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Things to Pack for Korea

Things to Pack

things-to-bring-packing

Pack Light!

  • We recommend you only bring a light load of clothing and essentials with you to Korea. You can pretty much find most of items you will need in Korea.
  • You will eventually be leaving Korea. The more you bring, the more you’ll have to take with you or get rid of when you leave. And you’ll shop a lot in Korea.

Items to Pack

  • Digitally Scanned and Printed Copies of important documents as passport, diploma, other photo ID. These copies become invaluable if you ever lose your passport, or misplace your Alien Registration Card (ARC). Storing the scanned copies onto your Cloud storage before departure should be a good backup.
  • Be sure to pack appropriate Clothing for All Four Seasons. Korea has four distinct seasons. Autumn and spring are mild and sunny, so comfortable clothes should be fine. Summer is hot and humid, so bring some cool, summer clothing and a swimsuit. Temperatures below freezing are common in the winter, so you should be prepared to bundle up with winter coat, gloves, hats, scarves, etc. Please note that you can buy necessary clothes that are more suitable for the weather here so pack wisely and lightly.
  • Bring Your Sized Clothes if you are Extra Larger or Taller than the average person.
  • Bras and Underwear. you may be difficult to find depending on your size and build. Korean sizing typically looks like young girls, one-size fits all or grandma sizes. 
  • Bring Shoes for all occasions if your shoe size is 8+ (women) and 11+ (men).
  • Sheets of your preference. Be sure to inquire with your school what size your bed is.
  • Deodorants! Koreans don’t use deodorants!
  • Feminine products of your specific preference as Tampons, Hair, Skin products. But you are also going to come across tons of popular Korean beauty products too!
  • If you are taking Prescribed Medications as Birth Control, Thyroid Medication, Antidepressants, recommend to bring a year’s supply.
  • Bring a bottle of Tylenol or Advil or Ibuprofen or Zyrtec or Melatonin whatever you need. You can find these (except Melatonin) easily at a local pharmacy but expensive in small quantity units. Melatonin is a prescribed medication in Korea.
  • Power AC Plug Adapter for your electric appliances and a Power Strip.
  • Backpack for intermittent trips.

Items to buy in Korea

  • Bulky Stuffs like Sheets, Comforters, Pillows, Bath Towels
  • South Korea uses 220 volt outlets. If your electric appliances use different volt outlets, as Power Converters are usually heavy, we recommend you buy good power converters at stores like Home Plus or emart in Korea for about 50,000 won or $50.00 after arrival. Make sure to bring a power strip if you have numerous items.
  • Hair Dryers, Flat Irons, and Curling Irons might short out power converters and can be easily malfunctioning or broken when used in different counties. You better buy them in Korea locally.
  • A Mattress Pad that bolsters the softness on top of the Korean bed and that can be used as a extra bed for your guests.

By | 2017-12-07T07:10:15+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Korea Living, Settle Down|0 Comments

Korea ESL School’s Dress Code

Dress Code

Respectful Appearance Preferred

  • Standards of dress code vary from school to school but in general, most schools expect a “respectful” casual appearance. It is always safe and good to wear semi-formal clothes.
  • Keep in mind that you are trying to dress in a manner which presents you as a serious teacher to your students, students’ parents and business directors.
  • Avoid mini-skirts, ripped or torn jeans or t-shirts with offensive slogans, extreme haircuts, tattoos, extra piercings.

Dress Code for Male Teachers

Collared shirts, dress shirts and sweaters with a nice pair of slacks would be ideal. Some schools may ask you to wear a tie, however by no means are they required.

Dress Code - Male Teacher

Dress Code for Female Teachers

Collared blouses, dress blouses and sweaters with a pair of slacks or a nice long (knee-length) skirt would be the best.

Dress Code - Female Teacher

Set Aside a Suit for Formal Occasions

  • It may also be good idea to bring at least one business formal suit or outfit along to Korea for the formal occasions and events. The better prepared you are, the easier you’ll be able to dress appropriately for any situation.

By | 2017-12-13T01:56:24+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Settle Down|0 Comments

Living Costs in Korea and How Much Can Save?

Living Costs in Korea

and

How Much Can Save?

living costs in korea

We averaged the general numbers of the living costs in South Korea so that you can expect how much money you can save based on simple formula of Make – Costs – Save.

