Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wait a second? You can get a 2 year E2 Visa now? When did that happen?

I saw this on the Digital Chosunilbo website,

Bar for Foreign English Teachers Raised

"The new rules come in response to public perception that some foreign English teachers are little more than cowboys. "In principle, you have to have a clean criminal history to get an E-2 visa," a ministry official said. The E-2 visa is valid for up to two years and is issued to nationals of seven countries where the native language is English, including Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.

The revision will go into effect from the end of March after approval by the Cabinet" (my bold)

I wonder what a 'clean criminal history' is? LOL!

I remember something like this being tossed around in the media last year during all the hype about the new E2 visa requirements that apparently are ONLY A POLICY--and NOT A LAW yet . . .

So does this mean that foreign native teachers can now jump through the immigration circus hoops and if we pass the ring leader's health check and prove we don't have HIV, and pass the criminal background check and prove we're not criminals . . . does this mean we can get TWO YEAR visas and not have to do the nonsense checks EACH year?

I wonder . . .

J

4 comments:

samedi said...

pass the ring leader's health check and prove we don't have HIV, and pass the criminal background check and prove we're not criminals . . . does this mean we can get TWO YEAR visas and not have to do the nonsense checks EACH year?
I wonder . . .


Getting a two year visa would be incredibly nice, although I also wonder if this means the standard (hagwon) contract will increase to a two-year duration as well. If not, it will be interesting to see how things work out. (i.e., will teachers need to go through the process again if they look for a new school after one year, or will a letter of release be enough?)

Also, and this may be because the Uijeongbu immigration office loves me, when I renewed my visa back in August all I needed was my criminal record check (mine was notarized and apostilled) and a (basic?) health check. Nothing about HIV/AIDS, nor a dental check for that matter.

Heck, I wasn't even present when my visa was extended. My academy director went over with my ARC (not my passport) and they updated everything in the computer that way. In theory my director could have hired a new teacher, given my ARC to this new teacher, and immigration wouldn't have known any better. Interesting, to say the least.

Kelsey said...

Very interesting development...

Jason said...

I don't know how factual this is as it's just what I saw in the online article . . . but if it IS true than it makes me wonder if some things are changing in a mildly positive way. Though the dark side of this coin would be if you're in a job/E2 visa that is abusing your rights, or the working conditions are terrible you only have two choices if you can't get a release letter to cancel your current visa when you want to quit, get a new job, and have to apply for a new visa (which you can't do without having a release letter from your current visa sponsor): 1) stay and be miserable till the contract expires, 2) quit, go home, and look for another job.

J

Stafford said...

I think the article has it wrong, but of course you can always extend your current visa up to the day before it expires. I *think* you can do this twice (i.e. 2 MORE years) and maybe that's where the article gets it wrong.
Having never been in one job for longer than two years in Korea (original visa + 1 extension) I haven't experienced it myself though....