E2 Visa Application Extra Required Documents (South Africa and Québéc)

E2 Visa Application Extra Required Documents (South Africa and Québéc)

September 9, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


Usually applying for an E2 visa to
teach English in Korea is a pretty straightforward process, especially if
your school is experienced in dealing with the immigration office. If you need
a quick primer, check the description for a link to my video discussing E2
basics including the full list of standard requirements as well as a
couple of common mistakes and how to avoid them. That being said, there are a couple groups of people who will routinely be
subjected to additional scrutiny during this process – namely, South Africans and
residents of Québéc. Before we get into the extra requirements, it’s worth
mentioning why these two groups have been singled out. The Korean immigration office wants to make sure that they only issue E2 visas to native speakers. I’m highlighting this in case you aren’t from one of those two regions, but have
something in your profile that might cause immigration to take a closer look
at you for the same reason. We can discuss the problems of native-speakerism in another video but for the time being unfortunately this is the bar set
by Korean immigration. The first extra requirement applies to both groups, which is proving that your undergraduate education was completed using English as the language of instruction. This is due to concerns about English versus Afrikaans in South Africa and English versus French in Québéc. Technically there is no official list of documents that you have to submit to satisfy this
requirement. That being said, when we had the chance to speak face-to-face with an
actual immigration officer about this topic, they said that many teachers, schools, and recruiters don’t adequately prepare for
the extra vetting required and have their applications delayed or even
rejected as a result. The main rule that they stressed to us that is always
applied is that documents must be issued in either English, Korean, or a
combination of the two – no other language may be present! In fact we once applied
for an E2 visa for a teacher from Scotland whose degree was issued duly in English and Latin, with the Latin text being larger and more prominent. Immigration told us to have the teacher ask their university to prepare a new
degree certificate issued only in English — and Latin is a
dead language! But I’m getting off-track now… Other documents that they suggested
you could submit to satisfy this requirement were a sealed undergraduate
transcript, an apostilled letter from your university attesting that all
courses were completed using English as the language of instruction, and a
notarized TEFL certificate plus apostille. They did say that in some cases high
school transcripts or attestations may also be required. Because they mentioned a TEFL certificate as well as high school education, I do suspect that
they’re going to be more strict on E2-2 applicants than on E2-1 applicants.
For the preceding information we had a face-to-face with an actual immigration
officer who’s responsible for issuing E2 VINs, so that should mean it’s more reliable information than our usual call center
workers. At the same time the usual “your results may vary” rule does apply.
If you’re in doubt, contact your Korean employer and ask them to check the
latest requirements with their local immigration office. Finally, for South
Africans we started seeing an additional requirement introduced in the spring of
2017 which caught us completely off-guard because it wasn’t announced or
published anywhere! At first it was just happening in Busan and the southeastern
part of the country but since then it seems to have spread across the entire
country. Please excuse what I’m about to say – this
is a direct quote from the immigration officer that we spoke to. In the past, “too
many” South Africans submitted fraudulent degrees and police checks. The solution
that immigration has come up with to solve this problem is that in addition
to a notarized, apostilled copy of your undergraduate
certificate, South Africans also have to send their original, unaltered degree
certificate. After receiving the VIN application at the immigration office,
the immigration official will send your original, unaltered degree to the central
immigration office in Incheon who will contact your university overseas to
verify your degree. After that’s complete they’ll send your degree back to the
local immigration office who will contact your school to pick it up and
hold it for you until you arrive in Korea. Normally, an E2 VIN application takes about a week to come back from
immigration. Unfortunately this extra vetting process puts the turnaround at
more like four to six weeks. That also means that the total time required to process your visa application, starting from when you ship your documents
overseas and ending with you getting your visa and passport back from the
embassy, is around six to eight weeks which is about double the usual three to
four weeks that teachers from other countries can expect. I know this might
feel really overwhelming but try not to worry. It’s not as difficult to prepare
the documents as it might sound. In addition, not every officer operates in
exactly the same way, so some people might not have to submit everything that
I’ve mentioned in this video. Your best bet is to have a quick discussion about documents with your employer before sending anything overseas and continue to stay in touch during the VIN and visa process. Not only will this help you get
a sense of where you stand, but it also makes a positive impression before you
arrive as a responsible and proactive person. As always please comment below if you have any questions or suggestions for future videos. Subscribe to keep up to date on all the latest tips and tricks. And if you need more personalized service, please send an email to [email protected]