Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

E-2 vs. F-visas

with 12 comments

I’ll give you the lowdown.  I’m stating the obvious perhaps but from my experience, the vast majority of employers prefer newbies (from overseas) on E-2 visas.  Of course there are also a handful of schools (mostly in Seoul) who do prefer F-4 teachers.  F-4 teachers though (whether newbie/experienced, overseas/in-country) tend to be the most pickiest in terms of location.  Not only do they want Seoul, they want to be in Gangnam.  If a school in Daegu is looking for an F-4 instructor, I tell them to forget it unless they’re willing to pay the big bucks.  F-2s?  Pretty much the same.  Since they are married, it would be very unlikely they would go far from their residence.  No matter how good your pitch is, you ain’t moving a teacher who is 100% set on location.

Life use to be easier back in the day before the whole visa overhaul bullshit that immigration created with rules that don’t even make sense.  The toughest of the bunch to place however, would be in-country E-2 holders.  Once you have a year’s experience under your belt, you pretty much know where you want to go.  Not only that, E-2s usually want to start a new contract as soon as their current one is finished so the timing has to be perfect.   Also, if you want to change jobs in the middle of your contract, expect to have suspicions arise on why you’re cutting loose before one year.  Regardless if you finished your contract or not, expect your recruiter or potential employer to do a reference check on you.  We take the feedback we receive from reference checks with a grain of salt.  We understand that lots of teachers have not-so-perfect relationships with their managers/directors.  However, it’s always best to at least try to leave on a somewhat good note so that they could give you a decent reference.

Some of you may think that schools prefer to have you on an E-2 so that they could have you by the balls in case you want to leave.  I guess this is somewhat true but always keep in mind that regardless of what visa you’re on, there’s always an opportunity to leave if your employer tries to pull funny shit.  Don’t ever feel that you’re tied into a contract if your employer isn’t living up to the basic standards of the contract.  You could always pack up, get a new job, get  a new visa, go on a quick run, then come back to a (hopefully) better job.

I always laugh at schools who complain that we send them shitty teachers who want to quit 2 months into their contracts.  It’s not the shitty teachers we send, it’s the shitty work environment that you make them work in.

The visa laws here in Korea are unfortunately very discriminatory.  Having an E-2 visa is very restrictive; hard to get a cell phone or sign up for anything on the internet for example.  I had an E-2 when I first came to Korea in 2004 then switched to an F-series visa a little over a year later.  Man, it opened up a lot of doors.  I was able to get a cell phone under my own name rather than having a co-signer, apply for a credit card (sans deposit and co-signer), and my ID number actually works on some sites (albeit not on all).  If you’re gyopo and on an E-2, then get the F-4!!  I know that there are a few that don’t qualify for it but if you do, then having the E-2 is a total waste IMHO. 

If you’re not a gyopo, then just marry your Korean boyfriend/girlfriend:)

Written by recruiterinkorea

November 1, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. […] to be on an E-2 visa while working at an agency. In fact, to work at my agency, you would need an F-series visa if you were a foreigner. If you’re really keen on this industry and don’t qualify for […]

    • Marrying a Korean girl… easier said than done. ._. Isn’t there also a language proficiency test you can take in order to qualify for one of those F visas?


      July 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm

  2. […] a comment » I mentioned several times before (here, here, and here) that it’s quite difficult for foreigners to work in professions other than […]

  3. […] will result in anything.  At least it’s a small step in the right direction.  Having an F-series visa as opposed to an E-2 visa does make a world of difference however, there are some things that are just impossible or very […]

  4. […] that the restrictions are the same as any other banks and that apply for one would be restricted to ones’ visa or ability to pay a large deposit.  I know in the articles it does say to those ‘who […]

  5. […] staff member just called someone at the MOE and confirmed this.  It’s a hurdle for the F-visa guys but will hopefully weed out the […]

  6. […] visa but wish to stay here and expand their horizons.  As we all know, the E-2 visa is a hell of a restrictive visa as opposed to those with an F-series visa; can’t work in more than one location without […]

  7. […] a comment » Any English language instructor on an E-2 visa will tell you how restrictive it is to say an F-4 or F-2.  This is all too evident when it comes to getting a mobile phone.  I believe LG allows regular […]

  8. […] think that just because you have a F-4 visa, you can come to Korea and live comfortably.  You can definitely find work but if it’s […]

  9. […] It’s come to our attention that some people that we know have recently tried to renew their F-4 visas and were denied based on the fact that they were born in the U.S. (haven’t heard any problems […]

  10. […] like I said, the schools that we work with do not pay 교포 instructors any less than E-2 guys but nonetheless, it’s annoying that they’re placed in a different class.  Being […]

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