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  • emcee
  • Adventurer

    • 45

    • November 21, 2016, 08:00:56 am
    • Korea
Shenanigans right after getting my visa
« on: July 05, 2019, 11:19:58 pm »
I've taught for two years in Busan and had an amazing time there. Right now I'm back in my home country and I've lined up a job at a hagwon. Everything seemed fine since I communicated with multiple teachers at the school and one member of the administration.  The contract was also straightforward and the school clarified a few things in writing that I asked about.

However, a few days ago I picked up my entry visa and started having problems. BTW I'm communicating 100% through my recruiter and not with the school. I tell my recruiter I have the visa, and she says the school will reimburse me 1 million won for the flight. However the contract explicitly said the school would provide the flight ticket prior to my leaving for Korea. I don't mind paying for the ticket and being reimbursed later, it's just that there's no language in the contract and no guarantee that the school with repay me. I said "Ok, but we'll need to add an addendum to the contract." They seemed on board with that and so the recruiter started looking for a flight ticket.

I thought everything was fine, albeit frustrating, until this morning, when my recruiter emails me saying the school would like me to come a whole three weeks before my contract start date since the teacher I'm replacing is leaving early. Alarm bells went off on my head right there. I told the recruiter that I wasn't comfortable working outside the dates in my contract, and she said that was ok.

At this point I'm worried since the school is already reneging on their very first contractual obligation, and also asking me to basically work illegally.  However, I already have my entry visa sponsored by them. I'm afraid that if i decide to not work for this school that they may contact immigration and cause problems for me if I try to enter the country again with a different shool.

Has anyone ever cancelled on a school after the school sponsored their visa, and if so, what happened? Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks y'all


  • NorthStar
  • Expert Waygook

    • 618

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Re: Shenanigans right after getting my visa
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2019, 09:06:40 am »
Follow your instinct.  Your visa will simply expire in 90 days if you don't obtain an ARC.

There is a good chance the school knew dam well what they were doing.  Then again, there is a small chance it is a legitimate issue.  But...these people, overall, are not worth putting your trust in...simple fact.  And, if your instinct is pure and true on the matter, don't go.



  • m.corless
  • Super Waygook

    • 259

    • August 30, 2011, 02:55:14 pm
    • Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Shenanigans right after getting my visa
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 12:40:33 am »
If the things you want clarified are easily revised then it doesn't sound like too big a problem. Yes, you definitely want in writing that they will reimburse you for the flight. You also want the dates on your contract changed to reflect when you start working. You have your visa so you can go to Korea anytime and just have to apply for an ARC within 90 days. From an immigration/Korean government stand point neither of those things are issues upfront so you'll just have to make sure you're comfortable with the resolutions. It's highly unlikely the school will take the time to contact immigration and cause problems for you; that would be a lot of effort and to what end.


  • OnNut81
  • Expert Waygook

    • 848

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Shenanigans right after getting my visa
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 08:50:39 am »
Personally, I wouldn't fly over on my own dime.  It sets off an alarm (at least for me) before you've even arrived.  If there is some kind of change of heart or direction they'll cut ties and you're out for the price of the ticket.  If they've paid for the ticket they have shown a vested interest in employing you.  It shouldn't be an inconvenience or hardship for a solid business to purchase that ticket.  The one time I was coming over for a hakwan and they asked me to buy the ticket I said no.  They bought it and two months later the owner had run back to Canada owing a lot of people money.  The reimbursement of that ticket would likely have never happened because it look a lot of effort and time just to get the back salary I was owed.  If they want you here, make them take the responsibility of flying you over.  It's a sign of good faith in an industry that lacks a stellar reputation. 


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1239

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Shenanigans right after getting my visa
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2019, 12:56:17 pm »
Huh?  Start 3 weeks early?  So, you modify the contract with that start date for one year, get them to pay the flight and come over if you want or don't want.  As long as the visa and contract and changed to the new dates, no problem.  If they won't amend it, then move on, sure. 


  • leaponover
  • Expert Waygook

    • 521

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Shenanigans right after getting my visa
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2019, 07:12:57 pm »
I've taught for two years in Busan and had an amazing time there. Right now I'm back in my home country and I've lined up a job at a hagwon. Everything seemed fine since I communicated with multiple teachers at the school and one member of the administration.  The contract was also straightforward and the school clarified a few things in writing that I asked about.

However, a few days ago I picked up my entry visa and started having problems. BTW I'm communicating 100% through my recruiter and not with the school. I tell my recruiter I have the visa, and she says the school will reimburse me 1 million won for the flight. However the contract explicitly said the school would provide the flight ticket prior to my leaving for Korea. I don't mind paying for the ticket and being reimbursed later, it's just that there's no language in the contract and no guarantee that the school with repay me. I said "Ok, but we'll need to add an addendum to the contract." They seemed on board with that and so the recruiter started looking for a flight ticket.

I thought everything was fine, albeit frustrating, until this morning, when my recruiter emails me saying the school would like me to come a whole three weeks before my contract start date since the teacher I'm replacing is leaving early. Alarm bells went off on my head right there. I told the recruiter that I wasn't comfortable working outside the dates in my contract, and she said that was ok.

At this point I'm worried since the school is already reneging on their very first contractual obligation, and also asking me to basically work illegally.  However, I already have my entry visa sponsored by them. I'm afraid that if i decide to not work for this school that they may contact immigration and cause problems for me if I try to enter the country again with a different shool.

Has anyone ever cancelled on a school after the school sponsored their visa, and if so, what happened? Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks y'all

Your contract probably isn't signed anyway.  That's just the one you signed to get your Visa Issuance Number.  You'll be able to sign a new contract once you arrive that goes to immigration to get your ARC.  You won't necessarily be working illegally if you just sign a new contract  with the new dates.  Have to make sure they are willing to do that, that's all.  You've taught in Korea before and I think you've experienced how things change in a blink of an eye.  It's cool if you don't want to go through with it, but I don't really see anything sketchy going on personally.  If they don't allow you to sign a new contract with the new dates and just want you to work from the initial one, then I'd say something sketchy is going on.