Tag Archives: E-2 visa

South Africans in Korea on the increase!

Seems like more and more South Africans are on their way to Korea. I just came across a recent (ok, it’s a month old) article on the increasing numbers of us out here. Still not as many as the Americans or Canadians, but certainly quite a few.

To quote the article, “the number of South Africans on E-2 visas increased from 709 in 2006 to 1,131 in 2007, and currently stands at 1,412.” Wow! You can check out the full article here: http://www.rjkoehler.com/2008/12/15/south-africans-on-the-increase-in-korea/

I wonder what has caused this increase? All that I can think of is that when I started doing research on coming to Korea back in 2007, there was very little information specifically for South Africans. But now there’s quite a bit, and it has made the whole process a lot easier. Also, at least one South African recruiter has stopped charging a ridiculously high recruitment fee to place people in Korea. This has certainly helped make it easier to get out here.


Impersonal interviews

Since the December 2007 changes to the E-2 visa regulations, people applying for this visa for the first time have needed to have an interview at the Korean consulate in their home country. This has been a hassle for most people – especially South Africans. There is only one consulate in SA, and that’s in Pretoria.

Luckily since April 2008 the consulate has made concessions for people not living anywhere near Gauteng. People can now send a CD with a video of themselves answering some basic questions, instead of going all the way to Pretoria for what is usually a very short interview.

One of the readers of this blog, Terisa, has been kind enough to send me the Korean consulate’s guidelines for this video interview. You can read the details by clicking here. I’ve placed more information on the Visas page as well.

Even though this document has lots of very helpful info on how to save the video you have made of yourself, including step-by-step instructions for burning the CD, it does lack some hints on how to actually make the video. Here I have to admit I’m also pretty clueless. My thoughts are that someone who is savvy enough to make a video of themselves probably doesn’t need detailed instructions on how to burn a CD.

If someone out there has some hints and tips on the best (and cheapest) way to make a video of yourself, I’m sure quite a few people would appreciate it if you could post it here.


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!