Job and visa application procedures are the same for all candidates regardless of nationality. There are, however, some noticeable differences in procedures between private school job applicants and public school job applicants. Steps for both job types are outlined below.


Heads up!

Don’t worry about the lengthy timelines for the different application stages. Most of the time needed is just ‘waiting-time’ for different offices (your school, Korean Immigration, the Consulate, etc.) to process paperwork. More importantly, your Gone2Korea coordinator is here to do the heavy lifting so you don’t have to. We’ll be providing you with expert tips and easy to follow instructions at every stage.  It’s what we do and we’re very good at it!

Private School Job & Visa Application Procedures

How the job and visa process works for private school teaching jobs

Step 1

Confirm Eligibility (1 minute)

The very first thing you should do is check our basic requirements page to make sure you qualify for the jobs and the respective work visa. 

Step 2

Apply & Consult (2-5 days)

Submit your application via our online application form. You’ll need to attach your resume and a recent photo, so make sure you have them ready to go. Successful candidates can expect to hear from one of our senior coordinators within a few days of applying. Your coordinator will schedule a time to speak with you in order to conduct a brief interview, explain how everything is going to work, and address all of your initial questions and concerns. After the call, your coordinator will send you a guidelines manual that’s specific to your nationality.

Step 3

Review Jobs (timeline varies)

Receive and review detailed job opportunities from your Gone2Korea coordinator.  How many options we’re able to present you with depends on numerous factors (when you apply, your credentials, the amount of interest your application generates with school hiring managers, your document status, etc.)

Step 4

Conduct Interviews (3-5 days)

Your coordinator will arrange formal interviews with the schools and programs you have an interest in. We’ll get you prepped in advance so you’ll know what to expect during the calls. The Korean job market gets more competitive each year so you’ll want to make a great impression with the schools you speak to. 

Step 5

Make Decision (2-3 days)

If your interviews are successful, the schools will extend a formal job offer and provide you with an official employment contract. You’ll need to review the contract and make a decision to accept or decline the offer before the schools acceptance deadline; Gone2Korea will assist you with your contract questions or concerns. Additionally, your coordinator can usually provide the contact information of a western teacher who’s currently working at the school so you can reach out to get a first-hand account about the working environment, location and everything else. Note: The offers are not open ended, most schools will give you 2-4 days to make a decision, commonly referred to as an acceptance deadline.

Step 6

Submit Visa Documents (2-4 weeks)

Congratulations, you now have a job lined up with a Korean school! At this point you will need to send your required documents to Korea. These documents will include: the signed and dated job contract, apostilled copy of your bachelors degree, apostilled background check, copy of your passport, five passport photos, E2 health statement, hardcopy of your resume and a VIN application form (a Korean Immigration visa form).

Korean Immigration will process and approve all of your documents, when they’re done, they will issue a Visa Confirmation Number that’s tied to your name and passport number.

NOTICE: Korean Immigration recently launched an online visa application portal for Korean employers. If your school has registered to use the online visa portal, then you don’t have to send any physical documents to Korea in advance. Alternatively, you’ll need to make crystal clear scans of your documents, then bring the hardcopies to Korea when you depart.  

Your Gone2Korea coordinator will guide you through this procedure at the appropriate time.

Step 7

Acquire Work Visa (1-3 weeks)

Once your Visa Confirmation Number is ready (as explained above) you’ll be ready to apply for your actual work visa at the Korean Consulate in your region , or the KVAC office (which option you need to use depends on your current location). To secure the visa you’ll need to provide the consulate with the following items: visa application form, visa confirmation number, visa processing fee, your physical passport, one official passport photo and a prepaid return address envelope.

NOTE: Most consulates, and the KVAC office, now issue Visa Grants instead of visa stamps in your passport. You just bring the Visa Grant with you to Korea and they will place the visa stamp or sticker onto one of your passport pages when you’re going through customs at the airport.

Step 8

Get Ready to Depart (timeline varies)

It’s time to plan your departure. Gone2Korea will provide you with detailed arrival and airfare instructions. In most instances, we’ll arrange a personal airport pickup service to meet you at the arrival gate of your point of entry (most likely Incheon International Airport). The driver will take you straight to your new apartment, a hotel, an Airbnb or directly to the school. Where you need to go upon arrival depends on your employer. Rest assured, we’ll make sure your arrival goes smoothly!

Step 9

You Did It!

Time to pat yourself on the back.  You just secured a job in a foreign country, acquired a work visa, and flew halfway around the world. Fantastic!

Before you start teaching the school will need you to complete some basic training and orientation which typically lasts for 4-5 days. During the training period, they will bring you up to speed with the curriculum, teaching methods, school and classroom rules, lesson planning and everything else!  At the end of the training period your official contract term begins and you’ll start teaching your own classes and students.

