TEFL Visa Guide: South Korea (Updated 2023)

If you’re looking to teach English in South Korea, you’ll need to obtain an E2 visa.  The educational institution that hires you (whether it’s a public school, private school, or university) will need to sponsor the visa upon signing of your contract.

To simplify the process, I would say the 3 mains stages are:

Stage 1– Collect all your documents and get them notarized.

**Sign job contract

Stage 2 – Send your documents to Korea.

***Receive visa issuance number

Stage 3 – Send paperwork (including your passport) to the Korean consulate in your country.

***Your passport is returned to you with your E2 visa – you’re ready to go!

In total, the process should take around 4 weeks.

Please be aware that an E2 visa will only be issued to a native English speaker from the following countries: United Kingdom, USA, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia. A bachelor’s degree, in any field, is also a requirement.

South Korea has one of the most complex and time-consuming Visa processes of all the countries I’ve been to. The amount of paperwork involved is intense and I’d advise to get your documents together before you even secure a job. Further, while most countries process these applications at their foreign consulates, your documents will need to be sent to Korea before you can proceed. Let’s cover the basics—here’s what you’ll need to collect:

  • CV
  • Passport photos
  • Photocopy of the photo page in passport
  • Job contract
  • Health statement
  • University transcripts (unopened)
  • Apostilled copy of bachelor’s degree
  • Apostilled copy of criminal background check

Getting your documents apostilled will set you back a few hundred bucks, and sending the documents to Korea isn’t cheap, as well as obtaining your criminal record check, so make sure you’re financially prepared to obtain the visa.

These links will give you more information on document notarization:

Any reputable school will guide you through the visa process from start to finish, so don’t panic if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information.

Please note that the visa process does vary from country to country, so make sure you’re following the right information.

If you’re looking for a TEFL certificate, I recommend PremierTEFL –

Premier TEFL

Good luck!


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