New Zealand Embassy Seoul, South Korea
Work visas for Korea
Korea Immigration Service
Korea Immigration Service, a division under Ministry of Justice, has offices throughout Korea and will be able to assist you with visa matters including questions about your visa status, alien registration, extention/renewal of sojourn period and changes in visa status. Please visit the Korea Immigration Service website for more information.
To work legally in Korea, one must obtain the appropriate employment visa. The Korean government tightly controls visa issuance for employment, and there have been instances in which teachers have been unable to obtain the appropriate visas. With effect from 15 December 2007 the government of the Republic of Korea has introduced new regulations that require an apostille certified criminal record check and a health certificate to be submitted with E-2 teaching visa applications or extension applications.
At this time, the New Zealand Embassy does not have any further information about what specifically the Korean authorities will require of E-2 visa applicants. If you have further questions, we suggest that you contact the Korea Immigration Service, Border Control Division, at 500-9116, 500-9117, or 500-9118. The New Zealand Embassy in Seoul is not able to provide a criminal record check service, nor can the Embassy authenticate record checks.
The Privacy Unit of the Ministry of Justice will provide information on criminal convictions. For information on how to obtain a copy of your criminal record and application forms please refer to their website.
The Authentication Unit of the Department of Internal Affairs issues Apostille Certificates. For information on how to obtain an Apostille Certificate please refer to their website.
Some expatriates have run into serious legal problems with the Korean Immigration Office because they have either accepted employment as English teachers while in Korea on a tourist visa or they accepted part-time employment or private classes without obtaining the proper permission. Violation of the Korea Immigration laws can result in severe penalties including imprisonment; fines of up to Won 50,000 for each day of overstay or deportation with a ban on re-entry, usually for up to two years. It is your responsibility to understand local laws and to obey them. The Embassy cannot assist you in any manner if you violate Korean visa laws, other than provide you with a list of attorneys.
Where to apply for a work permit for Korea
Please note, the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul is not responsible for issuing work permits for New Zealanders wishing to work in Korea.
A New Zealander who wants to come to Korea to work must first apply to the Korean Embassy in Wellington, providing details of the job that has been offered.
The address of the Korean Embassy in Wellington is:
Embassy of the Republic of Korea
11F ASB Bank Tower Building
2 Hunter Street
Telephone: 04 473-9073/4
Facsimile: 04 472-3865