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Contract signed? Ready to send documents? Double check that everything is in order with our Visa Application Document Checklist.


The things that will probably serve you best in Korea are an open mind, patience, and a sense of humour. However, these alone are not enough to land a job any more. In order to qualify for an employment visa for the purposes of teaching English (E-2 Visa), the following are required. Photo of a monk

You must be a native speaker of English who holds citizenship in one of the following countries:  Canada, The United States, The United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa.

Your post-secondary education must have been completed in English at an accredited university or college in an English-speaking country.

For APC's and your future employer's purposes, you must have all of these documents in your possession at the time of application, or give a precise date as to when you will have them.

1. A full undergraduate degree* from a recognized university in an English-speaking country. No English-language teaching certificates of any kind will be accepted in lieu of the degree, alone or in combination with non-degree post-secondary study. Note that many providers of such certificates will conceal this from you (or simply lie) in order to get your tuition. You must have the actual diploma at least 30 days before any job start. You will need to send your original degree to the school in Korea. If you don't want to send you original degree/diploma to Korea, you will need to have a copy of your diploma notarized by a notary public and get an Apostille certificate attached. That said, many employers will not consider you unless you provide the original.

2. Two sets of official transcripts showing all study that counted towards the degree. Korean immigration requires that they be sealed in a university envelope, with a university stamp or seal across the back of the envelope. You'll need to send one set to Korea for visa processing, and you'll need to take the other set to the Korean consulate or embassy at the time of visa issuance.

3. A passport from one of the following countries: Canada, The U.S., The U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. Your passport should be valid for at least 12 months from date you plan to start working in Korea.

4. A notarized criminal/background/police record check or certificate from your local police. For citizens of The U.S., The U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, you will need to get an Apostille certificate attached to your notarized certificate. A notary public can tell you how to have this done in your country. Citizens of Canada will need to request a Vulnerable Sector Search to be included with their background check. If required, the school in Korea can issue a confirmation of employment letter in order to apply for the background check

5. A completed and signed self-assessed health statement (click the link to get the most updated one).


Click here for important document information for Canadians


When you accept a job offer from a school in Korea, these documents (except your passport) are sent to the school along with the signed contract, a photocopy of the front page your passport, four pieces of passport-size photos. The school will then apply for your visa at the local immigration office in Korea. We'll send you detailed instructions at that time.

As the regulations have recently changed, and can vary from place to place, please contact your nearest Korean diplomatic office for instructions on how to have your documents certified and verified.

Note about Contract Duration: All contracts are for 12 consecutive months. It is unlikely that you will return home during the 12 months due to the expense and the difficulty in taking holidays when schools are running. It is unrealistic to expect to return in the middle of a school term for a friend's wedding, for example. You must be fully committed to spending 12 months in Korea at the time of application.

Note about Taking Dependents: In most cases, taking dependents to Korea is not practical. Most Korean language schools simply don't have the budget to offer accommodation or benefits to non-employees. It is generally not possible to take your spouse unless s/he is employable at the same school. Private English-language schooling for children is very expensive and not covered by employers. If you are looking at taking dependents to another country as an English teacher, the Middle East is really the only region that consistently offers benefit packages to families. Proper teaching qualifications will be necessary, as may a London interview with an agency specializing in Middle Eastern placements.

*Update on degree requirements: As of September, 2008 some provinces in Korea have arranged for an exception to the education requirements for the E-2 visa. Due to very high demand for English native speakers to teach in public schools, those with with two years full-time post-secondary study at an accredited university, community college, or vocational school in an English-speaking country are eligible for teaching employment visas. You must meet all the other visa requirements and your employment prospects will be limited to public schools in participating provinces only. We do have access to teaching positions in the public school system and we welcome applications from those interested in this new program.


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