Visas for Ethnic Koreans

Figuring out which visa you are eligible for can be confusing. We hope that this document helps clear up confusion regarding visa and citizenship status for applicants of Korean descent. Please note that you should confirm everything with the Korean consulate and know that there can be special cases which will require a different procedure or documentation.

There are three typical situations for teachers of Korean descent teaching in South

  • Dual citizenship while working on a Korean passport
  • The F4 visa (most common scenario)
  • The E2 visa (least common scenario).

Your first step is to contact your nearest South Korean consulate and explain that your family is from South Korea and that you want to teach in Korea. Teachers whose families are from South Korea have to work with a Korean consulate to determine eligibility.  Please keep in mind that you will not be able to choose which visa you get. The Korean government determines this and if this is not worked out and the required paperwork processed, you will not be able to teach in South Korea.

Korean Citizenship

Occasionally, when someone contacts the consulate, he or she learns that they are still a Korean citizen. That is, they have dual citizenship. You can teach ESL in South
Korea with Korean citizenship. If you have Korean citizenship, you will need to apply for a Korean passport and I.D. number. You can do this through your nearest Korean consulate. In most cases, it takes a few weeks. If this is the case, please inform your Aclipse recruiter as paperwork necessary to submit for ChungDahm will be slightly different. **If you are male, then you will need to obtain a military exemption to avoid conscription.

F4 Visa

The F4 visa is for Koreans who are citizens of the country they immigrated to, as well as their descendants. If your father has renounced his Korean citizenship and was a
citizen of your current country (at the time of your birth), you are likely eligible for the F4 visa. Before applying for the visa, you will need to fill out a Korean nationality renunciation and submit it to the Korean consulate. You can then apply for the F4 visa. You will need to submit:


  • Your passport
  • A completed F4 visa application with passport photo attached
  • Documents proving Korean origin (Korean family registry, birth certificate, etc.)
  • Document proving completion of Korean nationality renunciation report
  • Any other documents required for your case (confirm with consulate)

Please note that if you were adopted from South Korea, papers proving your adoption can usually be submitted in place of some of the documents above.

E2 Visa

In rare cases, you may find out that you will need to get the E2 visa. If the consulate advises you to do so, you will need to submit the following along with your visa paperwork to Aclipse:

  • Your birth certificate
  •  Your father’s citizenship papers
  •  Proof of father/child relationship

Please note that if your father became a citizen of the country of immigration after your birth, you are not eligible for the E2 visa and will need to get either the F4 or Korean citizenship.

Finally, please keep in mind that we understand this can be very confusing and some people get conflicting information. If you are told anything that contradicts the information here, please let your Aclipse recruiter know. Requirements can change at the discretion of the Korean government and there may be special situations that we have not encountered before.