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:

* 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: . 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.