Here is a breakdown for your quick look.

How Much Make Monthly? $1,900

  • The average starting salary for a 1st year ESL teacher in Korea is around 2.1m KRW per month which is about $1,900 USD. (the conversion rate, 1 USD = 1,100 KRW)

How Much Cost Monthly? $900 ($830 – $1,020)

  • Accommodation: $0
    Your school provides a furnished free housing!
  • Tax: $60
    3.3% of your monthly income
  • Pension: $85
    You pay 4.5% of your monthly income, and your employer matches the 4.5%. Canadian and American citizens can get then total 9% pension amount back when they leave Korea. South Africans have the right to opt out of paying pension, as they do not qualify for getting pension back. Australian, New Zealand, British and Irish employees are required to pay into the pension plan, but unfortunately won’t be able to get it back.
  • Insurance: $45
    You pay 2.24% of your monthly income, and your employer matches the 2.24%.
  • Utilities: $90 – $180
    You will pay utilities between ₩100,000 and ₩200,000 per month ($90–$180) for use of electricity, gas, phone, and internet.
  • Transportation: $50
    Public transportation in Korea is quite clean/advanced/affordable. A one-way ride on the bus or subway is around ₩1,200 ($1), depending where you live.Cabs charge a starting rate of $3 when you hop in, and a 20-30 min cab ride will be around $12-20.A monthly pass averages around $50. If you live within walking distance of work, you might only pay about $25 or less per month for transportation.
  • Food: $200 – $300
    It all depends on how much you want to embrace the local food or not. Eating Korean food is not only cheap, but it’s abundant and healthy. Bibimbap (mixed rice), Kimchi Jjigae (kimchi stew), and Mandu (dumplings), all of which you can get for under ₩6,000 ($6). Most Korean meals are also served with free side dishes. 간편식Cooking will reduce your food costs, especially if your ingredients consist of Korean produce as rice, spinach, onions, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, pork, beans.Fruits and dairy products are expensive in Korea.Buying in bulk at Costco is a great way to save money on food. If Costco isn’t available for you, ordering from ezSHOP Korea (in English) or Cobaro (in Korean) would be your next best option.
  • Shopping/Heath/Beauty/Nightlife/Travel: $300
    It all depends how much you spend on these extra activities.

How Much Save Monthly? $1,000 ($880 – $1,070)

  • The bottom line is that you’d save around $1,000 monthly after all the costs/expenses considered!
  • This means you can have a rewarding life in Korea in terms of Work, Live, Play and Extra Savings when you get back to home!

By | 2017-12-13T02:01:29+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Contract Condition, Korea Living, Settle Down|0 Comments

Korea ESL School’s Free Housing

Free Housing

free housing provided by ESL schools in Korea

Free Single Studio Apartment

  • Schools will provide a free single studio apartment (one room plus a small kitchen and bathroom) with basic household furnishings of bed, blanket, pillow, wardrobe, cooking utensils, kitchen table, chairs, two-burner gas hot plate, refrigerator, washing machine, TV, air conditioner, high speed internet and etc.. Couples will be provided with a 2 bedroom apartment.
  • The composition of furnishings can be different by employer so you need to check with the school for exact items being provided while reviewing contract.

Korean Style Apartment – Villa

  • The apartments usually come in the form of a high rise apartment or a “Villa”. Korean villas are actually three or four story apartment buildings that tend to be quieter than the bigger complexes. The apartments are mostly clean, comfortable and furnished with basic needs. And they are usually located near the schools for easy access/commute.

Korean Style Bathroom

  • The bathrooms are almost universally consist of a toilette, sink, medicine cabinet, and a removable shower head. ‘Western Style’ showers are typically only found in newer apartments. The shower is usually the bathroom area itself – not a bathtub or shower stall with curtains or glass walls. The floor will be angled towards a drainage unit and when the shower is on, you’re essentially using the bathroom itself as a showering stall; meaning, when you take a shower your entire bathroom gets soaked. It’s nothing to worry about though, the floor is completely waterproof and tiled from top to bottom so getting the walls, floor and even the sealing wet is perfectly fine! You’ll even see the benefits to how quickly you are able to clean the bathroom!

