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E-2 Visa Process for British Applicants
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2017-06-20 00:19:54

E-2 Visa Process for British Applicants

This page details the entire E-2 Visa process for British applicants to get their visa to teach in Korea. Please follow this procedure carefully as even a small mistake like a missed signature could result in having to submit the paperwork all over again. Please note that this page has been updated (August 2012) to reflect recent changes in immigration policy.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns you have.

The following is a list of all of the documents you will need to teach in Korea. Some of these documents need to be sent to your employer in Korea and others need to be sent or taken to the Korean embassy in the U.K. We recommend making a photocopy of all your documents. These documents will be explained in greater detail in steps 1-3 below. The total set of documents required are:

1.      University degree (Notarized and apostille authenticated) – TWO COPIES Please note that as of August 31st, 2010, original university degrees will no longer be accepted.

2.      criminal background check (Subject Access Form) (notarized and apostilled) – TWO COPIES

3.      health statement (2 copies)

4.      a valid passport and  a copy of the information page in your passport

5.      a resume

6.      4 passport photos

7.      a signed contract

8.      2 sealed transcripts (*Note that as of January 2011, teachers no longer are required to submit transcripts)

Please make a photocopy of your university degree and criminal background check (after it has been completed). You might need these copies to send to the Korean embassy.

Note: Your name must appear the exact same on all documents submitted. If you have a middle name, middle initial, or if one or more of your documents is written differently, it could create problems with your application. Your middle name (if you have one) should be written in full. Initials should not be used for any of your documents. Contact us if you have any questions about this.

Step 1: Gather all your documents

It is advisable that you start collecting the documents you will need well before accepting a job. You will need all of the above documents for whatever job you accept. Some of the documents, particularly the criminal background checks (CBCs) can take time to process resulting in job offers being taken back. Get started on collecting your documents now.

1.      Copy of university degree (with apostille) – TWO COPIES

  • Your degree must be a Bachelor’s degree (3 or 4 years) from an accredited university.
  • Please NOTE: As of August 31st, 2010, Korean immigration will no longer accept original degrees. Only notarized and apostilled copies will be accepted by immigration.
  • To make a notarized/apostilled copy, make a photocopy and have this copy notarized by a notary public. Then, send or take this notarized copy of your degree to the Apostille in the United Kingdom for Apostille authentication.
  • Note: As of recent changes in policy, teachers are required to submit TWO copies of their notarized/apostilled degree. One copy is for immigration (for visa purposes). The second copy is for the Ministry of Education in Korea.

2.      Criminal Background Check (Subject Access Form) – TWO COPIES

  • Get started on this document early. Criminal background checks (CBCs) are accepted by Korean immigration for up to six months from the date of issue. The processing time for the Subject Access Form is up to 40 days (usually averages to be about a month).
  • You can request this Subject Access from your local police headquarters within the area that you last resided or currently reside in the U.K. You need to bring identification and the fee of 10 pounds with you. Make them aware that it for a Basic Disclosure for obtaining a teaching visa for Korea. (A Basic Disclosure is an official document that shows all convictions including sex offenses). Have them send the results back to you.
  • Once you receive your Subject Access Form, you must then take it to be notarized by a local notary public or solicitor.
  • Once the Subject Access Form has been notarized, bring it or send it to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH to obtain the apostille legalization seal. Important – do NOT send this to the Korean embassy. Send it to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for authentication. Please call the office beforehand to ensure that you send everything you need. It is also important to remember that the notary seal must be on the document before you send it to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for Apostille authentication.
  • Hours for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are 9:30-3:30, Monday-Friday. The application can be processed on someone else’s behalf and no ID is necessary. It is MUCH faster if you go in person to have this done. If you mail in your Subject Access Form for Apostille authentication it can take a long time to process, sometimes up to 4 weeks. If you do mail your Subject Access Form to the Apostille Office, be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope so that it can be sent back to you.
  • Fees – 27 pounds. You should phone the Apostille office to confirm how they like to receive payment.
  • You will receive an Apostille certificate that verifies your Subject Access Form is authentic This will need to be attached to your Criminal Background Check when you send it to Korea.
  • Note: As of recent changes in policy, teachers are required to submit TWO copies of their CBC. One copy is for immigration (for visa purposes). The second copy is for the Ministry of Education in Korea.

3.      Health statement (2 copies)

  • This is an easy step – simply fill in the health form from the Korean government. You will need to prepare two copies, one for immigration in Korea and one for the Korean embassy in London. The two forms must be completed with exactly the same answers. Please complete your answers honestly.
  • This questionnaire will be testing for serious medical conditions like HIV or TB. It is important to note that while the marijuana test has been dropped from the health test, using drugs in Korea is still a serious offense.
  • Shortly after you arrive in Korea, a full physical and blood test will be administered at a local hospital (within 90 days of arrival). It is advisable that you have a health check in your own country before submitting this form.

