This has been talked about on Dave's, with several people saying they were hearing this from various sources. I got an email today from the foreign teacher coordinator for my district education office which reads:
I'm sure you've heard about the new requirements for getting a visa. Since the new rules turned out to be so difficult, the office of immigration decided to delay implementing the new regulations until 2012. If you plan on staying in Korea past 2012, keep in mind that eventually you will need an apostilized copy of your college diploma and a complete background check from your home country.You'd think that immigration might have figured this out when they implemented the last set of visa regulation changes three years ago that these things take time, especially when requiring a federal criminal check that takes 3-4 months to receive. That said, some of what they plan to implement looks good, such as entering diplomas into a database for at least 10 years, allowing criminal record checks to stay on file so that they are not needed if the applicant is out of the country for less than three months between visas, and tacking on an extra month to each one year entry period.
In other news, several news outlets are reporting that language teachers on E-2 visas will be able to work for companies and public institutions starting from December. Up until now it's only been legal for E-2s to work at hagwons, schools, or training institutes, and this will allow companies to have in-house language teachers (or so says Yonhap). [And now the Korea Times].