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:

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.