Getting a document apostilled is probably one of the most frustrating things I have ever experienced.
As an American, I had never even heard of an apostille before I began this process.
So, my advice for anyone wanting to teach English in Korea is this:
Prepare your documents before you even start applying to positions. You will want to rip your hair out less.
The apostille (or lack thereof) was my downfall in my EPIK application.
It was not explained properly by my recruiter and as the deadline was drawing nearer, I decided to pull my application.
I’m not going to go into detail about my strife, but please see below for what you ACTUALLY need to do:
1. Obtain an apostilled copy of your BA diploma. This can be done through your state’s Department of Treasury (I went to Trenton since I live in NJ). Your diploma copy also has to be notarized before it can be apostilled. Additionally, if your diploma is not in English, you must also obtain a translation of it (my diploma is actually in Latin because I went to a private Catholic University).
2. Obtain an apostilled copy of an FBI background check. I used VetConnex for my background check. You also need to get two sets of fingerprints from your local police station and VetConnex charges $45 to process. You have to send your fingerprint cards, the application, and the payment. After, you will receive your background check in the mail. THEN, you must send your background check to get a FEDERAL apostille, not a STATE one (this is what I did. Don’t make the same mistake, kids).
You need these documents for your E-2 Visa!!
Here is the mailing address for the Office of Authentications in Washington, D.C. (notice how it’s not actually in Washington):
Office of Authentications
U.S. Department of State
44132 Mercure CIR PO BOX 1206 Sterling, VA 20166 1206
The federal apostille only costs $8 and you have to send your payment, along with your document, and this form to the address above.
It will take about 5 business days to process in VA before actually getting sent to the Washington, D.C. office. Once it arrives there, it should take about 10 business days. (I just called the office to check on the status and this is what they told me.)
Also, here is the phone number for the Office of Authentications: 202-485-8000
I really hope this is helpful to some of you, because I totally wish I knew all the proper steps to take when I started this process.
Just go for it!