How to Apply for ESL Jobs in Korea

A to Z guideline

How to Apply for ESL Jobs in Korea - A to Z guideline

We are laying the ENTIRE Application/Hiring process out from A to Z and helping you through it step-by-step so you are comfortable and know what is going on at all times.

E-2 Visa Procedures for English Teachers to Korea

  • The E-2 visa is the specific visa for individuals coming to Korea as an English Teacher. The E-2 visa is sponsored by educational institutions such as public schools, private academies (hagwons), and at universities. The visa must have prior agreed upon sponsorship by one of those institutions in order to obtain. An E-2 visa is valid for 13 months, and must be renewed with each new contract or continuing contract.
  • Assuming that you have all the required Visa Documents in your possession, the entire placement process will usually take 1 – 2 months from the point of online application to actual start teaching.
  • Please refer to the following major steps you’re going through.

STEP 0:  Begin Gathering Up Visa Documents (1~2 months)

  • Gather the following documents ASAP because it takes most of time in process.
  • Please follow these directions exactly as any variation will be rejected by Korean Immigration.
  • Obtaining these documents is typically what delays departure to Korea so begin working on these IMMEDIATELY.
  • Please keep us posted of your gathering progress. It is very important to calculate your approximate start date.
  • Required Visa Documents;
    • Notarized and Apostilled photocopy of your Bachelor’s Diploma
    • Notarized and Apostilled Nationwide Original Criminal Record/Background Check
    • Application for Visa Issuance
    • Self Medical Assessment for Immigration
    • A color scan of the information page of your Passport
    • (4) passport sized photos (3.5cm x 4.5cm)
    • Resume with correct mailing address and phone number (the resume must bear your signature)
    • (if any) Photocopy of TESOL/TEFL/CELTA Certificate(s)
    • (if any) Photocopy of your Master’s Diploma
    • For Gyopo (Korean American) teacher, prepare either the Photocopy of F4 visa or Permanent Residenceship Certificate

STEP 1: Submit Your Application (5~10 mins)

  • Submit online application via ‘Apply for ESL Jobs‘ page. It only takes a few miniatures as we minimize the application items as simple as possible.
  • If you have any questions regarding application process, please let us know by sending email to for prompt assistance.

Related Links/Downloads

STEP 2: Review and Pre Interview (1~3 days)

  • We will review your application and contact you via email to set up a pre interview over phone or Skype.
  • During the interview, the below topics will be discussed mainly and your questions will be answered;
    • Please introduce yourself briefly.
    • Please let us know why you want to teach ESL in Korea.
    • Please let us know your educational philosophy and how to motivate/encourage students.
    • Please let us know how you would cope with the cultural differences.
  • Through the pre interview,  your qualification, experience and preference will be checked and you’ll be introduced to our nationwide Public and Private schools for prospect interview set-ups.

STEP 3: School Interview and Offer (1 day)

  • We will notify you soon as any school asks us to interview with you with the details about the position information and condition
  • We will schedule the interview if you accept the interview invitation after the position review.
  • The interview will be conducted over phone or Skype taking about 15mins – 30mins.
  • Upon successful interview, you’ll be given the formal Job Offer from the school with official contract.
  • You are going to review the contract and having any questions, those will be answered by us and the school and even current foreign teachers with whom we’re going to connect you up for objective information on working and living around the job.
  • If everything turns out to be ok, you are going to sign, scan and email the signed contract back to us for securing a position.

STEP 4: E-2 Visa Issuance Number (in Korea, 2 weeks)

  • In order to legally work in Korea, the E-2 visa (work visa for English Teachers) is needed for foreigners who will teach English in Korea.
  • Soon as gathering all the required Visa documents, please mail them which are listed in STEP 0 via Express Mail Service (UPS, FedEx, DHL or any others in your country) for your Visa Issuance Number. After mailing, send us the tracking number.
  • Before mailing, make a photo copy of your Diploma and Criminal Record Check with Apostilles to be used in STEP 5.
  • The school submits your documents (Statement of Purpose and Sponsorship Guarantee form) to the Korean Immigration Bureau for getting the number.
  • CHECK POINTS before you sending;
    • Make sure you have a valid passport that does not expire in the near future (check expiration date)
    • Criminal check: Is it apostilled? Is the word ‘Apostille’ there on the paper? Is there written ‘No Record’ in original paper? Is it issued by authorized institute?
    • Degree: Can you find ‘BA’ or “‘BS” on your degree?
    • Please advise us if you will be answering YES to any of the questions on the Health Statement Form.

