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Apostille Requirement

Apostille Requirement

As of 01 September 2010, the Korean government requires that new ESL instructors or those renewing/changing their contract obtain an apostille to confirm the authenticity of their university records. The government has indicated that this need only be done once.
Government announcement: (May need to go through Explorer, on Notice then on Conversation teacher(E-2) related system improvement notice.
Starting from 2010.9.1 applying for the visa issuance number and  sojourn related work(extension, workplace transfer, visa status transfer, activities beyond the limits of current status)should hand in a diploma copy or a obtained degree certificate or a graduation certificate, which has gotten a apostille stamp or a verification from the Korean consulate of the foreigner's own country or a verification from the Korean Council for University Education to the immigration office. The document is required once during the foreigner's Korea sojourn period

If a teaching applicant is an American citizen her/his criminal background check may also require an apostille.

An apostille is a seal applied by an official government authority/body that confirms the authenticity of a document and of the official signature when that document has to go to a foreign country. The apostille is basically an international certification seal. The apostille can be used if both countries (the country issuing the document and the country in which the document will be used) are listed on the international Hague Conference on Private International Law website

The process is a relatively simple one in that it is not necessary to have a legal expert’s help. Some private companies offer to speed up the process for a fee (regular process generally takes only a few days and many departments offer an expedited option). Costs generally work out to the equivalent of 10,000 and 40,000 won per document. Each country has a designated authority competent to issue apostilles.

Who Can Issue an Apostille?  
There is a website that provides a list of countries indicating whether or not each issues apostilles as well as links to apostille websites for all those that do. These websites list everywhere one can obtain an apostille in that country.

Australia: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade  
Canada: Government of Canada (search for 'apostille'. Apostille provided abroad by the government of Canada are supposed to be free of charge.
United Kingdom: Legalisation office of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 
United States: A number of state, federal and territorial agencies are authorized to issue an apostille for university records and/or criminal records. 

Procedures (following are the procedures for the United States since the requirement by the Korean government is usually for American citizens):

1. Academic Records:
- Obtain from the registrar of the University an official true copy of the credentials bearing the seal of the university.  The registrar should then execute an affidavit attesting to the validity of the document before a notary public in the registrar's office or elsewhere at the university.  Frequently the business offices of colleges and universities have notaries public. 

- Gather together your documents that need to be apostilled, as well as the money needed to pay for it. While each state is different, the price to apostille each document will range from $8 to $30. 

- Decide if you are going to mail the documents or take them in person to the state secretary's office (usually located in the state capital city). If you mail them, you must include your name and address, form of payment (a personal check will work) and the location to which you want them mailed, as well as a postage-paid envelope for mailing the apostilled document. Many state websites will have an apostille request form you can download and fill out to mail with your documents.

2. Criminal Record
The following information is from the FBI website.
The CJIS  (Criminal Justice Information Services Division) of the FBI will authenticate fingerprint search results for international requests by placing the FBI seal and the signature of a division official on the results if requested at the time of submission. Documents prepared in this way may then be sent to the U.S. Department of State by the requester to obtain an apostille if necessary. This procedure became effective on January 25, 2010 and will apply only to documents finalized after that date. Requests to authenticate previously processed results will not be accepted. This procedure replaces the letter formerly provided by the CJIS Division that indicated the service was not provided.

3. Driver's LIcense
The Korea Driver's License Agency now requires an apostille rather than a notorized certificate as authentication of a foreign resident's home country driver's license from citizens of certain countries. For more details see the K4E Getting a Korean Driving License page.

Editor's Note: tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at
Please note that government regulations and procedures may have changed from what has been described above or may not apply in all situations/cases. K4E recommends that you check with the appropriate government office and/or officials prior to going forward


Last Updated on 2019-01-05

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