I have decided to return this summer to South Korea and have spent the past month undergoing the new visa application procedure which is remarkably more tedious than the 3 visas I had acquired on previous contracts in SK. It used to be a matter of a single visit to any consulate and a 24 hour waiting period. I decided to post my personal experience with this new process
(Please note that the regulations seem to be in a state of flux and this only represents a chronology of my own efforts to obtain a visa from the South Korean Consulate in Toronto, Canada. Also, all days are business days and exclude weekends and holidays
Request Police background check and a vulnerable sector check.This should be done before even thinking about anything else (what school to work for or agency to emply). The background check is easy, but the vulnerable sector check is time consuming. It must be done in person in a city you can prove your residence (driver's lisence, bell bill, or lease will do the trick). I did mine in London which took 7 days, I've heard it can take from 2 to 6 weeks depending on the city. Check the police websites.
Request transcripts (4) from university and original diploma (if necessary).Day 6
Obtained police and vulnerable sector check. (transcripts were rushed and available on day 3)Day 7
Arrived in the South Korean Consulate with:
- notarized police/vulnerable sector background check
- notarized copy of degree
- sealed and signed transcript
The consulate notarized the documents with their offical seal (2.20$/doc)
(any lawyer can notarize these documents, they usually charge 20$ a doc...you can even show up at the consulate and they will give you a business card which will direct you to a lawyer's office 10 minutes down St. Clair where they'll do it on the spot...you don't need to notarize your diploma if you are willing to send the original, but it might get folded up or damaged)
This is definitely the first hurdle, but to progress any farther you will need to have found a school to work for. The school will give you a contract to sign and request that you send them the documents you had notarized (a second time!) from the consulate in addition to a signed contract, 2 sealed and signed transcripts, 2 passport signed photos (you'll need 5 total).Day 7
Purolated the documents to the school/agency.Don't do it online, go to one of their offices and if you can your original diploma to fit into one of their document pouches (I couldn't hence the notarized copy), you can save a lot of time by having them officialize the package as "documents only". This will fast track the package through customs in SK.Day 10
Purolator package arrives at the school in SK, they take it to the local immigration office. It is said to take 3-4 days to process.Day 13
Package arrives.Day 17
School e-mails me a confirmation number. This number belongs on the top right of the visa application form you can download from the consulate site:http://www.koreanconsulate.on.ca/en/?b_id=77&c_id=343&mnu=a02b03&start=1
Filled in the form and affixed my 3rd passport photo to the box on the top right hand side (the other two photos will be needed upon arrival for your ID card). Arrived at the SK consulate with:
- completed visa application form
- passport with 6 months validity left
- sealed/signed transcript
- 55.00$ visa process fee
At this time I was given an appointment for an interview and an interview checklist to fill out along with a receipt (Don't lose the receipt, you'll need it to retrieve you passport).
Arrived at the consulate for my interview with my checklist completed. The interview was short and...well, I was asked 3 questions; the first two concerned my name and birthdate.
Checked my visa status on-line and it said it was ready to be picked up!! Now I just need to make my 4th trip to consulate and I am ready for legal employment in South Korea.
Labels: E2 Visa, Guide, New Rules Regulations, South Korea