Monthly Archives: February 2008

Getting my Korean Visa

My wife and I finally got our E-2 visas on Friday. The past week had been a bit stressful getting all the documents and visa numbers from Korea, but it all came together. Thank goodness!

The process was pretty straightforward. We took our documents (in my case my “Notice of Employment” certificate and copy of my contract with GEPIK, and in my wife’s case a visa issuance number supplied by the Korean Ministry of Justice) and our completed visa forms to the Korean embassy in Pretoria, had a friendly interview with the consul, and then got issued our visas on the same day. A lot easier than we thought it would be! But I think we got lucky with the quick processing, not that I’m going to complain.

For those who still need to get their visas, here are the basics:

1) Organise your job in Korea and get all your documents together for the visa. Your school or recruiter should tell you what you need. Also, CALL the embassy BEFORE you go there to make sure what you need. See below for the contact details.

2) Go to the consular section of the Korean embassy in Pretoria. No, it is NOT at the embassy, which is at Greenpark Estates, 27 George Storrar Drive. The consular section is at Office s7, Groenkloof Forum Office Park, 57 George Storrar Drive. This is by the post office at the shopping centre opposite the Little Company of Mary hospital.

3) The visa section is only open between 08:30 and 11:45, so get there early. I got told that if you get there early, you should be able to get your visa the same day. If not, expect a three day wait. Most people should be prepared to have an interview when they apply for the visa, so dress nice.

For those not based in Gauteng, I have some bad news. Since most applicants will need to have an interview, you will have to be there in person. No, no webcam interviews or anything like that. In person. So, phone the embassy to make sure whether or not you have to have an interview, and then you’ll have to make a plan to be there.

You can contact the consular section on (012) 346 2026, or email koreansecretary@hotmail.com.

Good luck!

TB

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Postage!

I’ve been chilling in Umhlanga for the past week, enjoying a last little bit of SA weather and sea, and waiting for my visa documents to arrive from Korea. Since everyone in Korea has been on holiday, I wasn’t holding my breath. But I got a nice surprise yesterday when I found out all the documents were in SA. The only problem was that they had been sent to my old address in Cape Town! Now, I was thinking this is a disaster, and that they would not find me there and then send everything back to Korea.

But, to my great pleasure and surprise, DHL proved to be fantastic. They phoned yesterday to say that they couldn’t deliver to the address they had, and I told them I was now in Pretoria. No problem. Less than 24 hours later I had the documents in my hands. Excellent! I’ve been getting so frustrated with bad service and here these guys make a plan and get my documents to me, even though I was on the other side of the country. Thank you DHL!

I was wary of using DHL to courier my documents to Korea in January. Especially as I would probably have had to use Postnet. Postnet and I are not on speaking terms. Instead I used XPS, through the SA Post Office. Pretty decent. It cost about R325 to send, and took 4 working days. No problems. DHL costs about the same, and also takes 3 to 4 days. From my current experience with DHL, I might use them in the future, since my only problem with XPS was their less than stellar customer service.