Utilities and Hanging Rack, Oven, Coffee Maker, Trash Bag

  • Teachers will pay for the monthly utilities (electricity, gas, water, internet) and the bills usually amount to about ₩100,000 – ₩200,000 ($90 – $180).
  • Koreans do not use dryers, so you must hang your clothes to dry near a window (there will be a drying rack that hangs down from the ceiling) or you can set up a clothesline in your bathroom, or get a hanging rack to effectively dry your items, especially during the humid summers.
  • Most of apartments that teachers live in do not have an oven to bake in. If this is something that is important to you, we highly recommend purchasing a toaster oven through.
  • Coffee makers will not be provided but you can find them for a relatively cheap price at stores like emart or HomePlus.
  • The Korean trash disposal system is incredibly particular, and it is very important that you abide by it. You will need to purchase particular government trash bags to use, which are usually found at convenience stores (this is how people pay for trash disposal). Often there are video cameras with surveillance as to who is disposing what and where, so make sure to do your best here.

By | 2017-12-07T07:10:16+00:00 September 12th, 2017|Contract Condition, Korea Living, Settle Down|0 Comments

Severance Pay in Korea

Severance Pay

severance pay

Severance Pay Eligibility and Details

  • If the employee finishes one-year contract successfully, they get paid for an extra month of work, severance pay, which is equal to one-month’s salary. Therefore, at the end of a one-year contract, they will get their monthly salary plus severance pay. Also, they have to pay the appropriate severance payment tax at the end of year.
  • To be eligible for severance pay, the employee has to complete a one year contract at least and must be employed full time (more than 15 hours/week or 60 hours/month).
  • Severance pay is calculated as an average wage for 30 days of the last 3 months of pay.
  • The amount should be paid within 2 weeks of termination of contract.
  • After one year, severance pay accumulates on a month by month basis being prorated based on a 1 year calendar, 365 days.
  • Severance pay is stipulated by Korean law (under article 34 of the Labor Standard Act of Korea) therefore severance pay is not a right that can be waived. Even if your contract states that you will not receive severance pay, you are entitled to it.
  • Article 22 of the Labor Standard Act of Korea stipulates that a foreign worker cannot be discriminated against even if that employee violates immigration law. In other words, even if you are working in Korea illegally, you are entitled to severance pay.

How to Cope with the Severance Pay Denial in Steps

  1. The first step is to approach your employer regarding your severance pay, and attempt to resolve any difficulties at an early stage in a friendly and professional manner without need of further difficulties.
  1. In the event that your employer refuses to pay you, your next step will be to contact the Ministry of Employment and Labor. Please refer to how to contact info below and note that your employer legally has 14 days to pay you before they are in violation of the law, so even if your employer has stated that they will not pay you, you must wait 14 days before filing a complaint. Once you arrive at the Ministry of Labor, you will need to state your case to an officer of the Ministry. You will also need to have documentation in the form of pay stubs for at least the last three months, in order to calculate your correct severance amount. This is also proof that you have been employed as a full time worker.
  1. A representative from the Ministry will contact your employer and schedule an interview. You will typically be required to attend that interview, which should be scheduled within two weeks. Your employer must attend the meeting or forfeit the case. If you meet the legal qualifications outlined above, you will win this hearing and the Ministry will “recommend” that your employer pay you. The ministry has no real authority and can not enforce its verdict, but a favorable ruling here will virtually guarantee your victory if a civil case is needed.
  1. The next step, in most cases unnecessary, is to file civil charges against your employer in an effort to collect your severance. This is done by going to the Ministry of Justice and filing your case. You do not need a lawyer for this, although an interpreter is recommended. Action will be taken with a few weeks. Your employer will be required to attend a hearing, and with the recommendation of the Ministry of Labor against them, they will be required to pay the severance amount. The court can and will enforce this by seizing property from your employer and selling it if your employer still refuses to pay.

How to Contact NLCC (National Labor Consultation Center) of Ministry of Employment and Labor

The NLCC of the Ministry of Employment and Labor provides counseling service on employment & labor administration such as wage, retirement pay, dismissal, trade unions, occupational safety, equal employment, general labor matters, etc. Phone counseling service is available from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 18:00.

