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Document Requirements for Teaching English in Korea

Don’t wait to secure your documents! If you’re serious about teaching English in Korea then making preparations to secure your documents as soon as possible is strongly advised. The documents that are required for teaching in Korea are Korean Immigration requirements; meaning, even if you choose to accept a job through a different ESL recruiting company or agent, you will still be required to submit the same documentation for visa related purposes.

Note: You can apply to Gone2Korea before you have acquired all of your documents; however, we usually need to know when (roughly) you can expect to receive them.
Note: The document requirements listed below contain basic information only. Gone2Korea has numerous documents on file specific to each of the 7 nationalities that are eligible for teaching visas. Once your application has been received your Gone2Korea representative will send you an email which outlines the various steps and procedures needed to secure the various documents. The document will include vital information that pertains to your nationality, informative links, contact numbers and generic explanations specific to your country of citizenship.
Required documents that you will need to secure on your own
Valid Passport
  • You must have a valid passport from one of the following countries: US, CA, UK, IR, AS, NZ, SA
  • Your passport must be valid for 12 months upon your date of entry for private school jobs and 18 months for public school jobs.
  • You will need at least 1 free/blank passport page.
Bachelors Degree or Greater
(Must come from an accredited university)
  • You must have the hardcopy of your degree/diploma available.
  • Diplomas must be notarized and authenticated for use in South Korea. Refer to our authenticating documents page for more info.
  • Recent graduates who have not yet received their diploma may present a ‘diploma alternative’. Please speak with a G2K representative for more details.
Officially Sealed Transcripts
  • 2 sets are required for jobs in the public sector. Korean Immigration no longer requests sealed transcripts from private school teachers; however, schools and consulate sometimes request them so having 1-2 sets available is advised.
  • Transcripts must be sealed properly - make sure your school seals your transcripts with a stamp, or sticker, signature, embossment, etc. on top of the overlapping crease of the envelope.
  • Gone2Korea recommends ordering extra sets of sealed transcripts when possible (having 3 sets in total is recommended if possible)
Criminal Record Check
  • Background checks may also be referred to as: Criminal History Reports, Police Checks, CPIC Searches, Subject Access Forms, Criminal Background Searches, Criminal Clearance Letters, other.
  • All teachers must secure checks at the federal level - no exceptions.
  • All nationalities (excluding Canadians) must have their background check authenticated with an Apostille Certificate. Canadian teachers must secure a verification stamp from the Korean consulate in their jurisdiction as an alternative to the Apostille certificate.
  • BEFORE you order your check make sure to review our related pages - Background Check Requirements and Apostille information (USA Apostille Info or International Apostille Info).
Official Passport Photos
  • It's in your interest to obtain 7 passport photos (3.5cm or 1.38 inches wide by 4.5cm or 1.77 inches tall). 4 photos will be sent to Korean Immigration, 1 will be offered to the Korean consulate and 2 will be required for your health examination and alien card in Korea. All photos should be the same shot (duplicates of the same photo), thye must be in full color.
Updated Resume
  • Make sure to include any work related experience on your resume. Please visit our application tips page for resume tips and advice.
Legible Photocopies
  • Many Korean consulates will request photocopies of the documents you have forwarded to the Korean immigration office in South Korea. Remember to photocopy all of your documents (originals and notarized copies) before you send them to Korea.
Recommendation Letters
(Public sector only)
  • Recommendation letters are only required for jobs in the public school sector. Those applying for private school positions do not require reference letters unless the school requests it.
  • Recommendation letters for public school jobs must come from academic or professional sources only (i.e. former professor, employer, manager, supervisor, etc.). Both letters must include the person’s name, status, address, contact number and an ink signature (letterheads are advised).
Required documents that will be provided by your Gone2Korea representative at the appropriate stage of your job and visa application.
E2 Health Statement
  • The health statement is a self assessment questionnaire form only, meaning you can complete the form yourself without a doctor’s note or signature.
  • All teachers will be required to complete a health check at a designated medical clinic in Korea within their first month of arrival. The test results in Korea must match the answers you provided on the form.
School Contract
  • School contracts will be issued once you have decided on a sector (private or public) and school to work for.
Visa Application Form
  • You can download the current version of the visa application form our document downloads page; however, completing the form is not required until you have secured a sponsor (Korean school) and obtained a visa issuance number or notice of appointment from your Gone2Korea representative (Issued by Korean Immigration).
Korean Consulate Checklist
  • This is a basic checklist which outlines the documents you will need to provide the Korean consulate with during the final stage of our your visa application.
  • Your Gone2Korea representative will offer you this document at the appropriate stage of your application, or you can download it from our document downloads page.
Public School Application Form
(Public Sector Only)
  • Only applicable to those who are offered and/or pursue a job within the public school sector. Your Gone2Korea representative will email you this document after the initial interview.
Optional Documentation for job vacancies in the Public School Sector
Teaching Certificate
  • Teachers must submit a photocopy of their teaching certificate for the second stage of the process and they must bring the original certificate to Korea for verification. Failing to provide the original certificate for verification will result in a lower monthly salary.
  • Lifelong education teaching certificates are not accepted!
  • Expired teaching certificates are not accepted
ESL Certificate
  • ESL certificates MUST consist of 100 course hours or more - anything less than 100 hours is not accepted as a credential.
  • In order to qualify for a pay-level increase the certificate MUST clearly state the number of course hours.
  • If the number of hours is not clearly stated on the certificate then sufficient supporting documentation such as: transcripts, website information or correspondence from the issuing organizing, will be required.
  • Teachers must provide a photocopy of their certificate by a certain deadline and bring the original to Korea for verification.
  • CELTA certificates do not require proof of hours
  • Gone2Kore recommends taking the TEFL Online diploma course
Proof Of Full Time Teaching Experience
  • Must include the name of the school and/or institute, address, proper letterhead, signature or official school stamp and a contact number in the header of the document.
  • Proof of employment letters must have been issued by the administrational office of the school, letters from co-workers are not accepted.
  • Must state that you were a full-time teacher.
  • Dates of employment must be provided (example: September 2007 to August 2008).
  • Teaching experience must show 1 full year (12 months) in order to qualify for the next pay-level, anything less than 12 months is not accepted (10 - 11 months does not qualify unless it was for one full academic year).
  • If you are currently teaching but have not yet completed a full 12 month term then you are NOT allowed to state that you have 1 year of teaching experience, the proof of full-time teaching experience must be dated after your contract completion date.
Additional Requirements Worth Mentioning
Name Verification
  • Your name details on all documents NEED to match; meaning, the name on your passport should be the same name that appears on your degree, transcripts, background check, etc.
  • If your name details don’t match then please notify your Gone2Korea representative for more information.
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