Having received my packet of papers from the EPIK office, I can now move on to the next paperwork-intensive part of this process – the visa application! I swear, I feel like filling out the EPIK paperwork is a part-time job at this rate…
To apply for an E2 visa (Foreign Language Teachers) to teach with EPIK, you need the following things:
[NOTE 1: If you are NOT teaching with EPIK, please check with your local consulate for requirements. These are specifically for EPIK teachers.]
[NOTE 2: These instructions are for applying in person at your local consulate. If you’re applying by mail you’ll need to include a money order for the $45 application fee and include a SASE for them to mail your passport back to you.]
- A completed visa application form.
- Your passport (and a photocopy of the passport’s info page).
- A passport picture, attached to the form.
- Your original Notice of Appointment (NOA) and a photocopy of it.
- Your signed contract (make sure to sign at the bottom of each page).
- The $45 visa application fee (in cash, if you’re applying in person).
One thing that I’m so glad my coordinator warned me about is that the Consulate is going to keep the copy of the contract you give them. That is just a copy for the visa application process – you’ll sign two more copies (one for EPIK and one for your records) at Orientation in Korea. The consulate will also keep your NOA, so if you want a copy (and it might be a good idea just in case), make a copy of that as well!
I drove out to the Consulate in Boston (which isn’t actually in Boston at all, but in Newton) one morning and had my first experience with what it’s going to be like living in a foreign country. For some reason I assumed that the staff working there would be fluent in English – and while their English was loads better than my Korean, we still ended up with quite a few moments of staring at each other in confusion. But, in the end I got my numbered ticket, stood in line, went over my paperwork with the patient man behind the little teller window, and walked out with a receipt telling me to come back the following Friday. Success!
It was a little nerve-racking to leave my passport behind, but fingers crossed I’ll have it back in my hands with a shiny new visa page by the end of next week!
P.S. I picked up my visa 5 business days later with no problem! Just remember to bring the receipt that they gave you when you dropped off the application. Now I have my shiny new visa page pasted into my passport, I can breath much easier…