Apostilles Apostilles Apostilles

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!

Document Prep for EPIK (A Guide)

So, I didn’t realize how rigorous it would be to prepare all of my documents for EPIK.

But here’s a list of everything I need to submit and hopefully this will be helpful for anyone else applying:

1. Hard copy of application

– Not a problem. Printed it out, signed, check.

2. Photocopy of BA diploma (apostilled)

– First of all, I had never heard of the word “apostilled” in my life. Is it just me? After doing a bit of research, I figured it was like a notary. So I went to the bank. The guy I spoke to there looked at me like I had rocks in my head and proceeded to call over a co-worker. She had never heard of it either.

He then gave me the number of the county clerk. I called and the county clerk repeated the word back to me several times before transferring me. Whoever I spoke to on the other end told me I had to get in touch with the NJ Department of the Treasury located in Trenton. Oh yeah, and it also costs $25/document to get “apostilled” and several weeks to send it back to me. Yippee.

3. National level criminal background check (apostilled)

– Your EPIK recruiter will send you a list of acceptable background check companies through the FBI. They cost between $45 and $50 to get done and delivery times vary. Look at them all and decide what’s best for you. In addition to getting this thing “apostilled,” most require you to get two sets of fingerprints. You can get them at you local police department and they should only cost about $3/set.

4. 2 sets of SEALED university transcripts

– Check with your college or university. Most charge a small fee.

5. Photocopy of TEFL certificate

– Check with your accrediting TEFL program.

6. 2 passport-sized photos

– You can usually get these done at the Post Office or a local drug store. I got my photos done at Walmart for less than $8.

7. Photocopy of passport info page

If anyone has any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try to help you to the best of my ability! It can be a little overwhelming, but that’s totally ok.