I will be finishing my current contract with a university at the end of August. I have an E1 visa until August 25. I am wondering if there will be any problem with me leaving Korea for a week or so and then come back on a tourist visa for the fall semester. I realize Americans have a 3 month tourist visa, so I would have to take a weekend trip to Japan or something to have it "reset." My plan is to take some online classes and maybe do some "part time work" and then go back on the job market for spring semester. My boyfriend and I have our own apartment, so housing is not a problem. I'm just curious if you know of any complications that can arise as a result of staying in Korea on a tourist visa for an extended period of time.
If I understand this correctly, you'll be finishing your E1 on the 25th and be leaving the country within the time allotted by Immigration only to return a week later on a tourist visa. So, if you were to return in early September on a tourist visa, you would be given 90 days in the country. That would give you until the end of November to depart once again. At that point, you could leave the country for a few days again and then come back on a fresh tourist visa until you find another gig and therefore visa sponsor.
I don't see any problem with this except for the fact that tourist visas are issued only with proof of through travel or a departing ticket. In most cases, you will not be issued a tourist visa without your departing ticket. That's easy to get around though. All you need to do is buy a refundable ticket to show to immigration. Once you're through customs and legally back in the country on a tourist visa, all you'll need to do is cancel the ticket and you're gold. There shouldn't be any problems if you follow those simple steps.