Korean E-2 Visa Process: The Triumphant Phone Call

7 01 2011

On Monday, all but $6 of my November paycheck went to FedEx. I finally got all of my documents back, signed and sealed with the proper Apostille documentation.

Seriously, $110 to send my documents to Korea? It would have been tons cheaper had my recruiter made the stupid photo copies themselves, but NOOOOOoooo, I had to send 4 identical copies of a 15 page document, plus photo copies of all the other documents. Shoot me now.

After I emailed them the clearly marked tracking number and the website, only to get a message back that asked, “What’s the tracking number?” I began to realize that this roller coaster is either going to go flying down in a flaming death spiral, or things were going to get strangely easier. It was beginning to look like the Indo coin toss. Heads, dealing with some complicated fiasco that really ends in no positive result, usually involving some sort of a.) traffic jam, b.) bureaucratic procedure, c.) a natural disaster, or d.) all of the above. Tails was usually always my favorite. This usually involved a.) phenomenal student activities, b.) weddings, c.) Storm, or d.) any adventure I went on. Hopefully Korea can live up to the high bar that my life in Indonesia set.

In my most recent email from my recruiters in Korea, I was told I needed to contact my nearest Consulate General as soon as possible to find out if I needed an interview, (as mentioned again in a recent post.) So I called, but they were closed, so I called again today. After understanding only 2 phrases while listening to the options in Korean, “Hello” and “Thank you for calling,” I was offered only one option in English. “Press 7 now.” Alright. That was easy enough.

After being directed to the visa specialist, Nellie (immediate thought: “again/another one?!? Heads or tails?”),  I asked about scheduling an interview for an E-2 visa. She asked if I was going to work at a public or private school, and what program I was going with. She was very friendly and helpful and gave me the best answer I could have hoped for.

“No, you don’t need to send us all of those documents. Actually, you don’t need an interview at all.”

“WHHHHHAAAAATTTT????”

Glorious angels started singing the “Hallelujah Chorus.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love Seattle, but if I don’t have to drive 6 hours to get there for a 5 minute interview, I’ll gladly take the other mail-order visa option. For those of you who are going through the same process, here’s the final list of documents you’ll need to send. Please call and confirm before you send these things, just the be sure.

  1. Completed Visa Application
  2. Valid Passport
  3. 1 Passport Photo
  4. $45 USD Cash or Money Order
  5. 1 Official Sealed University Transcript
  6. Notice of Appointment from Korean School/Program
  7. Completed, Signed Contract
  8. Self Addressed, Stamped Return Envelope

Mail the docs to your local Korean Consulate, and in about a week, you should have your shiny new E-2 visa!  Hooray tails!

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