Category: Visa

How to Obtain Your Visa Documents in Canada to Teach in Korea

Okay so you’re ready and excited about coming to Korea and teaching in Korea, right?  You’ve made a great decision, but not so fast cowboy.  First, you are going to need a Certified Criminal Record Check from the RCMP on the basis of fingerprints.  Second, you will need to have your University Degree photocopied and notarized and then certified by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea or Embassy depending on where in Canada you are situated.  In this blog I will take you step-by-step about how to obtain your visa documents to teach in Korea if you are a Canadian citizen.

Criminal Record Check

Step 1:    Get a full set of fingerprints and your photo taken.

Please note that your RCMP Criminal Record Check must include both your photo and fingerprints.  If you receive one without the photo it will not be accepted by Korean immigration. 

If you have questions call the RCMP at 613-998-6362 between 7:30 AM and 3:30 PM Eastern Time.

I live in Mississauga, Ontario and my local Peel Regional Police no longer offered fingerprinting services for non-criminal matters. If you find yourself in the same situation as me, your alternative is to go to an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company.  I went to the Commissionaires office in Mississauga on a Saturday morning when they opened at 9:00 am.  I recommend going first thing when their office opens to avoid potentially long wait times as not all locations will take appointments.  I was in and out in 15 minutes after getting digital/electronic fingerprints, my photo taken and providing some personal information for the application.

Items Needed to get Fingerprints and Photo Taken:  two pieces of valid government issued identification and one must be a photo ID.  Such as Driver’s License, Birth Certificate, Passport.  (Normally Health Cards and SIN Cards are not acceptable)

Step 2:    Provide information to person taking fingerprints and photo.

First, you need to state the reason for your certified criminal record check.  This will be for employment overseas.  You do not need to provide job title, business name or any employment contract to them.

Second, you will provide them with your name, date of birth, sex, mailing address and phone number. It’s VERY IMPORTANT to provide your full name EXACTLY as it appears in your passport or Korean immigration will not accept it. So if your middle name is on your passport then it needs to be on the RCMP check. If your passport only has a first and last name – then so should your RCMP check!! If you mess this up you’ll need to apply for a new one and that’s added expense and time!

Step 3:   Confirm and double-check your application is complete and accurate.

Verify the information recorded by the person taking your fingerprints and photo.  Make sure your name is correct (and EXACTLY as in your passport), your birth date and mailing address are all accurate.  If anything is incomplete or inaccurate, the RCMP will not process the application and it will be returned. 

Step 4:    Pay your fee and application submitted.

Cost:  I paid $70 (this could vary a little depending on location, but not significantly).

For an accredited fingerprinting company like Commissionaires, the fingerprints, photo and application will all be submitted electronically to the RCMP. 

Please note that if you are getting your fingerprints and photo done at your local police service, they may or may not be able to submit them electronically.  Please check with your local police and also fees may differ from police fingerprinting and accredited companies.

Step 5:    Verify the status of your application (optional).

For an electronic fingerprint application with no match, the processing time is 3 business days or less.  If your application has taken longer than the estimated time, you can check the status by emailing: [email protected]

In the email, provide your full name, d.o.b, type of application submitted (Criminal Record Check), date your application was submitted, phone number, document control number (DCN) if available.

I went in on a Saturday during the busy Christmas season and I still received my Criminal Record Check in the mail on the Tuesday of the following week.  It took less than 3 business days to receive it.

I do not recommend ever getting a paper fingerprint application because the processing time can take up to 22 weeks. 

Have your criminal record check certified.

Cost:  I paid $5.20 (this could vary depending on location

This will be done at your nearest Consulate General of the Republic of Korea.  For a list of all the Korean Consulates in Canada check out this link on the Aclipse website.  Normally it will be walk-in service with no appointment available.  Remember to bring valid ID such as Driver’s License and/or Passport. *Before you get your criminal record certified make sure it has both your picture and fingerprints on it (look at the photo directly below).  If it doesn’t have both of these items on it, then your criminal record won’t be accepted by Korean Immigration.

Following is a list of RCMP-accredited fingerprint companies.  (A photo will always be included)

University Degree

For your University Degree you must have it certified with the Consular Seal as pictured below.

Step 1:    Have your original University Degree ready.

Step 2:    Have your original University Degree notarized.

Bring your original University Degree and a photocopy of the degree to a notary public or a lawyer.  I had my degree notarized by a lawyer for $25.  I called around to several lawyers and asked them the price and went with the lowest cost.  If you want to save some money then you may want to make a few phone calls to find the best price.

