Basic Requirements for Teaching English in Korea

Having a bachelors degree (any major or field of study) is necessary for securing a job and visa in South Korea. Having prior teaching experience is not a prerequisite for securing employment.


You will need to meet all 6 basic requirements in order to qualify for jobs and visas

These prerequisites are enforced by the Korean Immigration Office, meaning, if you don’t meet the minimum requirements then you won’t be eligible for a Korean E2 work visa (English teaching visa). Unfortunately alternative qualifications or credentials cannot be used as a substitute for any of these requirements, all of which are mandatory. We apologize in advance to those who aren’t eligible.



You must be a native English speaker to teach in Korea. People with ‘very mild accents’ may still be eligible; however, you will need to provide supporting documentation that verifies your education was conducted in English and within one of the 7 designated English speaking countries from the start of grade seven through the university level.
Korean Immigration will only issue visas to certain nationalities. To qualify you will need to have citizenship and a valid passport from one of the following English speaking countries: Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

A bachelor’s level degree, or greater, is mandatory. All majors and disciplines are accepted (BA’s, BFA’s, BED’s, BBA’s, BSS, etc.). Additionally, the university or college you attended must reside within 1 of the 7 countries listed in the Nationality section above.

Example 1: A Canadian who graduated from an American or British university still qualifies because the school was located in one of the designated countries.

Example 2: An American who graduated from a university in Spain does not qualify.

Haven’t graduated yet? You can apply and even secure a job with Gone2Korea before you’ve graduated under the condition you submit a copy of your diploma certificate to the Immigration Office before your contract commences. Certain conditions apply with this scenario.

Having a clean criminal abstract is necessary. Korean Immigration will occasionally grant visa’s to candidates with ‘minor’ blemishes on their criminal record checks, however, it’s essentially at their discretion to approve or decline visas as they see fit. To qualify for positions with Gone2Korea all applicants must have a clean criminal abstract (e.g. no charges, arrests or convictions appearing on your criminal record check).

Note: Traffic violations such as speeding tickets, parking tickets, etc., will not affect your application. Drinking and driving related offenses (DUI’s, DWI’s, etc.) are not minor offenses. We regret to inform applicants with drinking and driving related charges that your application will not be accepted.

Refer to our Background Checks page for proper details and related links.

As a teacher you’ll be required to have good physical and mental health. Korean Immigration will not grant visas to anyone with an ailment that’s transferrable to others, regardless of the risk level.

All teachers are required to submit a Korean Immigration Health Questionnaire (called an E2 Health Statement) before securing their visa. Secondly, all teachers are required to complete a health examination at a designated medical clinic shortly after arriving in Korea. If you falsify information on your health questionnaire in order to secure a visa, then immigration will likely find out when you complete the real health examination in Korea. If Immigration thinks you falsified information on your health questionnaire they will revoke your visa and you will be forced to leave the country at your own expense.

If you have any ongoing health issues please inform your Gone2Korea representative so he/she can inform you about the potential obstacles with Immigration. It’s not impossible to obtain employment with minor health problems, although it’s important to let the schools know in advance so they’re aware of any potential problems that may affect your responsibilities as a teacher.

Gone2Korea does not have age restriction policies but most Korean employers do. Most of the education offices in Korea (public schools) currently have a 62 year age limit on teachers, although candidates over 49 years of age typically require related majors (i.e. education, English or linguistics) and formal classroom teaching experience in order to be considered.
Private schools don’t have specific age requirements but the fact is most schools will only consider younger teachers – primarily between the ages of 22 – 35. We do our best to accommodate as many candidates as possible in this sector but as recruiters we’re limited to the hiring practices and demands of the schools in Korea.


See what documents will be required

Are you interested in knowing what documents you’ll need to organize in order to apply for your job and visa? Visit our document requirements page to learn more.  FYI:  You can apply and begin interviewing for jobs BEFORE you’ve managed to acquire all of the documents.



Are you eligible? Start your overseas teaching adventure today!

If you’re eligible for positions and you’re ready to pursue teaching opportunities then we’d love to hear from you.