Visa Extension - Because I Just Can't Get Enough

A few months ago I decided that 12 months here just isn't enough. The money is really nice, the people are great, there are SO many things to do in this country, and really - the US economy is so bad these days that there really isn't any real reason to go home.

My visa ends August 9, my contract ends August 16th, and my alien card expires August 23rd. I will be extending until December 5. The process is entirely different now than it was a year ago apparently, so I've jumped through a bunch of hoops so far. The new Korean President decided to change the requirements for anyone trying to teach in Korea starting January 2008 - so here's what to expect if you are looking to teach OR even if you just want to extend:

- Once you've been hired, or you've agreed to extend you'll need a signed contract from the school (hasn't changed)
- A physical is required including a clean drug test, and an AIDS test (new)
- *Clean criminal records as stated by the police department of the city you last resided in (new)

*If you are in Korea you can have these mailed to you but you will need to go to the Embassy to have an Apostille Seal stamped on it before giving it to the immigration office. The embassy sent out a notice at the end of July that said it would no longer accept any criminal records printed off of the internet. However - this has yet to be verified as I have had friends continue to print theirs off line.

My Korean coordinator went to the immigration office last week with my signed criminal records that were also notarized, and they said a seal would not be necessary. After getting all my tests back and such, my Korean coordinator went back to hand everything in and was told by the guy that the seal is 100% absolutely necessary. SO I will be taking a trip to the Embassy pretty soon. An extra step for no reason whatsoever.

So much work to lead the good life...