NLCC (National Labor Consultation Center) Homepage
Domestic Phone: 1350 (ext.5)
Overseas: +82-52-702-5089 (ext.5)

By | 2017-12-07T07:10:16+00:00 September 12th, 2017|Contract Condition|0 Comments

Korea ESL School’s Sick Leave

Sick Leave

sick leave

Taking a Sick Leave is ok but REMEMBER …

Koreans do not take frequent sick leaves due to illness. But exceptions are there for foreign teachers. The employment contract includes generally 3 sick leaves in a year.

Teachers are required to notify the employer and submit an accompanying proof of illness from a doctor.

If you are taking sick leave, then, do remember that you might be visited by your employer and he or she would take you to hospital. So, you cannot take sick leave for short vacations.

Since your co-workers are automatically the often-unwilling recipients of your classes if you call in sick, it’s not a good idea to do so unless you really are sick. Hangovers, or just having a bad day, won’t be acceptable excuses for missing teaching to either coworkers or management.

Legally, for any sick day taken, your employer can deduct a day’s salary unless you present an official note from a doctor. In practice, most employers don’t ask for this note unless someone has been absent for more than one day or has a history of one-day illnesses.

By | 2017-12-07T07:10:16+00:00 September 12th, 2017|Contract Condition|0 Comments

Korea ESL School’s Free Airfare to Korea

Free Airfare to Korea

free airfare to korea

Private School

  • Most private school (hagwons) employers offer prepaid flights into Korea from the teacher’s closest international airport. A smaller number of schools in this sector offer a full airfare reimbursement which the teacher receives shortly after arriving.
  • As for the flight home at the end of the contracted term; this benefit is no longer standard practice and varies from school to school. Some employers offer teachers a flight home at the end of the contracted term while others don’t and the teachers are required to purchase their own flight home.

Public School

  • Public schools offer an airfare reimbursement upon arrival or, an entrance allowance which equates to 1.3 million KRW to enter Korea and another 1.3 million KRW at the end of the contract to exit Korea and return home (exit allowance).

By | 2017-12-07T07:10:16+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Contract Condition|0 Comments

Korea ESL School’s Paid Vacation

Korea ESL School’s Paid Vacation

vacation

Paid Vacation in Korea ESL schools

Most private schools grant paid five days vacation in the summer and five days vacation in the winter in addition to 13-15 Korean National Holidays.
Public school teachers can expect 4 weeks of paid vacation time in addition to 13-15 Korean National holidays.

Official Korean National Holidays

Koreans officially follow the Gregorian calendar, even though there are a few holidays that are based on the lunar calendar. During the official holidays, offices and banks are closed but palaces, museums, most restaurants, department stores, and amusement facilities are open. Seollal and Chuseok are the most important traditional holidays for Koreans, so millions of people visit their hometowns to celebrate with their families during these times. On Seollal, Koreans hold a memorial service for their ancestors and perform Sebae, a formal bow of respect to their elders as a New Year’s greeting.

  • Solar New Year’s, January 1st 
  • Independence Movement Day, March 1
    This day commemorates the Declaration of Independence proclaimed on March 1, 1919, while under Japanese colonization. A reading of the declaration takes place in a special ceremony at Tapgol Park in Seoul, where the document was first read to the public.
  • Children’s Day, May 5
    On this day, parents dress up their little ones and take them to children’s parks, amusement parks, zoos, or to the cinema for a full day of fun and games.
  • Memorial Day, June 6
    Memorial Day is set aside to honor the soldiers and civilians who have given their lives for their country. The largest ceremony is held at the National Cemetery in Seoul.
  • Liberation Day, August 15
    This day commemorates Japanese acceptance of the Allies’ terms of surrender and the resulting liberation of Korea in 1945.
  • Foundation Day, October 3
    This day commemorates the founding of the Korean nation in 2333 B.C. by the legendary god-king Dangun. A simple ceremony is held at an altar on top of Mt. Manisan in Ganghwado Province. The altar is said to have been erected by Dangun to offer thanks to his father and grandfather in heaven.
  • Christmas Day, December 25
    Christmas is observed as a national holiday in Korea as in many other countries.
  • New Year’s (Seol-nal), 1st day of 1st lunar month, plus the day before and after
    Lunar New Year’s Day (Seollal) is one of the most important traditional holidays of the year; the holiday is much more significant than January 1st. Most businesses are closed, and people take several days off from work to visit their hometowns to be with their family. On the day of Seollal, everyone gets up early, puts on their best clothes, and bows to their elders as a reaffirmation of family ties. Feasts are held with specially prepared food such asttokguk and manduguk. People play traditional games, fly kites, or spin tops.
  • Buddha’s Birthday (Seokka Tanshin-il), 8th day of 4th lunar month
    The 8th day of the 4th lunar month. Elaborate, solemn rituals are held at many Buddhist temples across the country and lanterns are hung in the temple courtyards. The Sunday before Buddha’s birthday these lanterns are lit and carried in parades in the evening.
  • Harvest Moon Festival (Chuesok), 14-16th days of 8th lunar month
    Chuseok is one of the year’s most important traditional holidays. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Chuseok is often referred to as Korean Thanksgiving Day. It’s a celebration of the harvest and thanksgiving for the bounty of the earth. Family members come from all over the country to visit their ancestral homes.

