Just 1.5 days after receiving my placement e-mail, the FedEx man dropped off my contract, NoA, and INSA. These are two very important documents when applying for your visa. The process seems to vary slightly by consulate, but this is my experience with the Korean consulate in New York City and filling out the visa application.
A fellow Busan EPIKer helped me figure out which documents I needed to bring. The New York consulate website is a little confusing and lacks a lot of information. You can always call the consulate directly to get the list of required items for the E-2 visa.
DISCLAIMER: THESE POSTS WERE WRITTEN FROM MY EXPERIENCES as a successful applicant DURING THE FALL 2015 EPIK INTAKE. FUTURE PROCESSES OR FORMS MAY DIFFER. ALWAYS READ EPIK’S INSTRUCTIONS FIRST as they are “law”. USE MY INFORMATION AS A SUPPLEMENT ONLY IF IT APPLIES.
1. Visa Application
There isn’t any application specifically for the E-2 visa. The New York Korean Consulate links to this 1-page application. However, I used a longer version from this site: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Korea, click the “Download” button to access the latest update of the application form.
Here are some notes about some of the tricky sections that people asked questions on
1.1 Family Name : Your last name
Given Name: Your first and middle names
1.2 If you have a Chinese name write it here in Chinese
1.7 National Identity Number: After filling out the application I read somewhere that it said not to fill this out unless you are Korean and have a Korean ID number. I had already filled in my social security number, so I left it. It didn’t cause any issues.
2.1 Confirmation No. The box to the right is where you write your visa issuance number. It is on your NoA in the top-left corner. Just write it under the Korean words.
2.2 Issuance Date: The date in large print on your NoA
**It says that if you have a issuance number to not fill out sections 3-11, ignore this. Fill out everything.
3.1 Passport Type: Most likely yours is “Regular”
3.4 Place of Issue: I wrote “[State], USA”
7. Employment: This is NOT for your new EPIK job. This is about your current job at home. If you are not working currently, put “unemployed” and leave everything else blank.
8.1 Do you have anyone sponsoring you? NO
9.1 Purpose of Visit: Work
9.2 Intended Period of Stay: 1 year
9.3 Intended Date of Entry: Fill in the day you plan to arrive in Korea. It is OK if you plan to arrive before orientation. *Note: Your visa will be for 1 year from this day. Don’t worry if this day is before the end of your contract. You can extend this once you’re in Korea. At least that’s what EPIK has told all of us. Will report back on this later.
9.4 Address in Korea: The INSA will include the addresses and phone numbers for the MOE/POEs. Use the address for your MOE/POE.
9.5 Contact No. in Korea: Phone number for your MOE/POE provided in the INSA.
9.7 Have you travelled outside your country of residence, excluding Korea in the last 5 years? If you need for space than 4 lines, you can write it on a separate piece of paper and attach it.
10.1 Estimated travel costs: Someone suggested putting the total for how much your ticket would cost and how much cash you plan on bringing. I put $2,000.
10.2 Who will pay for your travel-related expenses? I put “myself”. When applying for my student visa I remember needing to bring a bank statement showing that I had this money. It wasn’t required for this visa and I wasn’t asked for it.
a) my name
c) I don’t remember what i put. Maybe “Financial”?
d) my cell number
11. Assistance with this form: leave it blank
2. Passport photo
Some people said two, others said one. I brought one and it was fine. Cut the photo to the dimensions noted on the application.
3. Notice of Appointment (NoA) and Visa Issuance Number
I’m really angry at myself because I never took a picture of this pretty document! This document basically says that you were accepted and has a fancy gold seal on it. It also includes your visa issuance number in the top-left corner.
My NoA had a small mistake on it. The date of the document said 2016; everywhere else it said 2015. My visa was processed just fine with this mistake. I did not point it out to the consulate, so maybe they just did not notice. However, my coordinator did offer to send me a new one if it was needed.
4. EPIK Contract
Sign and date each page (front and back) of the contract. Don’t worry if there are any mistakes, such as the wrong pay level noted. This is not your final contract. This is just for the purposes of acquiring your visa. You will sign your final contract during the EPIK Orientation in a meeting with your MOE/POE. Note any changes that you think need to be made during that meeting.
5. $45 Money Order
Made out to “The Korean Consulate General”. You can get this at your bank. I think it cost me $5 to have the money order made.
Your passport shouldn’t expire for 1.5 years
I went to the New York City consulate on Monday, July 20th and was given a receipt ticket to return on Monday, July 27th. Because I do not live in the city and already had plans to visit later that week, so I called the consulate on the 27th to check that my visa was completed. I did not want to show up on Friday to find out that I was missing something or had made an error. The visa was ready and I picked up on with no problems on Friday.