STEP 5: Visa Interview (in Your Country) and Flight Ticket Arrangement (1 week)

  • We will email you the visa issuance number issued by the Korean Immigration Bureau.
  • Now that you have been approved/confirmed for a visa, you will need to receive the actual visa by sending the following documents to the nearest Korea consulate. Use expedited shipping.
  • Please NOTE that each Korean consulate handles the visa process differently so make sure to call ahead for double check for the items to be prepared and sent. Some consulates will require an in-person interview, others will require a phone interview and the rest do not require an interview at all.
  • On average it will take approximately 5 ~ 10 business days from when the consulate receives your request (not including shipping time). We strongly recommend using a tractable overnight carrier to send your visa documents to the consulate.
  • To expedite the process, you can send the required documents to the Korean consulate with jurisdiction over your area by courier before receiving the visa issuance number, and then call the number in by phone once it is received. This will save some leg-work, but you should call before sending in their documents to verify that this can be done. And as visas are issued faster if the teacher goes to the consulate in person, as opposed to sending their passport and documents via courier, check in with the consulate if that option might be feasible.
  • Following is the general list of items you will need to take/send to the Korean consulate prior to your interview;
    • Passport with at Least 6 months remaining validity (They will stamp it with the visa and send it back to you. Some consulates process the visa electronically issuing the Visa Grant Notice. It depends on the consulate/embassy)
    • Filled-out Application for Visa form (Your school’s information is written in the employment contract that you signed.)
    • (1) passport-sized photo (3.5cm x 4.5cm) attached to the Visa Application
    • Consul’s checklist
    • Pre-address and stamped express mail envelope for the Consulate to use when mailing your passport back to you once processed (If you want to collect your passport in person, please consult ahead if that’s optional)
    • Cash (for visiting in-person) or Money Order (for mailing-in). The Visa Fee (US citizens: $45 USD / UK citizens: £154 / Canada citizens:  $78 CAD / Ireland citizens: €54 / New Zealand: $60 USD / South Africa: $60 USD / Australia: A$ 156 – Please check with Consulate General for the exact amount)
    • CANADIAN APPLICANTS ONLY!: Canadian applicants will need to have one set of Sealed University Transcripts as this is a requirement by Canadian Korean Consulates.
    • And any additional items each Korean consulate require you to submit.
  • Once you have scheduled your interview with the consulate, please notify us for us to book the flight ticket timely.

STEP 6: Visa Issued! and Fly over to Korea and Start Teaching

  • Receive your passport back after your visa has been processed. Check inside your passport to verify that a new page with your Korean visa has been inserted. Now you’re ready to come to South Korea! Congratulations!
  • Once you arrive in Korea, an escort meets you at the airport and transports you directly to the school. Arrival and contact information is always given to you prior to departure.

After Arrival: Medical Check Up (1 day)

  • In order to obtain your Alien Registration Card (ARC) and register yourself to the local Office of Education, you will first need to get a Medical Check Up done at a designated local Hospital.
  • The medical exam will check for general health conditions, narcotics usage, as well as certain diseases. The check will consist of an x-ray, blood test, as well as various physical tests.
  • It takes 3~7 days to get the results for these tests and they are mandatory.
  • Please request 2 copies of the results before taking the test. One copy will be for your ARC application and the other will be for submitting to your school.
  • The following documents are required for the Medical Check Up;
    • 2~3 Passport size photos
    • Valid Passport
    • Fee: 60,000KRW – 150,000KRW (varies by Hospital)

After Arrival: Alien Registration Card (ARC) (1~2 weeks)

  • Once the results of the Medical Check are processed, you will visit the local Immigration Office to apply for your Alien Registration card (ARC).
  • All foreign teachers must apply for ARC within 90 days of arriving in Korea. Your ARC is a form of official identification. The Korean government requires all non-Korean citizens working in Korea to obtain this ID and carry it on their person at all times.
  • All foreign teachers need to return to the Immigration Office to pick up their Alien Registration Card. The process often takes between 7 and 14 days. Alternatively, a paid courier service can deliver the card. Please note that you will have to surrender your passport during this period, so plan accordingly.
  • The Alien Card is necessary to obtain Identification such as a Cell Phone, Bank account, Credit Card, etc.
  • And having an ARC also allows you to be enrolled in the Korean National Health/Medical Insurance and Pension Plan.
  • The following documents are required to apply;
    • Application form for Alien Registration
    • A color scan of the information page of your passport and original passport
    • (1) passport-sized photo
    • (1) photocopy of accommodation contract
    • (1) signed Confirmation Letter of Accommodation Residency
    • (1) sealed medical test results
    • A copy of the Business License of the employer or school
    • Fee: 30,000KRW