More specifics behind the new immigration rules for E2 visa holders

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From the Immigration website of the South Korean Gov’t. The following is from a document in the Korean Word Processing software Hangul.

December 10th, 2007
Residence Policy Division, Korea Immigration Service
New Changes on the E2 Teaching Visa Holders in Korea

1. Background of the Changed Program
1) Serious social outcry the unqualified E2 teaching visa holders
– Some E2 teaching visa holders in Korea were caught for fraudulent diplomas, drugs, sexual offenses, etc.
– News media coverage about those unqualified E2 teaching visa holders.
For example, Mr. Christopher Paul Neil, the serial child sex offender, was reported by KBS on Oct.17th, 2007 and the
report came out about the holders of fraudulent diplomas, drug using, etc. on September 5th, 2007.
2) In order to protect children and young students from those criminal offenders and fraudulent diploma holders, a strong need to counter these problems.

2. The Classification of E2 Teaching Visa Holders in Korea
Total: 17,273
USA: 6,724
Canada: 5,005
UK: 1,615
NZ: 749
S.Africa: 685
Australia: 674
Ireland: 352
Others: 1,469

3. Details of the Changes to be Introduced
<1> Criminal Background Report
a) Submission of Criminal Background Report
– Those E2 teaching visa holders, who are already in Korea, need to submit their criminal background report when
applying for the extension of their residence in Korea.
– Those who are newly applying for E2 teaching visa need to submit their criminal background report to the
Immigration Office in Korea.
b) Method of Submitting criminal background report.
– By contacting the federal government or state government agency or the respective embassy of the E2 visa holders(or
– By submitting Apostille confirmed documents
– If one is from those countries which did not join the
Apostille Agreement, he may have his documents certified by the Korean Embassy in his country.
<2>Health Certificate
a) Submission of Health Certificate
– Those E2 teaching visa holders, who are already in Korea, need to submit their health certificate when applying for
the extension of their residence in Korea.
– Those who are newly applying for E2 teaching visa need to submit their health certificate when applying for alien
registration to the Immigration Office in Korea.
b) Method of Submitting Health Certificate
– By going to National or privately-run hospitals and/or public health centers.
– The following items must be included in the health certificate
– TBPE diagnosis or cannabinoid test about drug use
– HIV test
4. Interview in Korea Embassy or Consulate.
– Those who are newly applying for E2 visa teaching need to be interview at their nearest korean embassy or consulate in their country.


Filed under Announcements, Communications, ESL, Expat, Immigration, Interesting..., Jobs, Korea life, Legal, Work

8 responses to “More specifics behind the new immigration rules for E2 visa holders

  1. Jack

    A lot of people in my estimation, from perusing the blog pages, seem to think that the new regs are OK, because “Korea needs to be more careful… yadda”.

    At the very least, the new rules are a violation of a social contract between the Korean government and its “foreign” community. When a teacher agrees to come to Korea, leaving behind his/her family, country, way of life etc he does so under a specific Agreement set out by his new employer in Korea AND the Korean government. Changing the rules, in mid-term, is a breech of contract.

    You wouldn’t expect GM to change the rules of your car lease before the term had expired — that would be illegal. Granted, Korea is a sovereign state as well as a business and, as a state, it makes the law. But that doesn’t change the unethicality of it. Forcing E2 visa holders to jump thru a new set of hoops is a serious contract violation. Certainly no private business could ever employ such tactics and get away with it; at least not in a civilized nation.

    One of the duties of the state is to monitor business activities within its borders to ensure that ethical biz practices are enforced. However if the state itself cannot honor its agreements, what would you expect from a hagwon owner, under pressure to turn a profit?

    Putting it bluntly, the new immigration rules are a serious contract violation that should raise a flag for anyone considering employment in Korea: they can and will change the rules whenever they feel like it, and you shouldn’t play this game if ehtical behavior and job security are among your priorities in life.

    • Oyster Bob


      This is Korean. Contracts a new thing for their country. Changing them midterm is quit common. If two parties are in a contract and the balances of power change, the will want to equalize the contract midterm.

      Believe me, I spent 5 years working in Korea with 4 contracts and each company changed them midterm everytime.

  2. Robert

    I’m not so sure this is a breach of contract as Korea is still honouring all existing E2 Visas. Korea never said I had a right to an extention upon issuing my Visa. As a sovereign country, it can change the rules as it sees fit.

    The problem is the absurdity of it all. Requiring new applicants to visit their nearest consulate unfairly punishes those people living in rural areas. Are you really going to book a plane ticket and fly 1000 kms just to get a VISA? How many foreigners have caused problems in Korea anyhow? We are not all drug addicted, HIV infected perverts. Had it not been for this recent pedophile, the Korean govt wouldn’t have felt the need to change a thing. It’s a poorly thought out kneejerk reaction to a “bad press” story.

    Korea’s economy depends upon the English language training it gets from us foreigners. Making it increasingly difficult to come here will only worsen the current shortage.

    At the very least, make it seemless for those of us who are already here.

  3. Mark

    I understand the importance of checking criminal records and medical records of applicants, but having to apply for a visa and extend a visa in our own country, that’s just absolutely ridiculous. Am I supposed to pay 2000 dollars just to go back home and get a visa? That’s just taking things too far. In this age where Koreans have to learn English and are desperately in need of good native teachers, this is going to make things worse as I’m sure that many foreigners will leave Korea and be put off the idea of goingt to Korea due to this. The Koreans are cutting off their noses to spite their faces here.

    • Oyster Bob


      After working in Korea several years, I saw many foreigners take advantage of the trustingness of Koreans. I worked with and new several teachers that: Did not have degrees, presented false documents, did not adhere to their contracts, drugs and new had to disclose that they were a sexual criminal?

  4. It’s not exactly perfection, but the Koreans are allowing an extension up through March 15th 2008 this year to extend your visas withOUT the medical, criminal, etc. checks…

  5. Brad

    I have a disorderly conduct charge on my record, and have been in the country before December 1, 2007. Does this mean I cannot get a renewed Visa now?

  6. I know of one person who had a misdemeanor — stealing something when he was younger get through. He did have some additional documentation that he did community service or something like that, I believe.

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