Fun Korean Holidays for Couples and Friends

Korean people like making up special days so much that there is a holiday on the 14th of every month! Korean holidays are usually for family to spend time together, but here are major special days specifically for couples and friends.

Recently, these days are becoming commercial days that help many companies make a lot of money. Some people don’t like to celebrate it and spend a lot of money on it. However, the thought that people want to give gifts to lovers and friends is beautiful. Now you too can celebrate these days and confess your heart to your lover and friends!

  • February 14th: Valentine’s Day
    Valentine’s Day is celebrated in South Korea, but usually women give chocolate to men.
  • March 3rd : Samgyubsal Day
    You know how much Korean people love samgyubsal! The number 3 has the same Korean pronunciation as ‘sam’, so that’s why it is celebrated on the 3rd.
  • March 14th: White Day
    This is when the women reap what they sowed on Valentine’s Day by receiving gifts from men. However, women like to receive chocolate more than candy.
  • April 14th: Black Day
    This day if for single people. It’s a rather depressing day where singles eat a sticky, black-bean paste noodle dish called jjajangmyun and wish they had a love interest. Black coffee and black clothes are also needed.
  • June 14th: Kiss Day
    This is a good day to confess feelings to a crush and start a new relationship with your lover. Many companies, ranging from lipstick brands to breath mint makers, do their best to capitalize, offering special promotions.
  • July 14th: Silver Day
    Couples exchange silver rings and discuss future plans of marriage.
  • November 11th: Bbeabbea Day
    Because of the shape of Bbeabbearo, which look like the numbers of the day 11/11, it’s the day lovers and friends exchange Bbeabbearo with each other to wish that their relationships grow tall like Bbeabbearo.

By | 2017-12-07T07:11:00+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Contract Condition|0 Comments

Korea ESL School’s Deductions from Salary

Deductions from Salary

deductions from salary

From your salary, you are going to get the deductions of Income Tax, Pension, Health Insurance and others.

Check out how much you are going to get deductions from your salary from this article.

1. Income Tax (3% ~ 5%)

  • All teachers working in Korea on an E-2 Visa pays Korean taxes. It is your employer’s responsibility to file your taxes on your behalf, and it will be automatically deducted from you monthly pay check. 
  • Current rate is 3% to 5% of your salary depending on how much you make each month.
  • Public school teachers are exempt from paying income taxes during their first 2 years of employment. In order to request the Income Tax Exemption teachers must submit a ‘Residency Certificate’ that was issued by the appropriate government office from their country of citizenship. Canadians and Irish are not eligible for the income tax exemption.
  • Teachers need to submit their Residency Certificate to their school’s administrative office at the beginning of the contract (before the first salary is paid). The worker in charge of taxation will then submit it to the appropriate governing tax office
  • Those that worked for their first year at a hagwon or private school and then transfer to a public school, will only be able to claim 1 year of tax exemption with a valid Residency Certificate. 
  • Unfortunately the benefit is only applicable to those who are public school teachers and therefore employed by the government. Those that work for private institutions and after-school programs are not eligible.
  • If you pay income tax deductions out of your salary every month, then there is a possibility that you’re eligible for tax return or refund.
  • Foreign residents just like Korean nationals, are required to submit their tax forms on a yearly basis between Jan. 25 and Feb. 10. The employer must calculate the tax amount for the year and collect or refund the balance between what was withheld and what is due.
  • The year-end tax settlement is March 10th for employees.
  • The National Tax Service (NTS) has an English website at www.nts.go.kr/eng. The website offers automatic tax calculation service and a comprehensive tax guide in English.
  • The National Tax Service (NTS) publishes ‘The Easy Guide for Foreigners’ Year-end Tax Settlement‘ each year. ‘The Easy Guide for Foreigners’ Year-end Tax Settlement’ is published in December of the tax year. You can find an online copy of the guide on the National Tax Service website.
  • For more information or to inquire about specific tax-related issues in English, call the Tax Service English Hotline at 1588-0560
  • For information about global income tax returns, contact International Tax Resource Management Office of the NTS at 02-397-1444
  • Even though you are paying Korean taxes, you are not exempt from filing taxes in your home country.
  • There are specific policies on foreign-earned income which will discern whether or not you are required to pay tax in your home country on the income you earn in Korea.
  • You’ll generally be exempt if you (1) spend a certain number of days in the year working abroad and (2) you are paying taxes in Korea (which you are). Each country uses different terminology, but the concept is more or less the same. Further information is available through the tax agency in your home country.

