Having worked with consulates previously through my experience studying abroad, plus my most recent employment in a study abroad office, I didn’t find the application process too confusing. There were plenty of people who did, so here’s some information about how to complete the E-2 Visa application for Korea.
Note: The information below is based on my experience successfully applying for and obtaining my E-2 visa for EPIK. For reference, I’m an American citizen who applied through the Los Angeles Consulate.
Guidance: Search on Google and you will find some helpful blogs as I did. My EPIK coordinator sent a detailed visa application guide to me the day before my documents arrived in the mail. Utilize the official Facebook group. There will be others who are ahead in the process and can tell you what they wrote on the application.
The application form: You can download a copy of this on your consulate’s website under the visa section. For the LA Consulate, there was only one application form.
Tips for completing the application:
- Type the information if you can. It’s easier to read and update if you have to make revisions. If you have large or sloppy handwriting (I have both), you can fit in more information than completing the application by hand.
Completing the application:
Section 1 – Personal Details
1.1 Family Name: Surname as written on your passport; Given Names: First and middle name(s) as written on your passport
1.2 (text written in Chinese and Korean): Write N/A unless this applies to you. If you can’t read it, it most likely doesn’t apply. (If you’re curious, it’s asking about another name.)
1.3 Sex: Check the box that applies
1.4 Date of Birth: Note the year/month/day format
1.5 Nationality: American
1.6 Country of birth: USA
1.7 National Identity Number: N/A (you don’t have to write your SSN which I’ve seen on other blogs)
1.8 Have you ever used any other names to enter or depart Korea?: Check yes or no; fill out information if the answer is yes.
1.9 Are you a citizen of more than one country?: Check yes or no; fill out information if the answer is yes.
Section 2 – Details of Visa Issuance Confirmation:
Leave everything blank. Despite what I’ve read on some blogs, EPIK does not give visa issuance numbers and it is not the number written on your NOA. EPIK confirmed that you leave this section entirely blank. In their own words (on Facebook): “The NOA number is for our use. You do not receive a visa issuance number. If the embassy/consulate is asking you for one, they are confused. Please stress that your are an EPIK applicant as procedures and requirements differ for other teaching applicants.”
Section 3 – Passport Information
3.1 Passport type: Check “regular” unless you have a special passport.
3.2-3.6 Passport number, country of passport, place of issue, date of issue, date of expiry: Most of these are self-explanatory except the place of issue. I wrote “California, USA” since that is where I received my passport, but others said on Facebook that they wrote USA, US Department of State, etc.
3.7 Do you have any other valid passport?: Check yes or no; fill out information if the answer is yes.
Section 4 – Contact Information
Everything is self-explanatory. Write updated information that you currently check.
Section 5 – Marital Status Details
Section 6 – Education
Section 7 – Employment
This asks about your CURRENT employment, not your employment with EPIK. I had already left my job so I checked “unemployed” and did not write any other information.
Section 8 – Details of Sponsor
EPIK will send information about the different MOE/POE offices and their contact information. Write the contact information for your MOE/POE. The sponsor is not EPIK, but your specific office of education. For the phone number, I used the number with the Korean dialing code. I don’t think it really matters which you use (calling from US or in Korea) as long as you are consistent.
Section 9 – Details of Visit
9.1 Purpose of visit: Check “work”
9.2 Intended period of stay: 13 months
9.3 Intended date of entry: Write EPIK’s designated arrival date, or the date you plan to arrive if it’s earlier. According to some of the EPIK coordinators, this date is arbitrary as long as it is before the date you will enter Korea. The date format isn’t given but I wrote out the month to avoid any confusion over switching the day and month format.
9.4-9.5 Address and contact information in Korea: Use the contact information of your MOE/POE as discussed in Section 8. Even if you’re arriving early and will stay in a hotel, you should only write your MOE/POE.
9.6 Have you traveled to Korea in the last 5 years?: Check yes or no; fill out information if the answer is yes
9.7 Have you traveled outside your country of residence, excluding to Korea, in the last 5 years?: Fill out the table if you have only visited a few countries. I needed more space so I wrote “See attached” on the first row of the table. I re-created the table in Microsoft Word and filled out all the places I’d been to. I put this sheet at the end of the application and included my name and DOB in case the sheet was separated.
9.8 Are you travelling to Korea with any family member?: Check yes or no; fill out information if the answer is yes.
Section 10 – Funding Details
Here’s where I’ve seen a LOT of discrepancy in the advice that EPIK provided. My own coordinator said to write $1000 (which makes sense as travel expenses for the flight), but others were told to write $12,000 to cover the whole year, or to write the amount of the plane ticket plus what you’ll carry in cash (roughly $2000). According to EPIK (on Facebook): “The exact amount is not important as long as it is reasonable.”
In the question that asks who will pay for your travel-related expenses (Question 10.2), again this is your MOE/POE. For example, I wrote the Busan Office of Education. The relationship is my employer. For the type of support, I wrote, “housing, etc. (monthly salary will be provided)”. Write the same phone number that you provided previously in Section 8.
Section 11 – Assistance With This Form
Check yes or no; fill out information if the answer is yes.
Section 12 – Declaration
Fill out the date (note the year/month/day format) and sign on the line.
And that’s everything! Most of these questions are self-explanatory. The trickiest parts for me were the contact information while in Korea, sponsor, and financial information, but once I received the detailed visa guide from EPIK, it was clear what to write. Any place that is asking for contact information will always be your MOE/POE, so don’t get confused.