South Korea: D10 to E2 Visa

Required Documents:

  • One passport photo 35x45mm
  • Passport
  • Current ARC
  • Form #34 (you can fill it out at the office or you can find a PDF online at HiKorea)
  • Signed contract and NOA (if applicable)
  • Teaching schedule
  • Business license (this is not from the school but the Office of Education)
  • Housing contract
  • Report form* (will be provided to you during your appointment)
  • 130,000 won application and processing fee

Be sure to use a different photo from your D10 ARC. Luckily, I have a rotating set of long hair pics and short hair pics that I brought with me. If not, there is an ID photo booth onsite, or you can use in advance to print extra passport style photos.

If you only have one original contract, make sure to give them a copy instead but bring the original in case they need to see it. The officer made sure I had at least another original contract at home and also returned my NOA since it was my only original. I can’t say that every officer will do this so make copies in advance!

The school did not give me a teaching schedule so far in advance (and let’s be real, they probably haven’t made a school schedule yet– you know how Korea time works!) I simply made my own weekly schedule based on the one I worked in Seoul. It looked like this:

It passed inspection, or at least, the officer didn’t ask any questions about it. Just make sure you have between 20-22 period hours on your schedule, or whatever teaching hours your contract stipulates. For public school, more than 22 hours per week requires overtime pay.

If you will work in public school, the business license should be from your MOE or POE, not the school itself. There are only a few public programs that accept us D10s (JLP, CNOE, GOE) so your recruiter will be able to get this for you. If you work for a hagwon, the business license will come from the school itself.

I supplied a photocopy of the housing contract that my future CT was kind enough to provide. The officer reminded me that I must update my address within fourteen days of moving. This can be done in person or online. When I moved to Busan I used HiKorea to apply for my address update which was a fairly straightforward process. You will get a text if you’re address change has been approved.

1345 told me I needed to fill out a report form and that I could do so at the immigration office. I am too type A wait and thus hunted around the net for a copy. I found one document for “Report” but I’m not actually sure that was even the report document needed since the officer handed me a separate form during our appointment to report my job sector and yearly salary. I’d say, don’t worry about trying to find this in advance. The officer did accept the other paper I filled out so be wary that immigration will take and keep whatever you give them, even if it’s not needed.

Your D10 ARC will be taken and your passport returned. Hold on to the Certificate of Application for Permit of Stay that the officer will give you as proof of residency.

As always, please call 1345 for your specific situation. Immigration changes policies like I change apartments so it’s always best to double check at the source! This is my experience getting an E2 for a public school so if you will work at a hagwon, your mileage may vary.

When to Apply

1345 recommends applying at least three weeks in advance. This means you need to hop on HiKorea two weeks before that and schedule an appointment; immigration slots tend to fill up 3-4 weeks in advance. However, you may want to go more than a month in advance if you have your documents; see “Pitfalls to Avoid” below.

At Immigration

Arrive early, twenty minutes or more is a good estimate. While you are waiting, pay 100,000 won to the human cashier for the fee and 30,000 won to the ATM for the new ARC fee. Keep both receipts. When your number is called, bring your receipts and all documents to the officer.

After the officer has approved your documents, you will receive a “Certificate of Application for Permit of Stay”. Make sure you keep the 30,000 won receipt, if the officer didn’t staple it to the certificate for you. You will need to show both upon your return in a month to pick up your physical ID card.

Pitfalls to Avoid

While your E2 visa will be processed within a week or two in the online system, your physical new ARC card will take one month to be printed. If you are applying to teach in a different region from where you currently live, this can create havoc like it did for me today. My new contract starts March 1st, so I visited immigration in Busan today, February 4th, which is more than 3 weeks before the start of my contract. This ensures that I will be labeled as E2 in the system by my contract start and will not have any illegal overlapping.

However, since the physical ARC card takes one month to process, I will already be happily settled in my new city in Gyeongnam by the time it’s ready. Due to COVID, there is no option to mail the new card. It can only be picked up during weekday hours.

The officer proposed two options:

  1. Cancel my appointment with him now and visit the immigration office in my new city. That way when my card is ready I don’t have to travel back to Busan. Of course, it still means I would need to take PTO during my first working week to visit immigration.
  2. Keep my appointment with the Busan office and accept that the card must also be picked up here. Luckily, there is an option on the “Certificate of Application for Permit of Stay” that allows you to designate an authorized person to pick up the ARC for you. Assuming you have a friend willing to visit immigration during working hours, this might work for you. Luckily I have Korean roommates who have non-standard working hours and are willing to travel to immigration to pick it up and mail it to me. If you choose to do this, leave the Certificate and the 30,000 won receipt with your friend.

If possible, you should probably go to immigration more than a month earlier than your contract start date, or accept that you or someone else must physically pick up your fresh ARC after your contract has started.

Congratulations on your new contract and best of luck!

Are you actually searching for the reverse? Check out this article to understand how to transfer your E2 to a D10.


    • Abs

      There doesn’t seem to be a hard and fast rule but I would contact 1345 to confirm. I would personally advise going to the immigration office where your new school is because immigration is still not mailing any documents. But caution! Seoul made me apply for the D10 in my then-current zone, even though I was moving to Busan a day later. But Busan told me to go to Changwon to change to E2, even though I was living in Busan and wouldn’t move for another month.

      Each immigration office is different and I’d hate for you to travel far only to be told that you should go to the immigration office where you currently live! Busan and Changwon Immigration were both willing to help me out but no guarantees for other situations. Immigration embraces the Korean Surprise.

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