Monday, January 07, 2008

Korean E-2 Visa: It used to be so easy; Post-Boho Reflections; Still afraid of Bosintang

Check out this form, I'm not sure if it's from my potential employer, or from the consulate:

New E2 Visa Reforms
The reason for changing the visa laws for E-2 visas
The number of ESL teachers who break the social laws in Korea are getting more severe.
- 2007.9.5 KBS 2TV program exhibited an expose on native (English) teachers; drugs, fake degrees.
- Due to the recent pedophile search by Interpol and that teacher having taught English in Korea, there is much concern about native English teachers.
- The issuance of E2 visas with regard to the qualifications of teachers and their social conduct in Korea has become an issue.
- A system of protection must be implemented so that sexual criminals, unqualified teachers, and drug addicts do not come into contact with students.
?? Changes to the System
- When applying for an E2 visa, a criminal background check and medical health report must be submitted.
- After arrival in Korea, applicants must get a medical health report from an approved government hospital, public health clinic, or general hospital.
- After an applicant has filed for an E2 visa at an embassy/ consulate, the applicant must have a personal interview.
- Applicants who have been issued an E2 visa in the past or have been verified to have certified documentation will be issued an E2 visa faster.

Changes to the Application Process
1. Criminal Background Check
To prevent applicants with convictions for drug offences or sexual offences from entering the country, a criminal background check must be submitted.
Issuers of Criminal Background Check and Expiration Date
- Only local, provincial/ state, or federal government law enforcement agency issued checks will be accepted.
- The criminal background check must have an apostille*.
The countries that do not have an apostille agreement with Korea, (like Canada and China), will have to submit the criminal background check for verification at the applicants closest consulate/ embassy.
Applicants in Korea must receive the criminal background check from the applicants' embassy in Korea. The notarization or seal becomes unnecessary.
- The criminal background check is only valid within 90 days/ 3 months of the E2 visa application.
- Standards for the screening for E2 visa
- Any applicant who has any kind of criminal record will not be issued an E2 visa.

What is an Apostille?
An Apostille or postil is a seal applied by the Department of State to authenticate a document in a foreign country in order to assess the authenticity of an official signature. The Apostille is recognized as form of an international notary seal. An Apostille can be used if both countries (the country issuing the document and the country in which the document will be used) are part of the international "The Hague Apostille Convention".
2. Medical Health Report
A medical health report is necessary for an E2 visa to protect Korean citizens from applicants who test positive for narcotic drugs, communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS physical and/or mental ilnesses.
After entering Korea, applicants must submit themselves to a medical check at an approved govt. hospital public health clinic or general hospital.

The media in Korea has been sensationalizing the foreign influence of English teachers in Korea. Make no mistakes, there are a lot of weirdo foreigners who go there (like me.) But maybe it makes good sense. It should be interesting getting a criminal background check. I have no drug or sex offense convictions so it should be no problem.

One thing about working in the US is that a lot of people I think are getting worried about the information that your potential employers can find out about you through myspace and facebook and blogs. Now I'm getting paranoid. When I was living my neo-bohemian lifestyle I really didn't give a shit about people spying on me. As a fiction writer I spout a lot of bullshit, say offensive things, and generally have an unprofessional attitude towards the goings on about the world. I feel that that is my right as a writer. I may never be published, but first and foremost I consider myself an outside observer; and I consider it my human right to play with my observations in public and private. This does not accord with the homogenized, astro-turf culture of corporations and what-have-you; and this is exactly why I adopt this attitude. I have made concessions. I try not to call people fascists anymore. It has been, if not always a word to diffuse; it is mere name calling. I don't what, but I'm sure its use by both liberals and conservatives falls within the taxonomy of Logical Fallacies, namely, Spock's Brain.

It was fun, though. Maybe that's it. The enigma is somewhere in the idea of calling someone a fascist, just as it is fun to call yourself a bohemian. Both were phenomenons, as far as I can tell the were most evident before and after WWII. Jason and Wendi, who live in Pittsburgh now, were my Bohemian Crew. We watched Aki Kaurismaki's La Vie de Boheme innumerable times. Read, wrote, drank, explored NYC, held parties and wakes. But it was an unsustainable lifestyle. But I still love the ideology, and I hope to capture it again, if in a different, global and digital form. I will go more into my ideas when I have laid some groundwork. I just know so many creative people, and this society does not seem to have an appreciation for creativity, unless it's creativity that leads to profit. But it seems that the netroot activities of like-minded people on dailykos and mydd can be applied to artistic types. Even though myspace is owned by News Corps, it's great because so many people can share their creative ideas--namely music. I will go more into this later. I am no longer interested in what is "fascist." Though I still use the term. It's just a fun epithet. But I learned a much better F-word from my fellow neo-Bohemian Jason. Fucker.

Oh yes, my other Neo-Boho friends CyphergodnessHellion and Erorocka Bomb-ya have transferred some of their work from their Velvet Underground inspired band Nylon-Coated Cats onto their Rad Unicorn website. I haven't listened to it yet, but I'm going to download, listen to it and judge it to within a micron of my life.

I will use a video of my stair-antics to bumpily slop back to the main voom-voom of this post:

I like the idea of living my professional life in Korea, and my artistic life in the US. But the paradox is that I'm importing culture there so as the Koreans can better understand and assimilate into Western culture. I'm not a total anti-globalist (obviously, otherwise, why would I take these jobs), but on the other hand, my Korean employers could take things the wrong way. Or, worse, the right way.

It's complex, and I'll see how all this plays out.

But it's going to take a couple of months to process my Visa this time around--last time it was processed extremely quickly. Maybe it's due to some reactionary elements in the Korean government--If I'm not mistaken, the new PM is a rightist. And I talked to many students who longed for the pre-democratic days of General Lee (I believe that's who he was.) Interesting. Anyhow, looking forward to seeing my friends and eating the best bulgogi in town, and by town, I mean the world. Who knows, I might try some bosintang this summer.

ps, trawling my old blog posts, I found this one. Indeed, the very idea chills me to the bone.

pps, a scrimp pop of optimism.

ppps, oh long and loyal readers, LEST WE FORGET!


Anonymous said...

Good Luck..... We all hate govenment forms..there must be some way around off an immigration lawyer....let them process the paper work...or go to an emabssy....maybe that would work...who knows

workhard said...

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