Stage 3 So it has been close to a month since I was offered a position in Daejeon teaching English and my contract and NOA only just arrived on Monday (almost a month after receiving an offer). I have had to wait for the documents to arrive before applying for my visa which has been driving me nuts. I still don’t understand why it took so long. Surely it is a pretty standard contract they send out to all teachers? Anyway, now that I have my contract I can apply for my visa.
If you are in Australia and are applying for a Korean visa you should note that there are two Korean embassies in Australia (Sydney and Canberra). Since I live in Queensland I have to apply to the Sydney embassy. The total cost of my visa application is $185.75. That brings me to a grand total of $549.35 when you add the cost of my stage 2 documents.
ATTN: Korean Embassy. Your forms do not have enough space to enter the required information comfortably. It is OK to use more than one page. Giving me a 2cm line to write personal information like my Korean address or the list of countries I have visited in the last 5 years not sufficient!
Some E2 Visa Q&A
Q: What type of visa do I need?
A: E2 (Teaching Foreign Languages)
Q: How long does the visa last?
A: 1 year
Q: Do I have to supply an itinerary which shows when I will exit the country?
A: No. You do not have to provide an itinerary or an E2 visa. I had an argument with the Embassy about this before the realised that it isn't required for an E2 visa.
Q: When can I enter the country? Orientation starts on the 20th of February but I would like to go early and do some travelling.
A: It is OK to enter early. Once you have your visa you have to enter Korea within 3 months.
Q: How long does it take to issue an E2 visa?
A: It takes one week to process and issue the visa provided there are no problems with any documents you submit.
Q: How much does it cost to apply for a visa?
A: For Australians a multiple entry visa is $150. A single entry visa is $120 for 1 year. More info here. EDIT: It turns out it is immigration policy to only grant single entry visas to E2 visa applicants. The Korean embassy refunded me $30 when they returned my Passport.
Q: What documents do I need to submit?
A: Documents vary depending on what country you are from. In 2013 Australians need to submit the following:
- Original (real) passport. The E2 work visa goes directly into one of the passport pages)
- Completed visa application form (download)
- Consulate checklist questionnaire (download)
- Two passport photographs. This should be the same one you attached to your stage 1 EPIK application and needs to be the official passport photo size and in full colour. I got mixed information about how many I needed to send so I sent two for good measure.
- Original employment contract. I was told EPIK would post me two copies of this but they only sent one. Make sure you keep a photocopy for your personal records.
- Original Notice of Appointment (NOA). Make sure you keep a photocopy for your personal records.
- Photocopy of Authenticated copy of University Diploma/Degree. I got mixed information about this. Some people said to include it, others said it was not required. I included it to be safe.
- One officially sealed academic transcript. Again when I spoke with the Korean embassy I got mixed information about this requirement so I included it to be safe.
- Visa Fee. A money order ($7.95 at Australia Post) or a bank cheque are the two best options here and need to be made out to the “Korean Embassy”.
- Self-addressed return prepaid courier bag. Both Australia Post and the Korean embassy recommend using Express Post Platinum prepaid 500g satchels. They cost $13.90 each and you need two of bloody things! Australia post guarantees it will not get lost. The last thing you want is your passport to get lost in the mail a few weeks before leaving the country.
Q: What is my National Identity Number?
A: In Australia we do not have a National Identity Number. The closest thing we have to this are our Medicare card number, Tax File number or State Drivers Licence number. On my visa application I used my Tax File number and explicitly stated that it was my Tax File number on the form.