Now you’re ready to explore, meet new people, plan weekend adventures and immerse yourself in Korean culture! Feel free to give yourself another pat on the back 🙂

First Few Weeks

You’ll need to complete the mandatory medical exam at a government approved clinic within your first few days. It’s an easy procedure (20-30 min) and someone from your school (the school manager or one of your co-teachers) will assist you with it. When your medical exam is completed the results are sent to Korean Immigration.  

Shortly after receiving your medical report, immigration will issue your Alien Registration Card, commonly known as the ARC. The ARC allows you to setup a Korean bank account and phone plan with one of the major Korean telecom companies.  In most cases, the school will ask you to setup an account with the bank they use.  The school manager or one of the senior Korean teachers will assist you with this step. 

There are lots of phone plan options in Korea to choose from. We usually recommend speaking with your western co-teachers to determine what plan and carrier best suits your needs.

And that’s it!  You’re now settled, setup, connected and ready to go!

EPIK Program Job & Visa Application Procedures

How the job and visa process works for public school teaching jobs

Step 1

Confirm Eligibility (1 minute)

Check our basic requirements page to make sure you qualify for the jobs and work visa. Having a TEFL or TESOL certification is a mandatory prerequisite for all teaching jobs in the public school system.

Step 2

Submit Your Application (1-3 days)

Submit your application via our online application form. You’ll need to attach your resume and a recent photo so make sure you have them available. Successful candidates will hear from an expert public school coordinator within a few days of applying. Your assigned coordinator will send you all of the EPIK program details at this time.

Step 3

Offer Stage 1 Documents (timeline varies)

Collect two letters of recommendation and complete the official EPIK application form. You’ll need to offer these documents to your respective coordinator.

NOTICE: As of 2020, the EPIK application form must be completed and submitted online through the EPIK portal. Your coordinator will guide you through the necessary steps. 

Step 4

Conduct Interview (10-40 days)

Conduct a formal interview with an EPIK office representative. The interviews will last for roughly one hour, although, it will take EPIK up to one month to confirm your interview time and date (from the date in which your stage 1 documents are submitted) and up to 1 week for them to post your results.

Step 5

Send Visa Documents to EPIK (3-6 days)

Assuming you pass the interview, you can proceed to the next step of the process; sending all of your visa documents and EPIK application materials to Korea.

NOTICE: Passing the interview with EPIK does not mean your job is guaranteed; they need to process your documents and have your application approved by one of the education offices first.

Send the following documents to Korea via a priority courier: apostilled copy of your bachelors degree, apostilled background check, copy of your passport, five passport photos, E2 health statement, hardcopy of your resume, hardcopy of your EPIK form, the original recommendation letters and a copy of your TEFL certificate. You’ll also need to send any supplementary documents that affect your salary level: teaching license, PGCE, full-time teaching experience, MA degree, other.

Your coordinator will guide you through this crucial step at the appropriate time.

Step 6

Final Approval (30+ days)

EPIK will process your documents (i.e. confirm their authenticity) upon receipt. Once your documents have been verified, EPIK will refer you to one of the education offices (a metropolitan office of education or a provincial office of education – MOE’s and POE’s respectively) for final approval. Once your application is approved by an MOE or POE they will issue your employment contract and notice of appointment.

Notice: Depending on when you apply in the hiring session, this step can take 2 months or more. 

Step 7

Apply For Work Visa (1-3 weeks)

You can apply for your work visa at the Korean Consulate in your region as soon as your contract and notice of appointment are ready. 

Send the following documents to the consulate: copy of your employment contract, the original notice of appointment, visa processing fee, your physical passport (the visa goes directly onto one of your passport pages), one passport photo and a prepaid return address envelope.

NOTICE: As of 2020, some consulates now issue the work visas electronically. Instead of placing the physical work visa in your passport pages, you’ll receive an electronic copy of your visa by email. Print the visa document from home and bring it with you to Korea: Korean Immigration will place the real visa in your passport when you arrive.

Step 8

Prepare To Depart (timeline varies)

It’s time to pack and organize your flight to Korea. Your coordinator will offer detailed arrival instructions at this stage.

Step 9

Arrive & Start Orientation (7 days)

Congratulations, you’re now in Korea!  Before heading to your MOE or POE you’ll need to conduct a 7 day training and orientation period (operated by EPIK). Once the training period ends you’ll be sent to your living and working location. Now you can get settled in your new apartment and start teaching. Woohoo!

Thanks for checking us out, we’re glad you’re here!

Gone2Korea is your connection to full-time teaching jobs in South Korea. Western graduates, primarily from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, use our services to secure jobs with trusted Korean schools, and schools use our services to find and hire enthusiastic teachers from the West.

Worth noting: We’re not a job ‘sourcing’ agency or recruiter that finds new schools on the fly. On the contrary, we work with a select group of schools and programs that we know and trust. 

In addition to helping you land a job, we’ll also be helping you with your work visa, departure, arrival, and offering support for the entirety of your contracted term.

Prior teaching experience and related degrees are NOT prerequisites for teaching in Korea. Here’s what you’ll need in order to qualify.

Korean schools and programs offer western English teachers highly competitive benefits packages which includes: