Where Have All the Teachers Gone?

by LadyExpat / Feb 25, 2009 / 0 comments

Where have all the teachers gone?

The E-2 Visa Process

Arriving at the Incheon Airport earlier this week I was amazed at how few
foreigners were waiting at Immigration. In fact, I was the only one when
I went through around six pm. Amazing, but not surprising. There are
probably several reasons for this. I will focus on one today. That is the
"new" E-2 Visa regulations here on the ROK. This is the visa category that most English teachers fall into.

There was a time not that long ago when it was relatively easy to obtain an E-2...

As long as you were a native English speaker and had a university degree
it was pretty much a done deal. All of that changed with the arrest
of a suspected pedophile late in 1997.


As a result of Paul Neils arrest the Korean government decided to bring in sweeping new changes.
Potential teachers must now submit criminal records checks, undergo extensive medical screening,and an interview at a Korean Embassy in their home country. Click below to read the requirements.


There has been much discussion about these changes. While most teachers understand the need for more stringent screening many feel that the Korean government has perhaps gone a little too far with respect to
medical screening. Both HIV and drug testing are now mandatory. Should you test positive for either you will  not be issued a Visa. There have also been strong objections to the interview requirement. For one thing, it can be a very
expensive undertaking if you don't live in a city with a Korean embassy. Secondly, who is conducting the interview? Interviews can be very subjective. Potentially, a candidate could be turned down because the interviewer does not like them for some reason. This seems to be a cloudy issue.

In addition to the criminal check, Canadians also require Vulnerable Sector Screening. To find out more here is an excellent article.


If after reading this you still want to come to Korea to teach, give yourself lots of time to do the paperwork.

There are many jobs to be had. Here's a link to get you started.