Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Korean Paperwork

As my imminent departure for Korea approaches ever-nearer, there is quite a bit to do. Of course, there's the requisite packing up all my stuff and shifting it over to Phoenix, but there's also a lot to do in order to actually arrive in Korea and be allowed to work.

The entire process of trying to get to Korea has been one fraught with drama. First, there was the recruiter drama. Then, there was the oh-you-think-you-have-a-job-but-you-don't dilemma. Finally, I landed a for-sure job of my choosing after what felt like a million hit-and-misses. Now it's time for paperwork problems.

I had no idea when I started out that the paperwork would be so involved. Before anyone in Korea would even interview me for a job, I had to go down to some sketchy fingerprint place with a handwritten paper sign on its door to get my fingerprints taken for my TWO FBI background checks, take FOUR passport photos, and get TWO copies of my diploma notarized.

Then I had to send off my notarized diploma copies for TWO apostilles (the stamps that certify a document as real) and my background checks to the government to be run through the system. When my background check came back, that had to be sent out to apostilled, as well.

When my apostilled background check came back, I had to get my entire application together. This meant making three copies of my signed contract and resume, copying all of the above documents, finding out I need six passport photos instead of four, packaging it all up and shipping it off to South Korea.

Although I haven't completed this process yet, it is coming up quickly: the dreaded Consulate visit! This entails providing yet another passport photo, two copies of my official college transcripts and pay the fee.

And since I'm planning on bringing my dog, I had to get her a rabies shot, a check-up and will have to pay for her to ride with me on the plane.

Applying for a job in Korea is not for the faint of heart nor the weak of wallet! I've since found out that the two apostilled diplomas and background checks were unnecessary. What a pain!

EDIT: I can't bring my pooch :( My recruiter told me that apartment complexes are not dog-friendly. So I'm looking for a home for the poor thing and I am going to miss her terribly.

EDIT II: I had to ship my passport/visa to the consulate express via FedEx, meaning you should add another $50 to the whole process. It's definitely not inexpensive to get to Korea. The up-front costs are exhausting, both financially and emotionally. However, I have faith that the experience will be rewarding!


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