Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New E-2 rules to be postponed to 2012

[Update: The delay applies only to people already in the country who are renewing their visas - see here for more details.]

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].


Gary Norris said...

pretty cool news. thanks, matt. i guess i should go ahead and get the apostilled degrees anyway. but the crim background checks are only good for one year, right? so, i guess i'll wait on that.

that these things can't be handled via institutions on behalf of employees is strange. i'm fine paying, but the idea that it's more secure coming from one agency to me and then from me to another agency is weird.

why we can't work through our respective State Depts is a good indicator of how old the politicians and bureaucrats are who are writing regs, laws and working as civil servants.

Zilchy said...

Matt - "That said, some of what they plan to implement looks good, such as entering diplomas into a database for at least 10 years, allowing CRC's to stay...... and tacking on an extra month......"

It looks really good and one might view these ideas as basic common sense. Thanks for the update!

Chris in South Korea said...

So the extra month to one's contract won't happen until 2012, and neither will the checks... Just when you got a handle on things they change... Welcome to Korea...

Not that I don't completely trust your blog, but I'd love to see an official source whenever it's translated into English :)

Valerie said...

is the delay only for teachers already in Korea? Im currently applying for a visa (as a new teacher returning a year after taking a break) and having trouble with the fbi check apostille....My school is still making me turn in these documents now. If it was delayed then why are they insisting that I must have the apostille on the fbi check?

matt said...

The regulations have been postponed only for teachers already in the country and renewing contracts. I posted an update here. I'll post a link at the top of this post as well.