STEP 1 - SENDING VISA DOCUMENTS TO KOREA
As soon as you accept a contract with a school, the 1st step of the visa process will start. The first thing you will be asked to do is gather a set of important documents that are required to lodge an application for an E2 confirmation (visa) number at the Korean consulate. The documents need to be sent exactly as requested or they will not be accepted by the immigration office. Our visa representative will email full instructions to you as well, along with the shipping address and any additional requirements for your particular school. The instructions below are meant as a general guideline.
1. National Criminal Record Check
An original national criminal record check (CRC) must be apostilled by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT). It must be less than 6 months old when it arrives in Korea.
The CRC can be ordered through Ireland's National Police & Security Service. A Police Certificate is issued by the Superintendent in the District where the relevant applicant resides, or formerly resided, in the Republic of Ireland. You can check your district here. Processing times can be up to 40 days.
If your CRC is ink signed by the issuing officer, it is ready to be apostilled. If it is not signed, it has to be signed/verified by a notary public first. Apostilles are €40 and are issued by DFAT. Click here for detailed instructions on how to apply.
2. University Degree
A photocopy of your Bachelor Degree (or higher degree) needs to be notarized and then apostilled by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT).
Most notaries offer a walk-in service, but you are advised to call ahead.
If you chose to get your original degree apostilled, please note that it will not be returned as immigration keeps all documents.
* 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 by the registrar.
3. Signed Contract
You must sign an original copy of the contract that you have received from the school. This original contract will be submitted to the immigration office.
4. Signed Resume
A signed copy of your current resume with the correct address and contact information.
5. Passport Photos
The number of required passport photos will depend on your school and will be confirmed in our visa instruction email.
An additional photo will be required for your visa application at the Korean consulate (Step 2).
6. Passport Scan
A colour photocopy of the information (photo) page in your passport.
Do not send your original passport to Korea.
7. Health Statement Form
Health statement form is to be filled out by you. Please answer truthfully and inform us if you have any existing medical conditions or if you take any medications.
When you arrive in Korea, you will undergo a full medical exam at a clinic to confirm a clean bill of health.
Please note that you will be tested for the use of recreational drugs, including marijuana, which is illegal in Korea.
Applicants who fail the medical exam in Korea, risk having their visa revoked.
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).
9. Sealed University Transcripts - Optional
Public schools in Korea require a set of sealed university transcripts. Transcripts must be sealed in an envelope with a stamp or signature over the seal.
Some private schools may request transcripts if additional support is required by immigration.
STEP 2 - E2 VISA APPLICATION AT THE 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 5-10 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 school representative.
The E2 number includes 4 letters and 8 numbers. ie. IEBM 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.
4. Passport Scan
A colour scan of the information (photo) page in your passport.
5. Visa Fee
Visa fee of €49.80 in the form of 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.
It is possible to complete your visa outside your home country, as long as you apply in person. Your visa must be completed before you can fly to Korea as there are not Korean consulates or embassies in Korea.
Visa applications take the same amount of time to process whether they are submitted in person or by mail. We advise that you apply in person whenever possible, to ensure that your documents are accepted.
STEP 3 - Alien Registration (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.