Step 3:    Bring original degree and notarized photocopy to nearest Korean Consulate.

The officer will have your notarized photocopy certified.  The cost is $5.20, but may vary.

Please also remember to bring valid photo ID (Driver’s License and/or Passport).

Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Toronto has waived the need for a University sealed transcript.  This was required in the past, but I have confirmed with the Consulate that it is no longer needed at this particular location.  Please check with you local Consulate if a University transcript is required.


Pretty easy eh!?  There you have it, just a little preparation and time and you will have your Criminal Record Check and University Degree all certified and ready to submit to Aclipse.  Now you are ready to go to Korea and experience the best year of your life.  

How to Obtain Your Visa Documents in the U.S. to Teach in Korea

Before you can board the plane and fly to South Korea, of course some planning and paperwork needs be completed and mailed to the Aclipse headquarters in order to receive your visa. Below is a list of what items and documents you will need to obtain if you are a United States citizen in order to teach in Korea.

Before I talk about how to obtain each document, I first want to list the documents themselves, which I have provided below. 

1) 2 passport photos

2) 1 apostilled copy of your bachelor’s degree

3) Latin degree translation (if necessary)

4) 1 apostilled criminal background check (CBC).  When applying for your CBCs do not apply too early. They should be valid through one month after your target start month. ie. Target start month is May, your CBCs should be valid through June.

5) Degree verification from university OR degree verification through American Databank.

6) Your original E2 health statement form with signature and blank date.

7) A copy of your passport which you can scan and email to your recruiter. Just make sure your passport will be valid throughout your entire stay in Korea.

Although It seems like an overwhelming task to obtain these documents, it’s really manageable and just something that has to be done. The most important part is to simply begin and not procrastinate. And I can’t stress enough the value in asking questions. Prior to this experience I’d never needed to provide so many official documents and perhaps you’re in the same boat – that’s okay; that’s why Aclipse has a fantastically equipped and patient team to help you!

Specifically, I want to address obtaining your apostilled CBC and diploma copy.

Obtaining Your Apostilled CBC:

If you are an E2 Visa holder, like I am, you will need to obtain one background check.that needs to be apostilled. Now you maybe asking yourself how do you go about obtaining an Apostilled CBC?

The first step that must be taken to get your CBC is getting fingerprinted at your local police station. This process took about 20 minutes from start to finish. Next, you’ll need to complete and print a specific form from the one of the FBI channelers. This form needs to be mailed along with the fingerprints to the address specified on the FBI channeler website. You’ll also need to prepare a money order, check, or completed credit card form for the amount requested per copy of the results. Include the money with the fingerprints and form. And then you wait for your CBC!

Your CBC is a federal document, which means it needs to be apostilled at the federal level. Once I received my CBC, I mailed it myself to the US Department of State to apply for the apostille, but this method could take as long as six weeks to process and has in the past resulted in start date delays, so you need to do so as soon as possible. You can also send your CBC to Aclipse by making a payment on their Paypal account, and they will send it to Washington Express and get it apostilled for you, which is an easier method.  

Below are examples of what your CBC and the apostille of the CBC look.  One thing of note is is to make sure your CBC has the same name that is on your passport.  This is crucial and make sure to double check this prior to mailing it to Aclipse.

(Above is an example of a CBC, depending on where you get it your CBC maybe white or a light blue)

(Above is what an apostille for your CBC should look like. This will be attached on top of your CBC)

Obtaining Your Apostilled Diploma:

The first thing I did was take my actual university diploma to a FedEx shop nearest me to make a copy of it. Then, I mailed the photocopies to the SC Secretary of State’s office. DO NOT DO THAT!! FIRST, you MUST make sure to get the copy of your diploma notarized prior to getting it apostilled. I thought I ONLY needed an apostilled diploma. But it turns out, I can’t get an apostille without first getting it notarized, so I had to get a new photocopy of my diploma made, and then I went to my bank and had them notarized. For fear of being short on time, I decided to drive to my Secretary of State’s office and had my CBC and diploma apostilled in person. It took me three hours round trip, but it honestly saved me the headache of wondering if my documents would return to me on time.  One other key thing your should know is that your diploma needs to be notarized and apostilled in the same state.  You can’t get it notarized for instance in Massachusetts and apostilled in New Hampshire.  Below are examples of what a notarized and apostilled diploma look like.

