Thursday, December 23, 2010

The new E-2 visa regulations will be put in place - with exceptions

It seems the new E-2 visa regulations are to be put in place, but there is an exception being made for those renewing contracts. Ben Wagner used the e-People site to write an e-petition to the government asking them for clarification on the new regulations, and sent me the response. The site can be used to ask questions of or make proposals to government agencies (Anti English Spectrum has used it on many occasions), and offers instructions in English on how to file a petition. Below is the question and response:
Q: "According to this official MOJ notice the '범죄경력검증 강화' (enhanced criminal record verification) process will begin effective 2010.12.31. However, many E-2 visa holders have been informed by their schools that the '범죄경력검증 강화' (enhanced criminal record verification), which require countrywide (FBI, etc.) criminal background checks has been delayed by the Ministry of Justice until 2012.

I see no confirmation of any delay on the Ministry of Justice website. Will the '범죄경력검증 강화' (enhanced criminal record verification) begin as planned in 2011? Or is it correct that the '범죄경력검증 강화' (enhanced criminal record verification) has been delayed until 2012?"


A: "Ministry of Justice decided to strengthen the verification for the qualification of E-2 visa applicants, and required them as of January 1, 2011. to submit the criminal record that manifests nationwide criminal background check of the applicant at the time The Certificate of Eligibility for Visa Issuance would be applied.

Regarding this, the transitional provisions was prepared as follows;

'In case E-2 visa holders who got the visa by submitting such criminal record ineligible under the current regulation, entered Korea before July 15, 2010. and have stayed since that time have the visa expiration date after January 1, 2011. and wish to renew the stay, they should apply for the extension of stay with the submission of the criminal record that manifests nationwide criminal background check'.

However, considering the extenuating circumstance that preparation of the nationwide criminal record takes long time, new transitional provisions was prepared as follows;

'In case E-2 visa holders who got the visa by submitting such criminal record ineligible under the current regulation before December 31, 2010. and have stayed in Korea have the visa expiration date after January 1, 2011. and wish to renew the stay, they should apply for the extension of stay with the submission of the criminal record that manifests nationwide criminal background check when they apply for the second time since January 1, 2011.'.

For example, if a E-2 visa holder who got the visa on February 15, 2010. with the ineligible criminal record under the current regulation and has stayed for a year, the person does not have to submit the nationwide criminal record at the first renewal application probably in February 2011., but should submit it by the second renewal application (maybe in February 2012.).

cf) The application for the Certificate of Eligibility for Visa Issuance for E-2 which is applied after January 1, 2011. should accompany the criminal record that manifests nationwide criminal background check.

If you have a further question, you can get specific information from below.

-Immigration contact center (☏ without an area code 1345)."
To sum up, anyone renewing a contract does not have to submit the federal criminal record check for a year (should they renew again), but I'm not quite certain if the cut off point is for visas issued (or renewed) throughout 2010 (to December 31), or only those issued (or renewed) before July 15, 2010. It seems the 13 month visa period is already being put in place, as a friend who renewed his visa (received in February 2010) this week had it extended to March 2012.

Also, while Choi Young-hee's three bills aimed at native speaking teachers - which call for a Korean criminal record check to be submitted by teachers - have not been passed, SMOE now requires them for contract renewal (and perhaps for new applicants - I'm not certain). Luckily, they're very easy to get, and are free. I got mine at the Gangseo Police Station, and it took about ten minutes after I filled out the form (which the person working there offered to help me with). It's just unfortunate that the obligation to submit these, according to the three bills' statements of purpose, was because
there are native English speakers who have committed crimes in Korea and been expelled from Korea for those crimes, yet these native English speakers are being rehired as English teachers in Korea a few years after their expulsion from the country,
but the only basis for that statement, according to Choi's office, was that they'd seen a newspaper story, but didn't remember the title or where they saw it.

2 comments:

The Waygook Effect said...

If anyone needs a clear and comprehensive walk through of the process of applying for a criminal background check, I have a post on my blog.

Check it out:

http://www.thewaygookeffect.com/2010/10/fbi-background-check-walk-through-for-e.html

Keith said...

Thank you for the information. Do you know of any website where this information is listed by the Korean Government (possibly in English)? It's sad that all of this has to be piped through foreigner blogs and the govt. doesn't actually "inform" us of any of this.