Renewing my E2 Visa

*Update August 2014

The following are the documents required if you are renewing your E2 visa and staying at the same school;

  1. Signed contract
  2. ARC and passport
  3. Teaching schedule (provided by school)
  4. Business registration certifiate (provided by school)
  5. Tax statement certificate (provided by school)
  6. Housing contract (either you or your school will have this)
  7. 60,000 won

Tips;

1. If you can, book an appointment. And book it early. When I went online to book one, surprise, they were all gone so I ended up waiting two hours.

2. When you arrive, grab a number first and then go and get your revenue stamps. That’s what the 60,000won is for. It’s extremely annoying and time consuming to wait for two hours, be within 3 people of the top and they walk up with no stamps. The signs are in English people! Get your stamps!!!!!!!!

3. Note. I almost wasn’t allowed renew at the office I went to. You must go to the immigration office WHERE YOUR HOUSE ADDRESS IS, NOT YOUR SCHOOL ADDRESS. I found that out when I went up but I stated that after waiting 2 hours I wasn’t leaving without my renewed visa. This is super random and obviously a new rule because last year it was all about the school address. Again, if in doubt, call immigration before you go.

4. Immigration laws are set to change next year and the documents required change like the wind so please do not take this post as the absolute gospel of what is required. Be responsible and call immigration on 1345 before you go.

 

Original Post…….

Going to immigration is, for me, like visiting the dentist. I  don’t want to have to do it but I know if I don’t, I’ll be in trouble. So with just 2 days until my current visa expired, I took the 2 hour drive to Suwon Immigration. Why did I go to Suwon when there is an immigration office in Goyang? The school I work for has their head office in the Suwon area and since I’m registered under them I must visit Suwon immigration. If you think I have it bad, imagine the foreign worker in the school in Daegu. They got the short straw. After a three-hour wait today, it took less than five minutes to extend my visa. I hand her all my documents and the conversation went like this;

Immigration worker; You change school?

Me: No

Immigration Worker; No? You’re good. Here you go.

(Looks at the documents in a somewhat confused manner,scribbles on the form,writes the new date and waves me off)

I was simply renewing the visa to work in the same school. Here is a list of the documents you will require;

  1. An original, signed contract
  2.  A business registration ( supplied by your school)
  3. A teaching schedule ( supplied by school)
  4. Your alien Registration card
  5. Your passport ( but they really only took a quick glance of mine)
  6. 3 Revenue stamps.
  7. Application Form (at the immigration office) (You’ll be checking Extension of Sejourn)

You can get the Revenue stamps at the immigration office. They cost 10,000won and you need 3. Make sure to bring cash but there are atm’s available if you need them. In the Suwon branch the stamps can be bought at the little counter beside the stairs. There is a sign in English that says “Revenue stamps”

I arrived at the office at 2.30 and thought that going a little later would mean fewer people. I was wrong. I was number 460 and they were only on 330. So I was in for a long wait, surprise surprise. This wasn’t my first time to the Suwon branch, it was my third and everytime I went at different hours of the day. There are always huge numbers of people there. I have friend who teaches public school and went to Goyang immigration last week, made two visits and was in and out in under an hour both times. So I guess every branch is different.

If I had a recommendation after today it would be this,

1) BUY YOUR REVENUE STAMPS! I wouldn’t have had to wait 3 hours if all 130 people before me had brought their revenue stamps with them. Instead they got to the counter and had to then go and buy them and return. Waste of time.

2) Fill out your application form. Again, I cannot tell you how many of the 130 people ahead of me turned up to the counter with a blank application form. FILL IT IN!

3) Make an appointment. You can make an appointment at http://www.hikorea.go.kr/pt/index.html. I did of course try this myself but it kept saying that I couldn’t. So I rang immigration who told me to install some security program, reboot and do it again and it still didn’t work so I took my chances. I’ve heard from my friends that an appointment gets you in and out in 20 minutes so it’s worth it.

4) Bring entertainment. I actually had a lot of fun people watching, but be prepared to wait. You should also have some snacks. No point in going hungry.

5) I would highly recommend going in the late afternoon if you’re going to the Suwon branch. By 4.30 there were only 80 people in the queue and by my turn at 5.30 they were down to 50. Closing time in Suwon is 6pm.

6) Always check with immigration what documents you need. Things change all the time. You can call immigration on 021345 and speak to an English speaking representative who can tell you what you need.

So that’s me. A legal E 2 holder until September 2014. Here’s to another great year of teaching, blogging and generally having a great time! Leave your comments below!

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