(Above is an example of a notarized diploma. A notarized diploma should have a stamp that says “Notary Public” on it)

(Above is an example of an apostille for the diploma. Each state will have a different apostille which will be attached on top of your diploma, but they should all have the state name written on it along with the word “Apostille.”)

Along with obtaining an apostilled diploma, if your diploma is written in Latin, you will need to obtain a Latin translation from your University. Also, if your name is different on your diploma from your CBC and passport you will also most likely have to obtain a letter from your university stating you are the same person as the one in your passport. For instance some diplomas may just have a middle initial, while the passport may have the full middle name. 

I hope my account of getting my CBC and diploma apostilled didn’t confuse anyone further. It’s especially important for me to share my blunder with my diplomas. While there are a few steps to take, they need not cause headache or sweats. Most importantly, ask your recruiters questions if you are confused or having issues. 

Linda Gaida was raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina and graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2016 with a degree in Romance Languages. While passionate about environmental studies and conservation, her interests now lean towards education! Her curiosities and studies have taken her to Romania, Portugal, Peru, India, and now South Korea, where she works as an English teacher for ChungDahm Learning in Busan. Deciding to teach abroad was an easy decision to make for Linda: while she gets to experience a culture foreign to her own, she is able to benefit the global society by teaching children English and helping them pursue their own ambitions. Linda is also interested in yoga, climbing, hiking, backpacking (anything involving movement), cooking and writing poetry.

How to Obtain Your Visa Documents in South Africa to Teach in Korea

Obtaining the necessary documents to teach in Korea can be really stressful and a big headache if you do not know where to start or how to go about it. From experience, following a methodical order of things needed to be done will help speed up the process. Every citizen coming to Korea has a different route to follow and one needs to know the specific requirements for their nationality. The method of obtaining documents is different in every county. So what may be allowed in America, may not be allowed in South Africa.

For South Africans, acquiring the necessary documents to teach in Korea is pretty straightforward and is much easier than other nationalities’ lengthy processes. There are 5 things you need to have and a particular order of steps that you should follow in order to use your time efficiently. This blog will lead you step by step to make the sure process is easy and efficient.  

If you live outside of Johannesburg and Pretoria, it is highly recommended that you make use of a third party service, such as Docs4Expats or DocAssist. From personal experience, Docs4Expats, run by Noma, is a trustworthy and efficient courier service that is well-connected and has a speedy overturn rate. If you prefer to not sit waiting, Noma does everything for you, once you have paid the required fee. Before you begin gathering the required documents, make sure you know which ones and how many of each you must obtain if you go through Aclipse to teach in Korea.  The documents you need are:

  • 1 apostilled copy of a criminal background check (clearance certificate)
  • 1 apostilled copy of your university degree
  • 2 passport photos
  • 1 degree verification

Step 1: Apostilled Police Clearance Certificate

The Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria processes all South African Police Clearance Certificates. First, you have to have your fingerprints taken at the nearest police station along with a copy of your passport/ID book and your original passport/ ID book. Next, the applicant can opt to use the SAPS postal service or their own courier service. It is advised that you use an external courier service, like Docs4Expats, for quick processing. If you live in Johannesburg or Pretoria, it is much quicker to drop off your PCC at the CRC yourself. If you drop it off or use an external courier, the process will take about 6 weeks. The process cost for one PCC is R96,00.00 which you can be paid at the CRC or via a bank transfer or directly to your courier service. A re-issue of the PCC can be made within 6 months, and it will cost an additional R96, 00.00. 

A final step is to authenticate your certificate. You have to get your PCC Apostilled at any High Court in South Africa. For convenience, there is one in Pretoria, which you can go directly to, with your PCC and University Diploma, after collection. Another option, is to pay for a third party to process your PCC and Apostille it at the same time.  

While you are at the police station kill two birds with one stone, and get a copy of your passport information page certified. Take your passport and 3 x copies of your passport and get all of them certified by a ranked officer. You will need this at a later stage in the application process.

Tip: request 2 copies of your PCC for future use, it takes some time to request a new one, even though it is valid for 6 months.

Step 2: Notarized and Apostilled Photocopy of University Degree 

The Korean government wants foreign teachers to bring their original university diploma with them to Korea to present to the Korean Education Office when it is requested. However, in South Africa you have to apostille two copies of your University Degree. First, you need to make two clear A4 copies of your degree, black and white is fine, then you need to submit your original degree and the copies of your degree to a South African High Court to Apostille the document, thus authenticating it. You can opt to do it yourself, after receiving your PCC, together with your original and copied university diploma and take it to the High Court in Cape Town or Pretoria.  A more convenient way, is to use a courier service like Docs4Expats, that will Apostille all documents once they have received your PCC and your emailed copies of your university degree.

