all your documentation
Take or send the Korean Visa Application form and the required documents to the Korean Embassy with jurisdiction for your 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 6 months validity left on it and that there is at least 1 empty page. Make sure it’s signed, too.
- Photo: You will need to send a passport picture with your application.
- Confirmation of Visa Issuance Number: fill in the reservation number at the top of application form.
- Transcripts: send one set of sealed transcripts to the consulate,
- Consuls Checklist: A simple two page document required by the consulate.
- Fee: The cost will be: 25 pounds
* This must be cash or a money order.
* This will likely be a single entry visa you can change your visa to a multi-entry visa when you get your registration card in Korea. There is an additional cost for this, but it will allow you to leave Korea and return on the same visa. If you don’t have this, your visa will expire if you leave Korea to visit Japan, Thailand or elsewhere for vacation.
Always call your consulate to ensure you are familiar with their procedures.
Each consulate or embassy has different processing times (from one hour to 5 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 your 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 receive 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 on arrangements for your flight arrival and your airport pickup. Keep in touch with your Placement Coordinator so they can make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Have you read through our Korean Orientation Package? There is loads of information that will help you with culture, packing, arrival information and so forth.
Here is the address and contact information of the Korean consulate in the UK :
Consulate General – Korean Embassy, London, UK – Address: 60 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AJ, UK. Phone: +44 20 7227 5500 . This consulate is responsible for the United Kingdom.