• Criteria for Teaching English in Korea
• Citizenship from a recognized English-speaking nation, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa
• Clean health check
• Clean drug test
• Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college
• FBI check or original national level criminal record with no convictions or charges
Documents Required to Obtain a Visa to Teach English in Korea
• Sealed university or college transcripts
• University degree
• Passport photos
• FBI check or original national level criminal background check
• Original employment contract
• Original passport that is valid for a minimum of one year
Depending on your position and where you will be teaching, you may also be required to provide the following documentation:
• Copy of teaching certificate or teaching license
• Copy of TEFL certificate
• Proof of full-time teaching experience
Understanding The Apostilla Process
An apostilla is a type of authentication that is issued for document to be used specifically in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. If the country where the documents are to be used does not participate in the Hague, an apostilla is not necessary. Instead, the country in question can obtain a Certificate of Authentication.
The Office of the Secretary of State is responsible for providing authentication and apostilla service to foreign nationals and citizens of the United Sates for any documents that are to be used overseas. Such documents include:
• Power of attorney
• Corporate documents
• Marital status
• Letters related to degrees
• Job certifications
• Adoption papers
• Deeds of assignments
In order to obtain an apostilla, it is necessary to provide the original notarized documented that needs to be authenticated along with a certified copy that will be authenticated. A fee applies per document for this service.
You will also need to complete an apostilla or Certificate of Authentication Request Form. This form includes the name of the country that is requesting documents. Be aware that some countries require different certifications. Additionally, the request form requires a daytime phone number where you can be reached, information regarding whether the documents will be mailed after they have been processed, and the name of the person making the request if the documents are for a minor child.
In some cases, if you need an apostilla quickly, you can request an expedited service. This service requires an additional fee.
Be aware that when you are requesting transcripts, you should request three sealed university transcripts. Do not open your transcripts.
In the past, Korean consulates would accept a local or state background check, but that is no longer the case. If you are applying to become an English teacher in Korea, you will now need a FBI check. You should order at least two copies of this check. Some private schools in Korea now require applicants to provide two authenticated copies. One is used to process your visa in the United States and the other will be necessary to register you as a teacher after you have arrived in Korea. Be aware that that FBI checks can take at least three months to obtain so you should plan well in advance. Keeping that in mind, your record check must be less than six months old. When you are applying for your FBI check, you will need to request that the check be authenticated. Be sure to note that the check will be used for employment abroad and therefore requires authentication. Once you receive you check, verify that it contains a seal and a signature. After you have received your authenticated FBI check, it can then be sent to obtain an apostilla. This process will take an additional two to three weeks.
You should also be aware that after arriving in Korea, you may be required to undergo a physical exam and a full blood test. This test will include testing for communicable disease and narcotics. Your visa can be revoked and your employment can be terminated if you do not pass the health exam.
In addition to the above listed documents, you may also be required to provide a copy of your resume and two original letters of recommendation.
Article written by Jessica
(Photo by 131222680@N04 via Flickr)