Teaching in Korea
The U.S. Embassy does not maintain a database, either formal or anecdotal, regarding English schools or recruiting agencies in Korea. We advise anyone considering accepting an English teaching job in Korea to carefully review the terms of the contract regarding working and living conditions and to ask for references from persons familiar with the institution, especially former American employees.
The organizations listed below may be a useful resource in finding information on teaching in Korea. (Please note: The U.S. Embassy does not necessarily endorse the organizations nor is it responsible for the content of their websites; the links below are simply provided as a service to those U.S. citizens considering teaching or currently teaching in Korea.)
Korea Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (KOTESOL), a teachers’ association, is a source of up-to-date information on teaching in Korea.
Seoul Global Center (SGC), run by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, is a comprehensive support center for foreign residents in Seoul. SGC is a one-stop service center for offering daily living, business activities, administrative services, various educational courses and international exchange events. They also provide basic to specialized counseling regarding legal, labor, tax and real estate related issues.
Teaching Visa (E-2)
For up to date information on obtaining a visa to teach English in Korea, please visit the Korea Immigration Services website.
The government of the Republic of Korea requires that criminal records checks and a health certificate be submitted with E-2 visa applications or extensions. The U.S. Embassy in South Korea does not provide a records check or fingerprinting service, nor can the Embassy authenticate records checks or health certificates. Korean Immigration informed the Embassy on July 17, 2008, that they will no longer accept criminal records checks provided by an on-line service as some states and private companies are able to do. Korean Immigration will only accept an FBI criminal records check.
The U.S. Embassy cannot assist you with a criminal background check. The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) centralizes criminal justice information and provides accurate and timely information and services to local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies, the private sector, academia, and other government agencies. For more detailed information on how to submit your criminal background check, please review the FBI website.
The Korean National Police Agency informed the U.S. Embassy on February 11, 2009, that any police station in Korea should be able to fingerprint E-2 visa applicants without charge. Please call your local police station to verify hours and procedures. You may have to go to another police station if your local police station does not have the necessary equipment or staffing. Please visit the Korean National Police Agency’s official website to find a local police station closest to your residence.
The U.S. Embassy cannot offer any apostille services. An apostille is a certification that a document that has been “legalized” or “authenticated” by the issuing agency through a process in which various seals are placed on the document.
The CJIS Division will authenticate U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 fingerprint search results for international requests by placing the FBI seal and the signature of a division official on the results if requested at the time of submission. Documents prepared in this way may then be sent to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Authentications by the requester to obtain an apostille if necessary. This procedure became effective on January 25, 2010 and will apply only to documents finalized after that date. Requests to authenticate previously processed results will not be accepted. This procedure replaces the letter formerly provided by the CJIS Division that indicated the service was not provided.
Updated: October 22, 2012