2. National Pension Scheme (4.5%)

  • Current rate is 9% (4.5% will be deducted from teachers salary and another 4.5% will be paid by employer).
  • Due to Social Security Treaty of America (effective, April 2001), Canada (effective, May 1999), American and Canadian citizens can get their pension upon returning home. You can ask for a refund from the National Pension Corporation at the end of contract for the first 2 years. If you don’t ask for such a refund, it will be added to your pension period.
  • South Africans have the right to opt out of the pension plan.
  • Although Korean schools are required to pay into the Korean National Pension scheme, many employers fail to do so because there is no government office in place to monitor or enforce the rule. Schools that don’t offer the pension plan tend to offer higher salaries to compensate for the difference. Additionally, just because a specific school doesn’t pay into the scheme does not mean the school itself is not credible or financially stable.

3. National Health Insurance (2.24%)

  • Current rate is 4.48% (2.24% will be deducted from teachers salary and another 2.24% will be paid by employer).
  • The insurance will cover most of basic medical and dental necessities and the medical coverage won’t start until you receive your Alien Registration Card, which usually takes 2-4 weeks after your arrival. It is advised that all teachers buy travel insurance with medical coverage for 30-45 days following arrival in Korea in case.

4. Housing Deposit

  • Generally between 400,000 KRW to 900,000 KRW depending on schools policy (usually deducted from first three months salaries but may be negotiable).
  • This deposit is to cover any unpaid monthly service, utility, telephone charges and etc. at the completion of contract and employer agrees that payment of remaining amounts of the deposit will be made to employee at the end of contract period after all outstanding monthly service, utility, and telephone charges have been paid.

By | 2017-12-13T01:55:42+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Contract Condition|0 Comments

Getting Criminal Record Check / Apostille

Getting Criminal Record Check

And

Apostille

Clean Criminal Record Check Required

  • All teachers applying for ESL jobs in Korea should submit a Nationwide Criminal Record Check (CRC) with an authenticating Apostille Seal or a Korean Consulate verification stamp as an alternative to the Apostille Seal for Canadian teachers.
  • A Criminal Record Check (CRC) also referred to as a Criminal Background Check (CBC), is a document used to prove that you have not been convicted of a crime in the past. Korean Immigration requires that expatriates coming to work in South Korea have No Criminal Records. Those with criminal records of either felonies or misdemeanors are not eligible to teach English in South Korea. However traffic violations (such as speeding and parking citations) do generally not affect your criminal record for teaching in South Korea.
  • The CRC must have been issued within the last 180 days – CRC older than 6 months will not be accepted by Korean Immigration.
  • CRC is issued through third party providers are not acceptable with Korean Immigration. Meaning: you can NOT use a private company to obtain the criminal check; it MUST come directly from a police department or government office/bureau. Additionally, the checks that were ordered online & come as ‘print outs’ are NOT accepted by the Korean authorities.
  • Please find how to get Criminal Record Check and Apostille by country.

