This visa stuff is a little intimidating! The website for the Korean Consulate in NYC isn’t as clean cut as the other website for say the FBI CRC or the Diploma Apostille we had to do in the past. So since I am from Pennsylvania my location for applying for a visa is through the Korean Consulate in New York City. (FIND YOUR LOCATION HERE) Now I went through the EPIK guide for the visa process and then I read the Korean Consulate (NYC)’s specific requirements. According to the site they required nothing out of the ordinary for EPIK Teachers. Make sure you always call to check in case the consulate/embassy in your location requires transcripts, diploma, etc. However, I heard transcripts from another teacher going through New York City so I just threw them in there. I also threw in a scanned copy of my FBI CRC, Apostille Diploma, and Korean Consulate Checklist (There was nothing on the website saying you had to do this, but I read some stuff online on various recruiter’s websites and figured what can it hurt? I didn’t want to get a call from them requesting another document and then me have to mail yet another document out. So I just said hey I have it right? I’ll throw it in there! I just put a post it note on it saying “Just in case you need this.”)

Now I filled out the application form which looks like this: http://www.mofa.go.kr/english/visa/images/res/visakorean.pdf Make sure you look closely at the instructions and don’t forget to add the visa issuance number. This number can be found in the upper left hand corner of your official hard copy of your Notice of Appointment. The Visa Issuance number goes on the very first row found under APPLICATION FOR VISA. It says CONFIRMATION OF VISA ISSUANCE NUMBER: (put the number here).

  1. Last name
  2. First name
  3. Skip unless unless you have a name with Chinese characters.
  4. Check mark next to your gender.
  5. Birthday in Day, Month, Year format.
  6. Nationality: US Citizen.
  7. Country of Birth: USA
  8. Home Address
  9. Phone Number
  10. Mobile Phone Number
  11. Email
  12. SSN
  13. Passport Number
  14. Circle OR (This means you are an ordinary citizen not a diplomat, government official etc.)
  15. Place your passport was issued.
  16. Date your passport was issued.
  17. Date your passport will expire.
  18. Occupation (CURRENT not EPIK) if you are unemployed just put N/A (not applicable).
  19. Work phone number.
  20. Work name and address.
  21. Check your marital status.
  22. If you are married then list your spouses name etc. Or put N/A (not applicable).
  23. Spouse info or N/A.
  24. Spouse info or N/A.
  25. Spouse info or N/A.
  26. Purpose of Entry: I put English Program in Korea (EPIK).
  27. Potential Length of Stay: 1 year.
  28. Potential Date of Entry: (I am in Team 1 for orientation so my date my differ from yours) 18 Aug 2013
  29. Previous Visits to Korea: List if any.
  30. Address in Korea: Undecided (EPIK)
  31. Phone number in Korea: Undecided
  32. Who will pay for the expense of your stay?: Employer and Myself. (I listed the employer as well as myself because they provide your housing.)
  33. List any countries you have visited in the past 5 years.
  34. Leave blank or put N/A
  35. Leave blank or put N/A

Finally put the date you filled out the application in Day, Month, Year format. Then sign your name. Leave the very bottom blank as it states FOR OFFICE USE ONLY.

After I had all this put together I placed all of my stuff into a folder and took it to the post office. When I mailed it off this was the contents of my envelope.

  • Passport
  • Photocopy of personal data page from passport.
  • Application
  • 1 passport picture attached to application. (I also included an envelope containing 2 more photos just in case 1 a 2inx2in and another 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm picture).
  • 1 money order for $45.00 made out to the Korean Consulate General.
  • Original Notice of Appointment
  • Photocopy of the Notice of Appointment
  • Original signed contract.
  • Sealed Transcript
  • Copy of apostille diploma, and FBI CRC. (OPTIONAL lol I just did it just in case)
  • I also included the Consulate Checklist I found online. It wasn’t listed but again why not? If it saves me from having to mail it in after the fact.
  • Included a prepaid priority mail envelope with insurance with my return address inside ( DO NOT FORGET TO INCLUDE A RETURN ENVELOPE).

Now I mailed all of this in a priority mail envelope with tracking and insurance that will cover my documents/passport should they get lost (unlikely). My documents should arrive as the Korean Consulate in NYC by Saturday. The address is: Korean Consulate, ATTN Visa Services, 460 Park Avenue (Bet. 57th and 58th St) 6th Floor, New York, New York 10022.

Hopefully this will help your guys out. I’ll let you know how it goes!

NOTE: If you live close enough to the various consulates/embassies then do a walk in appointment! Unfortunately I live too far away.


Notice of Appointment

So I finally got word! I received a notice of appointment from the Seoul Office of Education! So for the next year I will be living and working in Seoul, South Korea. This process has been crazy but it is so worth it. In August I will be beginning a new adventure in my life and I am so looking forward to it. I cannot wait to meet all the interesting and new people the EPIK program will bring into my life. Everything is going to change and I am so excited about it. Looking forward to bringing everyone lots of fun and interesting blog posts!

How to fill out IRS Form 8802 (AKA US Residency Certificate)

Alright let’s do this! The most recent questions I have been getting lately is how to fill out the IRS Form 8802 to get your US Residency Certificate (Form 6166). You need to do this at least 45 days before you plan on departing. So I will give you some helpful hints to set your mind at ease. However, of course with any of this I would recommend that if you feel completely lost then just head on down to your local tax office to have them help you out. The application fee is $85.00 so you want to avoid making mistakes.

