New Regulations re E2 Visas Effective September 2010

by K4E Team, 04/09/2010

In August, the government announced a number of new regulations/procedures regarding E2 visa applicants/holders, most of which took effect on September 1st, 2010. The government has stated that the intent of this new procedures/regulations is to simplify the process, while, at the same time, ensuring that the qualification of teaching applicants be thoroughly verified. Following is a summary of the changes – for more details type ‘criminal background’ and ‘apostille’ in the search box above.

A Criminal Background Check will now only have to be done once, even if you leave the country – as long as you are out less than 3 months. However, local checks will no longer be accepted. Criminal background checks will have to be from a federal agency and be a national check as of 2011.

Academic Records now require an apostille. This new requirement may also apply to current E2 visa holders who are getting a new E2 visa – renewing or changing contracts. This, too, will only be required the one time and it will no longer be necessary to submit a sealed copy of your academic record and transcript.

It also seems that the Ministry of Justice (Immigration) will no longer be expelling new arrivals because they tested positive for HIV/AIDS. The wording of the government notice implies that an HIV/AIDS test will not be compulsory following the teacher’s arrival in Korea. It remains to be seen whether or not local authorities/employers will require a test and/or honour the contract of anyone who tests positive. Time will tell on this one.

The termination of the E2 visa will now be one month after the termination of the contract (up to a maximum of 2 years) giving people a month to prepare for departure or to find a new job in Korea. Not sure how this will affect housing provided by the employer during that extra month if a new teacher has been hired to begin at the end of the ‘old’ teacher’s contract.

To see the official translation of the announcement, visit the government's hikorea website* and click on Notice then on Conversation teacher(E-2) related system improvement notice.

*Note that you may need to use Internet Explorer to access the site – there may be problems accessing it if you’re using Chrome or Firefox.

Photo Source: Korea Times

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