On Monday the 28th of June, we received a phone call from our recruiter Asia’s personal assistant explaining to us that we needed to obtain transcripts from the Art Institute of Seattle to complete the requirement for the 4-year Bachelor’s degree because the official transcripts from Australia plus my original bachelor’s diploma wasn’t sufficient enough. Then the following day, I spoke to Asia and she emailed to us two more Health Statement forms for both Shauna and I to fill out because somehow the first one’s we sent were not the correct Health Forms, too!
The kicker is Shauna nor myself even thought about obtaining the Art Institute transcripts because the original diploma was included in the paperwork plus all the other random papers that we were trying to obtain seemed more important or at least distracted us enough from another piece of paper.
Honestly, I can tell you this every time I have had to in the past collect documents and hand them over to be processed has always been very simple. For Australia, Japan and Thailand. The process was a couple of original documents here, a letter there, a signature from this person, a small fee and it was a stamp in the passport and a plane ticket someplace overseas! To get through Canadian Immigration was one hoop after another until the file was 5” thick but it eventually all worked out even with everything obtained having time limits set on them. But getting a teaching visa in South Korea… may be the first extremely difficult process that I have ever come across. And I thought getting a driver’s license in Alberta was difficult! Try obtaining an E-2 visa for teaching in South Korea.
To teach in South Korea you must;
1) Search job boards, talk to recruiters and look through websites for openings
2) Apply for jobs through a recruiter, website or school
a)Send in Resume, Experiences Teaching, Travel & Photo
3)Have a phone interview with a school representative
4) Be offered a job
5) Receive contract via email then read contract (four times)
6) Accept or decline the job offer
a) If decline continue your search
b) If accept, then proceed below
7) Obtain a Criminal Background Check from your country of Citizenship
a) If American, this does not have to be FBI, but has to be from a state that you have lived in.
b) If Canadian, then this does not have to be RCMP, but has to be from the province that you live in
8) The Criminal check must be notarized by the authorizing agency
a) For Colorado this was Colorado Bureau of Investigation Finger Print Unit
b) For Alberta this should be your local Police (Calgary, Edmonton, etc)
9) Then receive an Apostille (this is just a secondary form of notary)
a) For Canada this means sending it to the Korean Consulate that has jurisdiction over your province in our case we live in Alberta and papers must be sent to Vancouver, BC
b) For American’s this means sending it to the Criminal Background processing unit in the state from where you are from. Then having them inter-mail it to the State Secretary’s Office and then it is returned to you by Self Addressed Stamped Envelope unless you want expedited service then you must arrive in person!
10) Four official separate sealed transcripts with an official stamp or signature across the envelope flap
a) Two are sent to the school in South Korea
b) One is sent to the Korean Consulate that you will have your E2 processed and stamped by
c) One for yourself just in case something goes missing
11) Your original Bachelor/Master’s diploma
12) 4-identical passport-like photographs
a) Two go with your documents to the South Korean school in order to obtain the Issuance Number
b) One goes with your application for an E2 Visa
c) One goes with you to South Korea for your Alien Registrar’s Card
13) Copy of Passport page goes to everyone involved so get 6!
14) Personal Health Statement Form two for you, the school and the consulate
15) Once the school actually processes the above paperwork and issues you an Issuance Visa Number you must contact the Korean Consulate that has jurisdiction over your Province/State
a) For Shauna this is Vancouver, BC
b) For Aaron this is San Francisco, CA
16) You then talk to the Consulate to arrange an Interview date & time
(Now the fun begins all over again!)
17) For expedited services you will want to show up in person unless time is on your side, then you can do what you like with the Express Courier
18) For the Interview at the Korean Consulate you must bring with you the following
a) Original Passport
b) Application for E2 Visa
c) 1-passport size photograph
d) $45 USD Money Order Only (Canada’s different)
e) Visa Issuance Number
f) Consul’s Checklist Form
g) Personal Health Statement
h) Copy of Original Diploma (even though its now in South Korea!?)
i) Sealed Transcript
j) Copy of your Driver’s License
k) ** We (the consulate) can Add or Reduce any number of documents needed if necessary (great,
when do I learn about these documents? When I am sitting in the interview? Grrrrrr)
19) Once you have had your face to face interview at the Korean Consulate and have received your E2 Teaching Visa you must contact your local Airport and book a flight to South Korea
20) Once the flight is booked you must contact the school in South Korea with your flight details and arrival time so they can pick you up at the airport!
21) You arrive in South Korea… ready to start your contract with a smile and a need for some very strong alcohol ~ Soju, I hear will hit the spot!
It’s now mid-afternoon and Shauna’s in the middle of trying to figure out what suitcase combination will work best for her luggage on our trip to South Korea? It has to be one of the funniest moments I have had in a very long time watching her decide what will suit her travel/move needs? This is so dramatic that when we go to the grocery store for some vegetables today that we must stop at the local luggage store to compare bags, see which two might work and which two might not only in the end to buy nothing and come back.
Shauna’s struggling with the amount of clothing we need to bring with us to relocate because we are unsure what type of clothing we will actually need to work in. This is not Japan, after all which means we don’t need to be dressed in Business attire. We’ve been told that teachers come to work in clean t-shirts and shorts? So, who do you believe? The pen-pal teacher we have been writing to whose worked there for the last 15 months? Or the recruiter? Or the contract? Either way, you need four seasons of clothes and you need to be prepared with shoes, shirts, pants, shorts, jackets, etc… It’s a good debate and one that will be looked at another three times before everything is finalized on this end.
Diner plans were made last night, so that Shauna and I would cook dinner tonight. Part of our appreciation to the parents, for letting us crash in their home for a week prior to departing Alberta… So, Shauna made one of her not so spicy curries with chicken, broccoli, carrots, grape tomatoes, green beans, onions, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and garlic. While I decided to try making Chana Masala consisting of chickpeas, grilled onion, tomatoes, green pepper and 1/6th of a red Chile (for spice) both served with brown rice and bread. Then Shauna’s mom (Donna) gave us unthawed no-sugar added chocolate cup cakes with no-sugar added frosting mixed into Breyer’s Original Vanilla no-sugar added ice cream.
Honestly, it smelled great inside the kitchen after 4 o’clock this evening, it tasted excellent and everything seemed to fit nicely into all our stomachs!
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