Korean Paperwork Life in Korea 한국

Visa Escapades – Part 2

Visas are a complicated mess only if documents do not come to you quickly. Another bonus is working with recruiters that truly care about you and how you are doing through the whole process. My first recruiter is a friend now and called me up after I told her what had happened before, and she said I needed to change my visa status a.s.a.p. before starting my contract or I would not be able to start working. I couldn’t believe this, but she said if you work in a public school than you must be on an E-2 visa when you start working otherwise the contract is void and you will have to start the process all over again. I called my current recruiter at the time if he had heard of that and he hadn’t but he advised me to call immigration more than once in order to receive the correct answer.

So that’s what I did. I called immigration twice and they told me that yes, I had to be on an E-2 visa before my contract started. So I told me recruiter I would rush down to the immigration office the next day and change my visa status once again. I also had to apply for a new ARC card again as the status on the card would be changed.  So I was out another 120,000 won. I did learn a few valuable lessons, one I did not want to wait until the day my visa expired to go down to immigration. My contract arrived a few hours after I had gone down to immigration the first time to get a D-10 visa. It came one day before my visa expiration. Had it come earlier that day or a few days before, I never would have had to go on a D-10 visa. Go figure.

That being said, I knew I had to change my address again once my new school gave me address. So I made the trek to the immigration office alone fully thinking I would need to pay for a new ARC card, I went through the process two times at this point. However, the woman at the counter told me that I did not need a new ARC card, because I could just change the address on the back of my new ARC card. She even updated everything in the system for me and said I was all set and I could leave.

The immigration office website and what people know can be conflicting. It gets harder when you have time between contracts or when you are switching schools as well. But if you take the initiative to reach out and talk to others , as well as, the responsibility to call immigration yourself, things will get resolved. It might make you want to pull out your hair, but at least I have my new ARC card with an awesome picture.

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