What are the basic requirements to teach English in Korea?

All English teachers in Korea must apply and interview for positions – this can be done through a variety of recruiters and government programs, as well as directly through language schools and institutes. To legally teach English in Korea you  must meet certain standards and be able to provide certain documentation.  In many cases, documents must receive an international notarization known as an Apostille.

Requirements to Teach English in Korea

To teach English in Korea you must meet the following criteria:

  • Citizenship from a recognized English-speaking nation: U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.
  • Bachelor’s degree/diploma from an accredited college or university (4 years in US/3 years in UK).
  • Original national level criminal record check (FBI in the U.S.) that is free of any charges or convictions – DUIs, DWIs and any other misdemeanors or felonies will disqualify any prospective teachers from receiving an E-2 visa required to teach English in Korea (minor traffic violations will not disqualify you).
  • Clean health check and drug test.

Basic Requirements for teaching English in South Korea


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During the process of applying and interviewing for English teaching positions, and getting a visa processed at the consulate after signing a contract, prospective teachers should expect to be able to produce the following documents:

  • Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree/diploma
  • Sealed college or university transcript
  • Original national level criminal background check (FBI in the U.S.)
  • Passport photos
  • Original contract (to be provided by your employer for visa processing at consulate)
  • Original passport that is valid for at least one year

How to Get a Visa for Teaching English in South KoreaFor some positions, particularly those in public schools and universities, English teachers in Korea may be required to provide the following:

Visas for teaching English in South Korea

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Check out the following articles to learn more about entry requirements and teaching English in Korea:

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