Apostille Authentication Procedures For American Teachers
American’s must submit two (2) Apostille authenticated documents to Korean Immigration in order to acquire a work visa; their original FBI Background Check and the Notarized Copy of their Diploma .
What is an Apostille?
An Apostille is a type of international authentication for documents. Documents that are issued in one country (United States) but need to be used in another country (Korea) must be authenticated or legalized to verify authenticity and eliminate fraudulent documents.
1. FBI Background Checks Apostille Authentication
All American’s MUST have their original FBI Check authenticated with an Apostille from the Department of State. There are no exceptions to this requirement and failing to authenticate your FBI check will result in a denied work visa with Korean Immigration.
IMPORTANT: Although some Secretary of State Offices (state level) will Apostille FBI background checks Korean Immigration requires Department of State (federal level) Apostille Authentication for this document.
IMPORTANT: The FBI does not Apostille background checks. Having your FBI check Apostille Authenticated is a separate step that must be completed after you’ve received your background check from the FBI.
How to have your FBI Check Apostille Authenticated for Teaching in Korea
There are 2 ways to secure a Department of State (DOS) Apostille Authentication for an FBI check:
- OPTION A Recommended Method [3-6 business days]: Use a private company that can expedite your DOS Apostille Authentication. Gone2Korea recommends using US Legalization Services because they’re fast, efficient and fairly priced. Visit their website for step by step instructions for securing the Apostille. Note: Gone2Korea is not affiliated with US Legalization and we do not collect a fee for referring people to their services.
- OPTION B Not Recommended [2-4 weeks]: The other way to have your check authenticated is by mailing your FBI check directly to the Department of State. We generally don’t recommend this option because of the lengthy processing timeline (up to a month) and additional paperwork that’s required.
US Federal Department of State Office Address
2201 C St NW, Washington, DC 20520, United States
2. Notarized Copy of Diploma (Degree Certificate) Apostille Authentication
American’s also need to have the notarized copy of their diploma’s Apostille authenticated. To be clear, having the copy of your diploma notarized by a lawyer (lawyer signs and stamps a photocopy of your diploma) is different than acquiring the Apostille Authentication – both steps are needed.
Unlike FBI checks that need to be Apostille Authenticated at the federal level by the Department of State, your diploma can be Apostilled at the state level by your Secretary of State Office (SOS).
How to have your University Diploma Apostille Authenticated for Teaching in Korea
- STEP 1: Before you can acquire the Apostille Authentication for your diploma you’ll need to have a copy of it notarized. To do this simply bring your original university diploma and some photo identification to a notary public and request a notarized copy of your diploma. The notary will make a photocopy of your original diploma then they will sign and stamp it – you now have a notarized copy of your diploma. Note: To find a notary public in your area simply do a Google search for: ‘Notary Public + your city name’.
- STEP 2: Bring the notarized copy of your diploma to your Secretary of State office and request the Apostille Authentication. If you need to mail your documents to the SOS then use a priory courier service that offers a tracking number. The Secretary of State will return your notarized copy of diploma with the Apostille certificate affixed to it within 3-5 business days.
IMPORTANT: Make sure to confirm Apostille issuing policies and procedures with the SOS office prior to submitting your notarized copy of diploma.
NOTE: Most Secretary of State Offices will offer a faster service if you visit them in person. The table below is for reference purposes only. Applicants should always confirm the process with the office they plan on using (including mailing address and payment methods) prior to submitting and requesting documents.