Here is new information for all of the American English Teachers in Korea.
1. VISA RULES FOR FOREIGN INSTRUCTORS
The Korean Ministry of Justice announced that as of December 15, 2007, foreigners will have to submit medical and criminal background checks when applying for a visa to become a foreign language teacher in South Korea. The U.S. Embassy cannot provide a background check or fingerprinting service, and we cannot notarize, certify, or verify the authenticity of background checks or diplomas.
As we understand the new requirements, E-2 visa applicants who are U.S. citizens can obtain the necessary criminal background check either by submitting their fingerprints to the FBI or by applying for a local police check where they last resided in the U.S. Procedures for obtaining criminal background checks in the U.S. are explained on our website at http://www.asktheconsul.org
Regrettably, the Korea Immigration Service (KIS) has placed incorrect information on its website concerning services U.S. embassies can and cannot perform. As of this writing the “New Release: Mandatory Requirements of Criminal Background Check and Health Certificate” on the KIS website contains incorrect information about the length of time it can take to get a criminal records check in the U.S. and also states erroneously that the U.S. Embassy can notarize or certify background checks. We have asked that the incorrect information be removed from the KIS website and we regret any inconvenience or misunderstanding that has resulted from their explanation of our services.
As we receive updated information on the Korean visa requirements, we will post it on our website. The U.S. Embassy website will also continue to be the best source of information about the services that we are able to provide under U.S. law and regulation. If you have further questions, we suggest that you contact the office responsible for the new requirements, the Korea Immigration Service, Border Control Division, at 500-9116, 500-9117, or 500-9118, or consult their website at http://seoul.immigration.go.kr