Now something to note is that for US applicants as long as you do not make more than $91,000 while you are abroad then you should not be required to pay any income tax to the United States. Yet, of course to avoid a red flag in the IRS’s system I would definitely still file even though you won’t have to pay anything. However, while you are escaping the grasps of Uncle Sam there are still taxes in South Korea. Luckily as incoming teachers we have the opportunity to embrace 2 years of tax exemption. After that 2 years of course we would have to start paying taxes in South Korea. For now though we are free of it.

Okay so are you guys ready? Let’s take a look at this form. Note: This will be from the perspective of a first time applicant and a USA resident.

Application: (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8802.pdf)

Instructions: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8802.pdf

The US Taxpayer Identification Number is your Social Security Number. I have had a few people who have asked me since they weren’t sure what it was. So pure and simple it’s just your SSN.

1. Enter your name and social security number.

2. Write in your permanent residential address for the year requested. I wrote in my parent’s address so that my mother (My 3rd Party Appointee) can handle my documents should it be necessary. Do not write in a PO Box since the IRS Instructions clearly state that they may reject P.O. Box address entered. They need to verify that you are residing in the USA. So be sure to put down your residential address.

3a. Where do you want this mailed to? Again I put my parent’s/my address since I currently live at home with my mother.

3b. Now you don’t have to give any appointee information unless it is your intention to have someone forward or receive the document. However, I chose to write down my mother just in case if some weird thing happened where I didn’t get the form in time. For those doing this for the August intake I would suggest it just because it took me 3 months to get mine because of a fluke in the IRS’s system.

4. I checked (a) for individual and U.S. citizen. However, you will need to check whichever option best applies to you.

Next Page: Enter your name.

5. Did you file taxes last year? Yes I did file taxes so I chose the form I used which was a 1040. However, some of you may not have filed taxes because you were students and didn’t work. In that case you would choose: No/Other and then state the reason. The reason could be student/no income.

6. If you chose No/student option and you were a dependent on your parent’s income taxes then you would need to enter their tax information: which form they used, basic information, address, and a parent’s social security number. Leave this area blank though if you chose the yes option on line 5.

7. 2013 (Calendar year for which the certification is requested)

8. I used the format, YYYYMM, however I have read other places where people have called the IRS and they use a form that has all years instead of months. So it’s up to you just make sure you call first if you want to go that route. This is just a fussy way of getting you to state that yes I did indeed file income taxes lol. I filed for 2012 and the last month of the calendar year for which I filed was 12. So YYYY= 2012 and MM= 12 so all together it is: 201212. That is the six digit number I entered. Be sure to read over the instructions or give the IRS a call to pick the best option for you.

9. Purpose of the certification: Income tax.

10. The perjury statement will depend on your own personal circumstances. See the instructions for the best option. Note for teachers: We do not have our contract dates so I would skip the teaching statement and use the standard statement. Call the IRS if you are unsure. Mine was: “This certification is given under penalties of perjury and to the best of my knowledge and belief; the statements are true, correct, and complete. (First and Last name), (social security number), is a U.S. resident and will continue to be throughout the current tax year.

Sign and print your name, Date, Phone number

Next Page: Worksheet for U.S. Residency Certification Application

Name, Social Security Number, 2013 (this year)

State how many copies you would like to receive. You do not need many because you are only going to present the original to your school and then give them a photocopy of it. Up to you though.

Payment Method: I chose to pay with a check made out to the United States Treasury for $85.00 and the check option’s address was: Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 71052,Philadelphia, PA 19176-6052.

They also have an Epay option found at: (http://www.irs.gov/uac/Electronic-Payment-of-User-Fees). Just select the 3rd option US Residency and click to leave the site option and it will take you to the Epay site. If you decided to do the Epay option then you would send your application to this address: Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Philadelphia, PA 19255-0625.

Then according to the instructions they also have a Fax option although I would be iffy about that from years of working in an office setting since papers can get misplaced. Up to you though just be sure to include a cover sheet. Fax. You can fax up to 10 Forms 8802 (including all required attachments) for a maximum of 50 pages to the fax numbers below. A fax cover sheet stating the number of pages included in the transmission must be used.The following fax numbers are not toll-free:(267) 941-1035 or (267) 941-1366.

I hope this helped you out! I know IRS forms can be stressful and confusing. Don’t worry though just think of the positive outcome once you get to South Korea. Best wishes! 

Thoughts Pour Out


Today I just received my Diploma with the apostille back in the mail. I was happy to get it and I’m hopeful of having a future in South Korea. Lately I have been wondering if it would be better for me if I would just apply directly to EPIK. Especially since I have everything all ready. Yet, I am not sure, because if for some reason I wouldn’t be accepted into EPIK I want to have a backup plan with my recruiter. I don’t think it would look very good for me to ditch my recruiter who has been nothing but wonderful, and then go back to them should I not get in. Also Korvia gives you a cell phone upon arrival and checks up on you. I don’t want to go without some kind of safety net even if it is just a small one. Perhaps I will apply through EPIK directly after I have had my first year there. I think I would feel much more comfortable having gone through the process already. Then I will be more confident on doing the whole process again on my own.