To get an E2 work visa in South Korea, one requires a state level criminal record check or criminal background check (CBC) with apostille stamp. I searched the internet and found many ways to obtain a CBC. I picked one, and it was wrong. Then, I figured out how to do it right. I’ll share that with you now. My hope is that it alleviates your stress and prevents you from wasting time, money and energy.
1. Go to your local police department in person to get your criminal background check. They will fingerprint you, and then you can come back within the next 9 days to pick up your CBC. It is important that they notarize that document. I received mine at the Oregon State Police Identification Services office located at 3772 Portland Road NE, Building C, Salem, OR 97303. Their phone number is 503-378-3070. The fee was $58.
2. When a document is to go to a foreign country, it is often necessary to have the notarization or official certification authenticated. Some countries call this an apostille. There is usually only one place in each state that is able to do this for you. Hopefully you don’t have to travel too far. To find your location, go to apostille.net. I went to 255 Capitol St. NE, Ste 151, Salem, OR 97310. Their phone number is 503-986-2200. Wait was ten minutes. The fee was $10.
3. For yourself, make a copy of your degree and the CBC. Take this and a set of passport size photos ($4.95 at Costco) with you to Korea.
4. Fedex the following items to your recruiter or school in Korea: (1) Your original degree (you will get this back from your school director after the visa processing), (2) One Sealed University Official Transcript, (3) a set of passport size photos, (4) Signed Contract (provided by school or recruiter), (5) Signed Self-medical form (provided by school or recruiter), (6) State level Criminal record check with apostille, and (7) a copy of your passport. Email your recruiter or school director the Fedex tracking number. The fee was $48.18.
From my experience, recruiters and schools were not helpful. They don’t know how to obtain any of these documents. They just want you to send the documents to them as fast as you can. In their defense, if you can’t get this items in order, you are going to have difficulty surviving in a foreign country. If you have questions about the American process, please ask me and I will try to help. Good luck!