4.      Valid Passport and a photocopy of the information pages of your passport

  • All applicants must have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months after arrival to Korea. Failure to have this minimum will result in being denied access into Korea when going through customs. However, we recommend having a minimum of 12 months’ validity on your passport after your arrival to Korea.
  • Make sure that your passport has at least two blank pages for the embassy to place your visa. Failure to have these blank pages will result in the embassy refusing to process your visa.
  • Your passport must be signed.
  • Copy the information pages of your passport (the picture/information and signature page).

5.      Resume

  • 1 copy of your current resume, signed, with your correct address and contact information

6.      Signed contract

  • 1 copy of the school contract, signed and dated by you

7.      4 passport sized photos

  • 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm, in color with a white background, and date stamped on the back (photo must have been taken within the last six months and have a white background)

8.      Two sets of sealed/stamped university transcripts

  • Sealed and stamped means still in the unopened envelope from the applicant’s school with the university stamp or registrar signature across the back seal. Korean immigration is very strict about this requirement. It is advisable for applicants to contact the registrar’s office when they order their transcripts to specifically request for their transcripts to be stamped as not all universities automatically do this.
  • You should order 2 sets of transcripts from the registrar office of your university as you will be required to submit one copy to immigration in Korea and may be required to submit one copy to the Korean embassy in London. Please make sure that the transcripts are individually signed across the seal and in separate envelopes.
  • Do NOT open or tamper with the envelope in any way. If the seal has been opened, the transcripts will not be accepted.
  • Note: As of January 2011, teachers are no longer required to submit university transcripts to immigration.

Step 2: Sending your documents to Korea

Once you have gathered all of the documents listed above and accepted a teaching position in Korea, you now need to send some of the above documents to Korea to begin processing your visa at Korean immigration.

The documents you will need to send to Korea are:

1.      university degree notarized and apostilled (do NOT send the original degree) – two copies

2.      Subject Access Form with apostille authentication – two copies

3.      one copy of your health statement

4.      photocopy of the information pages of your passport (do NOT send the actual passport)

5.      4 passport sized photos, in color with a white background and date stamped on the back (must be taken within the last six months)

6.      a copy of your resume, signed and containing your current contact information

7.      a signed copy of your contract

Please do NOT send your documents by regular mail to Korea as this is quite slow, more likely to get lost and cannot be tracked. Please use either FedEx or DHL. Once you have sent these documents, please email us the tracking number and the courier company you have used so that we can track your documents.

Once we receive your documents, your school will take them to Korean immigration and receive your Visa Issuance Number. This number will be a code where the first four characters are letters and the remaining characters are numbers. It will look something like – UBDO 06004321. It usually takes 7-10 business days to receive this number.

Once we get this number, we will email it to you. You will need this code to put on the top of your visa application form that you need to bring to the Korean embassy.

Step 3: Getting your E-2 visa stamp at the Korean embassy

This is the final step in the visa process. Once you receive your Visa Issuance Number, you are ready to go to the Korean embassy. If you live far from the embassy, you can send your documents by mail. Please do NOT send them by regular mail. Contact the Korean embassy to determine their preferred method of post. If you are sending your documents, be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope with the appropriate postage affixed so that the embassy can return your documents.

Required documents to bring/send to the Korean embassy are:

1.      The completed E-2 Teaching Visa Application form. Download the form. Make sure to fill it in properly and attach the Visa Issuance Number at the top of the form.

2.      Passport – make sure that it meets the requirements mentioned in step 1

3.      Photo – 1 passport sized photo, 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm, in color and date stamped on the back (not more than six months old).

4.      A photocopy of your university degree (not required at this time)

5.      A photocopy of your CBC after it has been notarized and apostilled (not required at this time)

6.      1 set of sealed and stamped transcripts – stamped across the seal (not required at this time)

7.      Official health form – the answers must be the same as the one sent to Korean immigration (not required at this time)

·        Fee – The cost of the visa stamp will be $25 pounds. This has to be in cash or a money order (no traveler’s checks). Please call the embassy to confirm this fee before sending it.

Note: Items 4-7 are required by some consulates and embassies but not by others. Please contact the embassy directly before sending or bringing anything to confirm what items they expect.

Once the embassy receives these documents, it will take anywhere from 3-5 business days to process your visa depending on the embassy’s workload. When you call the embassy, please ask them how long it will take to process and then let us know so that we can confirm your travel arrangements.


Once you receive your passport back with your E-2 VISA, you are all set to begin your journey to teach English in South Korea.