Tip: Wait for your PCC to arrive. Afterwards, take your PCC, original and copies of  your University Diploma to the High Court to get it apostilled.

Step 3: University transcripts

While you wait for your PCC to be processed, you can email your universities registrar and get them to mail you 2 sets of University transcripts. You only need one for the application, but a back up transcript is always helpful. You must tell your university to seal the back of the transcripts with the Universities official stamp. The transcripts must not be opened before coming to Korea, the Korean Education Office requests all of them to remain sealed and will not accept them otherwise.

Step 4: Passport Photographs 

Getting a good set of passport photographs for teaching in Korea is important. By the time you look again, you can’t believe almost all of them are gone. You need passport photographs for contracts, ARC registration, visa application, and a Korean Health Check.10 photographs should be sufficient and follow the Korean photograph guidelines, regarding size and posture. These should be 3.5cm by 4.5cm and in color. All photographs have to be the same shot. You can go to any studio or photo printing shop in South Africa. Make sure to specify the correct size and color.

Tip: Ask for a digital copy in the correct sizes, then you could just reprint it at a studio in Korea.

Extra Tips:

  • Make sure your passport is valid for the duration of your stay in Korea
  • Apply at AA for an International Drivers Permit
  • Have photocopies of all original documents, and authenticate them at SAPS

How to Obtain Your Visa Documents in New Zealand to Teach in Korea

Kia Ora, my name is Samantha and I’m from originally from Taranaki in New Zealand. I graduated from Victoria University with my BA in English literature and Theatre which I then followed up with a Diploma of Primary teaching. Now my partner and I are both currently in the recruitment process with Aclipse to teach in Korea. Having recently obtained our visa documents for Korea, I wanted to provide some insight into how to make the process less stressful and help answer some of the questions many candidates from New Zealand may have.  I am confident if you just follow the steps below that you will successfully obtain your documents without any issues.

Step 1: Apply for a Criminal Background Check

The first thing my partner and I did was apply for a criminal background check which was free. Make sure you apply early as it can take up to a month till you receive it. We each filled out a personal request form from the justice department which you can find through this link:

The website page has instructions on filling out your form and how to send it. While filling it out I requested both an electronic version via email and a paper copy which arrives by post. I took a photo of my driver’s license as identification which I attached to an email along with my form. I then sent it to the following email with my first and last name as the subject: [email protected]

* One thing of note when filling out the form, make sure the name you provide in the form matches the name in your passport.  This means if your passport has your middle name please provide your middle name in the form, and if your passport just has your middle initial, only include the initial in the form.

Example of a New Zealand Criminal Background Check 

Step 2: Once You Receive the Criminal Background Check

The paper copy was just a back up but all you really need is the electronic copy to be sent by email so you can then forward it on to the Authentication Unit. I attached an apostille form along with my background check to the email with a brief message stating what I was sending to this email address: [email protected] . You can find the form to request an Apostille through the government website or by following this link:   

The first apostille costs NZ$32.00 and any additional apostilles cost NZ$15.00 each. If you want both a paper apostille and an e-apostille, it costs NZ$47.00. We got both but you only need to send away a paper version. It will take up to 7 working days to process and the paper version will be sent by post.

New Zealand Apostille Example 

Step 3: Get your Degree Notarized and Apsotilled

The background check is a government document which means it does not need to be notarized like your degree will. Before you can send your diploma away to be apostilled it will need to be notarized by a public notary. I used to search for a notary in my area. I selected my region and it gave me a name, number and address to contact each public notary. A public notary is a lawyer who is authorized to authenticate your document and we made sure to contact them first and ask about the process and what the cost would be. Ours cost about NZ$100 each for the notarized apostille but check with your notary. In my case they were also able to send the document away for the apostille after they notarized it. My partner and I had to take some form of identification when we gave them our degrees so they could verify the documents belonged to us. The apostille takes up to 7 working days and will be mailed back to you in the post.

Step 4: Send your Documents.

Once we received all our documents my partner took them to the post shop to have them be mailed to the Aclipse office. One thing of note is although using a courier is expensive, you will have the ability to track your documents and they will arrive a bit quicker. However, my partner and I prefer to live life on the edge and sent them by air mail which is cheaper but the choice is up to you.

Once Aclipse receives your documents your recruiter will notify you and tell you if all the documents were done correctly, or if there are any issues that need to be fixed.