USA – Identity History Summary Check

  • The Identity History Summary Check issued by the FBI (previously known as a criminal record check) is required for the teachers from the United States.
  • Please NOTE that Korean Immigration does not accept the criminal record checks issued by individual states, only accepts the nationwide ones by the FBI or FBI-Approved Channelers.
  • There are 2 ways of getting the check. Please compare the options below in consideration of your Timeline, Costs and Service Convenience. Out of our confirmed experience, we recommend you to use one of Channelers for the fastest and surest result.
  • Getting the check through the FBI is a standard but Direct Request doesn’t mean speed or velocity at all. Notoriously it takes 10 to 12 weeks! It’s cheap but considering 6 month validity and job application process, you should be making a careful choice whether choosing the direct way. We recommend that you should use this method only when you have enough time in job/visa process.
  • When you mail your fingerprints to FBI CJIS Division, please make sure to include a Cover Letter explaining that you are applying to teach in South Korea and need the criminal record check for international use. The cover letter will allow the section chief that issues the criminal record check to pre-authenticate it with their signature and you can have it apostilled at the apostille authorities or the Department of State office.
  • FBI-approved Channeler is a private business that has contracted with the FBI to lighten the increasing burden of workload to expedite the delivery of Identity History Summary information on behalf of the applicants in line.
  • Currently getting a FBI check through a FBI-approved channeler is the quickest way.
  • Surprisingly it only takes about 2 to 3 days to get the results from the Channler that processes the FBI check applications electronically, but expect the additional fees that is worth investment.
  • Korea Immigration approves and accepts the results from the FBI-Approved Channelers without any issue because the result is totally identical to the one from the FBI.
  • After getting the check, please proceed to get an Apostille for International use.
  • Do NOT, for any reason what so ever, remove the staples and/or damage the apostille certificate. Korean Immigration will automatically reject any apostille authentication that looks like it’s been tampered with (detached, re-stapled, etc.).
  • There are 2 ways to secure the Apostille Authentication for an FBI check;
  • The U.S. Department of State Office of Authentications in Washington DC accepts requests via Mail or Walk-in Counter or Appointments.
  • Please NOTE that it would take almost 1 month to get it back from them via Mail request method. So DO NOT just mail your FBI criminal record check directly to the US Department of State if you don’t have enough time in job/visa process. You could opt to request the service via Walk-in Counter or Appointments but please firstly call the Office of Authentications to inquire about the delivery timeline.

Canada – Criminal Record Check

Canada Flag
  • Canadian teachers MUST secure National level FINGER-PRINT based checks from the RCMP. Name and DOB based checks or provincial level finger-print checks are NOT accepted by Korean Immigration.
  • It takes 5 to 10 days for the check to be processed by submitting electronic fingerprints to the RCMP.
  • To order your criminal record check, simply follow the instructions at Steps to obtain a certified Criminal Record on the RCMP website. It gives the instructions for applicants applying from Canada and also from overseas.
  • Submitting electronic fingerprints to the RCMP is not currently available outside of Canada. However, you can contact Accredited Fingerprint Companies within Canada who will digitize ink fingerprints taken overseas and submit them electronically to the RCMP on behalf of you.
  • Please NOTE that All Canadians must have their original RCMP criminal check and diploma certificates verified by the Korean Consulate/Embassy with a Consulate Verification Stamp because Canada is not a signatory of the Apostille treaty. First have them notarized by a notary public then mail or take the notarized ones to your nearest Korean Consulate or Embassy for the Consulate Verification stamp.
  • Remember to make a request for 2 notarized criminal checks, you might need an additional copy when applying for your E-2 visa at the consulate. 
  • Please NOTE that multiple applying teachers told us that the Korean Consulate in Montreal and Toronto may not require them to notarize the criminal checks. Please contact your nearest Korean Consulate for more specific details.

