So I’ve been hearing… no wait, I’ve been reading that the new E-2 visa changes (set to start Jan 1, 2011) are being delayed until 2012. An E-2 visa is the work visa you need to obtain in order to teach English (legally) in South Korea. Before the changes were announced this year, these were documents you needed to get that visa:
- original university diploma (will be returned to you)
- state-level criminal background check (notarized & apostilled)
- sealed transcripts
Nowadays, as of September 1st, 2010, these are the requirements:
- sealed transcripts (no longer needed)
- certified notarized/apostilled copy of diploma
- FBI-level criminal background check (as of January 1st, 2011)
I mean, the changes don’t sound THAT bad… especially the “no more transcripts” thing. But the big thing here is the FBI background check. It can take up to 12 weeks to get your results & there is no rush processing or anything. According to various people who have gotten their results back, it took approximately 7-8 weeks process. Well 7-8 weeks is definitely better than 12. As this is a time-consuming process, immigration is considering delaying this requirement until 2012. Teachers can sometimes find, interview, & sign for a job within 2 weeks. It takes another 2 weeks to process the work visa. Adding another 12 weeks due to the background check is somewhat inconvenient (but then again, you should’ve done your paperwork beforehand?). Since it is required for every American (citizen) starting January 1, 2010, anyone wishing to work in 2011 needs to apply for a FBI background check NOW.
I applied for mine at the beginning of September. My application arrived at the FBI office (in West Virginia) on September 4th. And I’m still waiting for my results to come back. I added a pre-paid envelope with tracking so I’ll know when it’s coming. I think I’m in week 5 of waiting for my results… So hopefully I’ll get my results sometime back in October. Because I still need to get it apostilled. Oh that’s another thing, for some people, an apostille can take a long time due to location. Most people drive to the state office to get the stamp in person. But for people who do not live close enough to the office, they’ll have to mail in their paper/payment & wait approximately 20 days. So yea, if a FBI background check is needed from every American who wants to teach in Korea from now on, Korea’s going to be waiting a long ass time for the teacher to arrive. Most Korean employers like the hiring process to be 빨리 빨리 so this new requirement will be hard on both parties.
I wonder if the rumors are true though… delaying the requirement until 2012? It’ll be a sigh of relief for tons of people. But for me? Dude, what the fuck, my FBI background is already processing haha. I invested so much time & money into getting that done… I’m curious to see how this will play out. And how confused everyone is going to be.