Tag Archives: e-2 visa application

ESL Part 3: Visa Application

11 Sep

Once you receive your issuance number your ready for your application.

  1. Visa Application (and sometimes Interview)

I foolishly thought because I received my issuance number I was all set and my plane ticket was on the way, I was unfortunately mistaken. Your issuance letter is what you need to apply, and believe it or not just because you receive you issuance letter does not mean your guranteed to receive an E-2 visa. It’s all part of the application (which is conveniently linked below).


After filling out the application and attaching a passport sized photo, you will want to run it down to the near South Korea Consulate or pop it in the mail addressed to the Consulate ASAP- do not walk-RUN! TIME IS TICKING AWAY! Below is a link to the current consulates in the U.S (as of 9/10/11).


You may also need to interview and or bring a copy of your transcripts. I personally didn’t not need to to either, but its best to be prepared.  I’ve heard the interviews can go from a few minutes to 30 minutes and can cover the obvious, “why do you want to go to Korea?”, to “what is your teaching experience?” and even “do you enjoy taking drugs?”.

On Tuesday I dropped off my application in person to the lovely ladies at the Korean Consulate in Seattle with my $45 (remember cash or money order only).  I waited about 3 days and picked it up this past Friday. After you’ve gotten over the shock of seeing your visa and holding it in your hot little hands, its best to letting you school/recruiter know your visa number ASAP. I received my travel itinerary over the weekend. Because I left things so late I only have about 2 weeks till I leave, I’ve found most people have between 4 to 8 weeks. So now its time to get some farewell drinks in before you head off.

P.S. Learn Korean!

Now that the hard parts are over its time to try to learning as much as you can because no one like being the a**hole who can’t even say “hello” or “thank you”. With a quick trip to iTunes you can find plenty of FREE ESL podcasts and lessons. Most with come with links to websites where they want you to pay  for more lessons. That being said it’s still cheaper than Rosetta Stone. Since I’m a cheap-skate I opted for KoreanClass101.com, the website is great and the dialogue shows up on my iTouch while I’m listening. So far I can say:

Hello: Ahn-nyung-ha-se-yo

Thank you: Kam-sam-nida

Korean BBQ: Bul-go-gi

Delicious: Mas-is-seo

It’s a work in progress…

ESL Part 2: Gathering the documents

4 Sep

After you’ve received your contract or even before you received it you can start getting your documents in order.

2. Rounding up the following documents:

  • Apostilled* Criminal Background Check certified by the FBI and apostilled by the State Department (Secretary of State). Your CBC is invalid after 6 months.
  • Apostilled*copy of your bachelors degree must be apostilled by your State Secretary. You should plan on bringing your original with you to Korea
  • A copy of your passport
  • Five passport sized photos
  • Signed contract with all pages
  • Self Medical Check (your recruiter will send you with your contract)
  • Two sealed copies of your Official Transcripts

It’s best to start as early as you can, even before you receive job offer. You will spend a lot of time waiting for your transcripts (3 weeks), your diploma copy must be apostilled by your State Secretary (4 weeks), and you all important Criminal Background Check will be  processed (6 weeks-8 weeks) and then apostilled by the State Department (3 weeks).

The Federal Criminal Background Check (CBC) is easy enough. I went down to the Seattle Police Department and had my finger prints done, took 5 mins then dropped in the mail with the cover letter provided by the FBI on their website (see the link below)


When you send your prints off be sure to included a self-addressed envelope with adequate postage. This process can take up to 8 weeks, mine took 6 weeks. After you receive your FBI certified CBC pop it in an another envelope and mail it off to the State Department, yes, all the way back to Washington. It will take about 3 weeks and around the same time you should also received your apostilled diploma copy from the State Secretary in Olympia, WA.

You have to keep an eye on the calendar because the CBC is invalid after 6 months. I waited 2 months after getting all my documents together to find a job. Now I’m 6 weeks shy of that 6 month mark.