South Africa – Police Clearance Certificate

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  • South African teachers are required to submit a Police Clearance Certificate with an Apostille certificate.
  • To order your Police Clearance Certificate, simply follow the instructions at Applying for a Police Clearance Certificate on the South African Police Service (SAPS) website. It gives instructions for applicants applying from South Africa and also from overseas.
  • You can expedite to receive a police clearance certificate in 7 to 10 days by including a contract with a cover letter explaining your urgency in job/visa process. Please contact us at contact@gloii.com if you need a sample contract for this purpose. 
  • Police Clearance Certificate is required to have an Apostille for international use.
  • Please NOTE that the Legalisation (Apostillization) Service only apostilles a Police Clearance Certificate that is less than 3 months old.
  • Legalisation Office/Section at Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) processes Police Clearance Certificates and they are situated in Pretoria. Therefore your location decides how to get an apostille as following;
  • When you submit the application package to the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Pretoria, please make sure to request the Police Clearance Certificate to be Signed and Stamped
  • After receiving the Police Clarence Certificate, please visit Legalisation Office/Section at Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) in person to apostille your Police Clearance. You can get it back the same day!
  • Police Clearance Certificates Signed and Stamped by the SAPS’ Criminal Record Centre can be sent straight to the Legalisation Office/Section at DIRCO to get the Apostille Authentication.
  • Therefore when you send application package to SAPS’s Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria, please include a cover letter requesting the Police Clearance Certificate to be Signed and Stamped and DIRECTLY Sent to Legalisation Office/Section at DIRCO before it is returned to you.

UK -Basic Disclosure

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  • British teachers can apply online for what’s called a Basic Disclosure certificate via the Disclosure Scotland website. Please follow the instructions at Apply for Basic Disclosure guide page here.
  • The process takes about 14 days and costs 25 pounds.
  • You can apply online, if your current address is in the UK and if you have been living at this address for at least twelve months.
  • If you are living outside of the UK you will need to apply using a paper form.
  • Once you have a Basic Disclosure, it needs to be Apostilled. 
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)  is the best option for getting an apostille in the UK and it is faster and cheaper than other apostille services. Please follow the instructions at Get your document legalised on the GOV.UK website.
  • It normally takes 2 working days to process the Apostille job using the standard service, plus courier or postage time. Applications during peak periods around Easter and summer can take up to 10 days.

Ireland – Police Check Certificate

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  • Criminal Record Checks in Ireland are usually referred to as Police Checks, Police Clearance Letters or Certificates of Character.
  • You can secure Police Check Certificates by contacting the Garda Police Station in your jurisdiction and requesting a Police Check Certificate of Character.
  • Once they have your details you should get a number you can call to track it and generally it take 2 to 3 weeks for it to be delivered.
  • Once you have a Police Check Certificate, it needs to be Apostilled for International Use.  The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is the only office in Ireland that is able to authenticate documents. Please follow the instructions at Authenticating documents on the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Australia – National Police Check

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  • Australian teachers can request a National Police Check from Korea or anywhere else by contacting Australian Federal Police (AFP).
  • Once you have a National Police Check, it needs to be Apostilled for International Use. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is the office that Australian teachers must use for their Apostille authentications. Please follow the instructions for applicants applying from Australia and also from overseas at Legalising documents on the DFAT’s Smartraveller website.

New Zealand – Criminal Conviction History

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  • Criminal Record Check (Criminal Conviction History) issued by the Ministry of Justice is required for the teachers from the New Zealand. You need to have the check Apostilled for international use.
  • New Zealand teachers will need to download the proper form from the Ministry of Justice website and submit (via mail or email) a signed copy with an ink signature.
  • The Ministry of Justice says this process takes 20 working days, but they are often delayed & getting the apostille will add several more days. So the entire process takes almost 2 months!
  • However you can expedite to get your criminal check processed in 1 day and sent directly to the Authentication Unit at the Department of Internal Affairs for Apostille in 1 day.
  • To do this, please include a Contract in the criminal check application package with a Cover Letter explaining your urgency in job/visa process and asking the check to be on Original Letterhead with Ink Signature and DIRECTLY Sent to the Authentication Unit at the Department of Internal Affairs for Apostille whose address is ‘Authentication Unit, Department of Internal Affairs, PO Box 805 Wellington 6140
  • Please contact us at contact@gloii.com if you need a sample contract.
  • Before e-mailing your application package to the Ministry of Justice, you must arrange to pay for the apostille for your Criminal Record Check . Also please purchase a return courier bag so that your apostilled criminal check can be mailed back to you quicker than regular post! It only costs NZ$5, please pay for it at the same time you pay for your apostille.
  • Please follow the detailed instructions for apostille at Apostille Certification on the Department of Internal Affairs website.

By | 2017-12-13T02:04:33+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Application Process, Essentials|0 Comments
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