The debate of whether these changes were necessary is certainly enthralling. Here they are:
***UPDATE: Check this blog because it has a more precise take on the dates these new laws will take affect.
"New E2 visa regulations (applied by 15 July 2010)Korean Ministry of Justice (Korean immigration office) decided to updating E2 visa application regulation and it has been applied since 15 July 2010. Currently EPIK or any of education board is not making official announcement regarding strict E2 visa regulation but somehow applicant will have benefit by suffering apply national level of Criminal background check such as FBI or RCMP.
Major change of E2 visa application regulations
1. Criminal Background Check.Current E2 visa regulations and office of education (including EPIK, SMOE and GEPIK) accepts apostilliezed state level of criminal background check but now applicant must obtain "National Level of Criminal Background Check" such as FBI and RCMP.
Current (State or above Level of Criminal Background Check) ------- Now (National Level of Criminal Background Check)
2. Apostillized Academic BA diplomaPublic school teachers must obtain Apostillized copy of BA diploma but Hagwon teachers didn't have to until yesterday. Now immigration office wants Apostillized Academic BA diploma (please find more about apostille stamp)
Current (Original BA Diploma is acceptable / Education board is not accepting Original BA DIPLOMA) -------- Now (Copy of BA diploma must attach Apostille Stamp)
3. Medical Test (Including Cannabinoid test)Marihuana or any of hard drug is forbidden in South Korea and your employer can terminate your contract if you will smoke Marihuana or found record that you did. In 2007 Korean government started medical check up including Cannabinoid test but it was excluded since 2009 but now you must take a medical test at designated hospital after arriving in South Korea in order to applying Aliens Registration Card.
Current (Medical test including TBPE and HIV) ----- Now (TBPE and Cannabinoid + HIV)
4.Visa Validation PeriodE2 visa was valid only 12 month after first date in South Korea. Now we will have 13month valid E2 visa and your visa issuance record will be valid for 3month after you leave South Korea so if you want to apply new E2 visa no later than 3month passed then you don't have to provide national level of criminal background check.
Current (12 month valid E2 visa upon arrival) ------- Now (13 month valid E2 visa upon arrival)
Current (New CRC must be submitted if you apply New E2 visa) -------- Now (New CRC is not required up to 3month after expiration of your old E2 visa)
5. E2 visa for IndianCurrently only 7 country citizen can apply E2 visa (U.S.A, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) but Korean Government decided to hire 100 Indian teacher for year 2011. Indian teachers will be placed by Korean government and there is not recruiting agency can place Indian teacher for hagwon or public schools. Government will not issue working E2 visa no more than 100 for 2011 and depends on case study of 2011, Korean government may increase number of Indian teacher for public schools in South Korea.
Current (Only 7 countries can apply E2 visa) -------- Now (7 countries + Indian but limited by 100 teachers per year)"
*NOTE: It is not clear whether these changes are only for Public School positions or for all positions that cover the E2 visa (including private, public and after-school public programs). Something to ask your recruiter.
Links that will help you in this situation:
California resident Apostille info (Other State members will have other processes)
Follow these guidelines to Apostille.
*Something warm and fuzzy to help you cope.