Sometimes, Korea can make it hard for you to like it; moreover, it can make it hard for you to want to continue to remain in it, even when you have to. Yes, it’s time to look at Visa Extensions and the huge K-bomb that was just dropped on current NETs last week. After battling various issues of desk-warming during school holidays, lousy co-teachers, bad apartment situations, rough interactions at work or with locals (as Christo of Kimchi with Eish! mentions here) or fighting with one’s school to receive OT pay, this seems to be final thing that wants to make an NET place a gun to forehead and pull the trigger. It’s got the NETs in our community riled up and at this point… fed up!
Visa runs: the common expat/traveler solution to extending your visa.
If you’re an expat or traveler wanting to extend your visa, you may have heard various rumors of visa runs— a process of leaving the country you’re in, in order to renew your visa terms with the country you’re living/working/or traveling in. Visiting Thailand last year, I ran into several expats and travelers doing visa runs to extend their time in a particular country. For expats, it stands to reason that when your work contract ends, usually your visa ends along with it; thus, inspiring a visa run if you either– 1) wish to renew your work contract or 2) continue living/traveling in the country.
To perform a run, you’d cross a border into a neighboring country, go to the embassy of the country you wish to renew your visa and simply re-apply for a new visa. If all your papers are in order, you will be issued a new visa. If however, your documents aren’t in order, this could mean an extended stay , added expense and multiple trips to the embassy in the country you’re doing your run in. It’s a troublesome process but common.
Visa Extensions in Korea: the ass-backwards program.
My E-2 work visa expires 9 days short of my work contract! EPIK knew this, the DMOE knew this (they drew our contracts); but what every hid behind the mystery curtain, was that we’d be solely responsible for getting our visa extension without breaking work days. So how’s it to work? This is it: an apostille FBI criminal check (last year it was a state criminal check) and another apostille copy of our college diploma! (I’ve posted the DMOE’s K-bomb letter here )
Did we submit these documents last year (nearly 9 months ago)? Yes and here’s the kicker … we submitted it TWICE! Which begs curiosity: Aren’t any of those official docs we submitted on file? Of our time in Korea, has/will anyone commit a crime since our last criminal check, less than a year ago and enough to warrant one from the FBI?
For those renewing contracts, these requirements feel like a pain in the ass. For those who must extend their visas from February 17 to 25 it feels worse (…and who knows if it allots for extra days to pack up, close bank accounts, etc… I heard contradictory* information) !
What’s the difference between visa runs, visa extensions,… or the infamous Korean midnight runs? Perhaps it lies within one tempting expression…Dynamic Korea! What do you think? As a traveler or expat, would you prefer a visa run or the Korean approach to visa extensions?
If anyone has further information on NET requirements or if I’ve made an error on this new requirement, please let comment.
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