I know that Korean Immigration probably wants to ensure in some ways that the teacher’s coming over are responsible and dedicated individuals with a genuine interest in teaching. That being said it is such a relief to be done with all the paperwork associated with getting my E2 visa and the forms for my recruiter and employer!

  Last Thursday I dropped by the Korean Consulate to drop off my passport (little unsettling handing it over after just getting the replacement) so that I could obtain my visa. Internet research and my recruiter had both stated that I had to go in for an interview and pay $80 dollars for a multiple-entry visa. Turns out that the policy had changed (this happens quite a bit with Korean Immigration)…in my favor! They no longer required an interview AND the multiple-entry status was automatically included for American citizens so I only had to pay 45 bucks for it, thanks Immi.

   Dropped by on Monday and my passport was waiting for me on the other side of the “Visas” counter. While I had called 30 minutes beforehand I was a little off-put at the fact that the girl running the booth barely glanced up to confirm it was me picking up the visa (my passport had big stick note with my name on it), all’s well that ends well. This is the first visa I’ve ever been issued seeing as how my rugby trip to New Zealand didn’t require one, and Mexico as well as Canada didn’t even require a passport back when I was frequenting them.

   I’m ashamed to admit this but back when I went to college in Bellingham I stopped going up to Canada when I turned 21 (drinking age is 19 for our awesome neighbors to the North). Mind you I did do quite a bit of skiing at Whistler as well as attend college weekend (Uni students from WA, OR, ID, CA and MT all converging for one epic weekend), the novelty as well as conversion rates were a little less lucrative compared to Bellingham bars and the legendary Mt. Baker ski resort.

   I promptly emailed my recruiter that I had the visa in hand and he quickly responded that my flight reservation was made, you rock James! I’m flying a direct flight from SeaTac to Incheon May 16th so it’s only an eleven hour flight, bonus. In addition to this my little brother’s friend Vicky from his college days at Green River Community College works for Korean Air and is going to get me a honeymoon cake (tried to wikipedia this but to no avail, anyone know what this is?) for my flight and I’m feeling the hospitality of the Korean people before I ever set foot in the country. Kamsahamnida Korea!