Monday, June 29, 2009

Job Placement and Visa Processing Times for South Korea

Here's the question:

I was just wondering about the average time it takes from first applying for teaching jobs in korea to actually going there? i'm 100% keen on going to south korea but first i'll be in the USA from aug 6th to sept 14th and i'm hoping to get to korea hopefully no more than 2/3 months after i return to england. Will it soon enough if i start applying straight after coming back from the USA or do i need to start applying for jobs now with the intention of leaving in november time?

There is no set time frame, however, there are some things that you can do to get the ball moving. First of all, request your criminal background check now. Do it while you're still in the UK. Secondly, get your medical check done now as well. Once you have all of your required documents, the actual processing time is pretty fast, so preparing that stuff BEFORE heading to the US is helpful.

Both of those things are simple enough to get done before you leave for the US. While you're in the US, start talking to recruiters and considering who and where you want to teach. Don't do any serious looking until you're about to return to the UK though. By chatting with recruiters via email or telephone, you'll be able to get a better idea of what the market is like and how fast you'll be placed. Once in the UK, you can get serious with recruiters/schools, interview with the consulate and start saying your goodbyes.

As I said, there is no set time frame, but if you do it right, I'd say from the moment you seriously start talking with recruiters to touch-down in Korea, five to six weeks would have passed which fits in your aforemention time frame.

If anybody has any questions, just send me an email at or leave a comment.


Chris in South Korea said...

Don't forget to get multiple copies of your university transcripts - if you stay longer you might get extra copies. Getting them sent in from a foreign country can be a pain, and they're just pieces of paper so they don't add much to your luggage's weight :)

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't bother w/ a medical check. My school refused my medical check ... it had to be done locally and with all the new regulations. I had my previous medical check done in Korea. Medical checks are not very expensive here compared to the US.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Expat said...

That's good thinking, Chris. I've known some people to have major problems with transcripts being sent over.

Will schools release more than one at a time?

Thanks for the advice, Anon.

Anonymous said...

Hi, i was wondering if my mobile phone will work in korea or should i sell it and get a another one in there?
Thanks in advance

The Expat said...

Well, you're going to have to tell me where you are or where your phones service is from first and then I can try to help.

Anonymous said...

Re: University transcripts

My university sells transcripts as either sealed or unsealed documents and allows alumni to order as many as they need at a time. When I graduated I ordered 5 sets, and even had the woman working at the administrative office sign and date two of the envelopes for Korean Immigration purposes.

Having said that, since I've stayed at the same job since coming to Korea I haven't needed to use any of the extra copies. They are nice to have, though.

Lorne said...

This time I will post under my name and not "anonymous" (I only did so because I was in a bad mood anyway). I will stand by my comment that was deleted by the administrator, which I shan't repeat here since that would obviously cause this post, too, to be deleted.

As one who has had to hire/fire NSETs in Korea, I was honestly suggesting that along with the good advice you give re: transcripts, you should also suggest that said questioner also revisit his original email. There is no excuse for such flagrant violations of the English language (minor though they might be) in a prospective teacher.

I have lived/taught here a long, long time, and I enjoy the answers you provide to questions posed to this blog. I have yet to disagree with any of them since I discovered it. It does behoove one who does want to become a teacher of said language to follow the standards of that language when making a first introduction, especially when it is done electronically (as opposed to face-to-face).

I would hope this comment is not deleted as well. It is not an attack or snide slash, simply a bit of advice from one who has done the hiring. If so requested, I shall restate my comment in, what will surely be seen as a less belligerent manner.

blakemore said...

will a high resolution photocopy of my degree transcripts be accepted?

The Expat said...

In most cases, you will need the original transcripts. There is no need for copies. Your Uni should provide the originals.

John from Daejeon said...

For those interested, after signing on for another year at the same hagwon (it will be my fourth), I only needed to submit a new contract along with my AR Card and passport to the local immigration office which my boss presented, and paid for (30,000 won--single re-entry) without me. No new checks or a need for more transcripts were involved at all. The new re-entry permit was actually a computer printout and not a stamp this time.

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