From. E - 취업

E-2 Visa (Foreign Language Instructor)

언어설정 english,chinese

Foreigners that come to Korea to teach English or other foreign languages (Elementary, Middle school, High school, or Hagwons) may apply for an E-2 visa.


E-2 Visa:

Foreign Language Instructor
Legal to Work: Yes    Health Insurance: Yes   Tax: Yes  Invite Family: Yes


Eligible applicants:

  • Non-Visa Holders (Native Speakers who wish to teach a foreign language in Korea), D-10 

For those who wish to teach English  they should have the following requirements:

  • Should be a Native English Speaker*
  • A citizen of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa
  • Should have a University degree from an accredited school in one of the mentioned countries above
  • Clean criminal record

*only citizens from the countries mentioned above are eligible to be called “native speakers” in Korea



Contract Duration + 1 month

If your contract is valid for 12 months, the officer is most likely to give you 13 months visa validity.


Required Documents: 

  • Apostilled (certified) criminal background check (See below for more details)
  • Apostilled(certified) copy of your University diploma
  • 2 University Transcripts in separate officially sealed envelopes


  • Application Form
  • Signed work contract
  • 4 Passport size Photos + 2 (2inches x 2 inches) Photos
  • Passport (with at least 6 months validity and at least 1 empty page) 
  • Copy of the bio page of your passport
  • Health statement with original ink signature
  • Resume


  • Visa Issuance Number (to be processed by the school)



Estimate $45 



Before coming to Korea, you should have all your documents prepared beforehand. You should already have a work contract before you can obtain the E-2 visa. You also have the option of looking for jobs before coming to Korea or coming to Korea as a tourist, look for a job, then change your visa to an E-2 Visa.


Note: You cannot change your tourist visa within the country, so you have to make a visa run to a 3rd country to get your E-2 visa.


Visa Issuance Number:

  • The school you are working for will take the documents to the Korean Ministry of Justice and Immigration to get a Visa Issuance Number (necessary for the application)
  • The Visa Issuance number will be issued between 7 ~ 10 days


How to apply:

Step 0: You should secure a work contract and gather all the necessary documents necessary for the application

Step 1: Gather and submit all the documents to the consulate

Step 2: In-Person Interview

Once you have successfully submitted the necessary documents, the consulate will contact you and arrange a schedule for an In-person interview. 

Step 3: Visa Release

If the interview has gone well, you will receive your E-2  visa within a few days

Step 4: Medical Check-up

You should get a full medical checkup within 90 days of your arrival in Korea. The test usually checks for HIV/Aids, Ebola, and narcotics.


Criminal Background Checks:

United States Citizens

  • Should get an FBI background check and have it apostilled
  • Have your fingerprints taken and send in an application for the criminal background check. This process usually takes between 8~10 weeks
  • Once you have the background check, you have to get it appostilled by the department of state
  • The background check should be no older than 6 months when applying for the E-2 visa


Canadian Citizens

  • Should get a notarized and verified copy of a Certified Criminal Record Check
  • Should submit a national-level fingerprint check
  • Electronic Submissions take 10-12 days to process, while mailing takes 12 weeks to process
  • The Certified Criminal Record Check should be no older than 6 months when applying for the E-2 visa


United Kingdom Citizens

  • Should have an apostilled copy of a Basic Disclosure
  • To request for a Basic Disclosure, you should provide: Passport, Driving License or National Insurance Number, Utility Bill, Previous Disclosure, Addresses of previous 5 years. It takes around 2 weeks to process
  • Citizens from Ireland should provide an apostilled copy of a Police Certificate obtained by the Gardai. This usually takes 3~4 weeks


Australian Citizens

  • Should have an apostilled copy of a National Police Check. The process takes around 3 weeks.
  • The copy of the National Police Check should be no older than 6 months


New Zealand Citizens

  • Should have an apostilled copy of a Criminal Record Check from the Ministry of Justice. The process takes 3 weeks to 2 months 
  • The copy of the Criminal Record Check should be no older than 6 months


South African Citizens

  • Should have a apostilled copy of a Police Clearance Certificate. The process takes up to 2 months
  • The copy should not be older than 6 months 


University Diploma

  • The applicant should have completed a 4-year course from an accredited university. Courses which are only equivalent to a 4-year course may not be considered
  • It is not necessary to send the original copy, only the apostilled/certified copy



Do I need to have a teaching certificate to receive an E-2 visa?

No, a teaching certificate is not necessary to get the visa, however, employers would prioritize people with teaching certificates.


Can english speakers from countries not recognized as a “Native English-speaking country” teach English in Korea?

By law, no. The Korean government strictly enforces the rule that only native speakers can get the E-2 visa. However, F visa holders may also teach foreign languages legally if they  meet the school’s requirements. 


I am not considered a “Native English Speaker” because I am not from the countries mentioned above, but I graduated from a school/university in one of the mentioned countries. Can I teach english in Korea?

The rules on this is a bit vague. But most people would say that it is still not allowed for these kinds of applicants to get an E-2 visa. 


How long does it take to prepare everything to get a visa?

It depend on how fast you can get your requirements and certifications. Typically E-2 visa holders have reported that  it takes 6 months to prepare the documents and get the teaching certification. The actual visa processing can be completed within a few days or weeks


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