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  • Leticia
  • Waygookin

    • 21

    • September 03, 2010, 03:01:55 pm
    • Masan, South Korea
I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« on: November 26, 2010, 11:51:58 am »
After telling my co-teacher that I was planning on heading to Japan during winter break (I was asking her when I would be able to go because of our winter camps..etc.)

She told me that I would get at least a week without work in January where I could vacation but that I wasn't allowed to leave the country until at least six months into the contract. I'm curious if any of you have come across this? I don't have my contract here at school so I can't check that out.

Im confused and will contact EPIK as soon as I get the chance but wanted to see what you all thought too.


  • Darkeru
  • Expert Waygook

    • 704

    • September 08, 2010, 01:03:17 pm
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2010, 11:53:21 am »
I'm working for SMOE and I got a 'I think it's better if you don't leave the country', but later changed to 'go explore Asia'. No commands saying I can't.
[In Korea once more - Working in Pyeongtaek]


  • summerthyme
  • Featured Contributor

    • 1108

    • July 10, 2010, 05:02:32 am
    • Waegwan, Chilgok, Gyeongbuk
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Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2010, 11:57:44 am »
I haven't heard of this, and I know there's nothing in my contract (Gyeongsangbuk-do/Chilgok) that prevents me from leaving the country.  I actually plan on going to Japan in January also, and I was an August intake.

As long as you have a multiple-entry visa and free vacation time, you should be able to go as long as your school has an idea of where you are.  I would try and ask your co-teacher where she heard that and explain that, provided there are no "real" obstacles, you would really enjoy exploring Asia.
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  • korr
  • Expert Waygook

    • 724

    • July 16, 2009, 12:35:46 pm
Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2010, 12:00:15 pm »
I'm also in Gyeongbuk and I had to contact EPIK about this last year. My coteacher misread the contract and thought I was only allowed to leave the country during my two-week renewal period. The Gyeongbuk coordinator told me that as long as I tell the school where I'm going and when I'm out of the country, I can go wherever I want during my vacation. So you shouldn't have a problem.


  • derekc
  • Adventurer

    • 62

    • October 06, 2010, 02:09:44 pm
    • South Korea
Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2010, 12:00:43 pm »
I've just scanned my EPIK contract and there is nowhere that it mentions limitations on where you spend your vacation.


  • ESmith4
  • Veteran

    • 110

    • April 23, 2010, 03:54:25 pm
    • Korea
Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2010, 12:00:53 pm »
epik.go.kr has a sample contract you can look at until you see your own. You would have to have a very unusual contract if that's written in it - it's not in anyone else's I've heard of. They may not WANT you to leave the country, but I'd be surprised if it's actually written into your contract.
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Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2010, 12:02:43 pm »
My CT said I can leave the country only when I am taking vacation days, but there two non-consecutive weeks that I have off that I am "working from home" (so that I'm not desk warming) and she told me I cannot leave the country during that time....


Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2010, 12:03:09 pm »
During your official paid leave (that's the 8 days specified in your contract under article 14.1) you can leave Korea and go where you like.

However, during the holiday time which is outside of that, you're not supposed to leave the country (but some schools don't enforce this).

Good luck.


  • summerthyme
  • Featured Contributor

    • 1108

    • July 10, 2010, 05:02:32 am
    • Waegwan, Chilgok, Gyeongbuk
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Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 12:08:16 pm »

However, during the holiday time which is outside of that, you're not supposed to leave the country (but some schools don't enforce this).

Good luck.

Really?  I hadn't heard of this before.
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  • nzer-in-gyeongnam
  • Moderator - LVL 3

    • 781

    • August 07, 2010, 01:23:29 pm
    • Gyeongnam-do
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Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2010, 12:08:35 pm »
I went to Japan just 3 weeks after I arrived in South Korea. As I arrived late June, and Summer vacation was in July. That was last year. Unless the rules have changed that drastically, I don't think there is anything that actually stops you leaving the country, besides your principal. If you have intention of leaving the country, you need to get written permission from your head-teacher, vice principal and principal.

It may be that your co-teacher can't properly translate that the principal is worried for your safety if you leave the country at the moment, or perhaps that she is unsure how you'd get on in another country.

I would suggest you ask why it is that you're being told you can't leave until 6 months in. If it is because of the recent immigration law changes, explain to her that they've changed only to say that if an E-2 visa holder is in the country less than 91 days before wishing to go 'abroad' then they must pay for a multiple entry visa, if they've been in the country 91 days or more then they don't need a multiple entry visa any longer and are entitled to have free-multiple entry.

If you've been in South Korea less than said 91 days, head to your nearest immigration office, pay 50,000W and get yourself a multiple entry visa. This will allow you to come and go as you please until your contract is up.

Having said that your school needs to sign off on overseas trips, I've been to Japan twice this year, and went to America in December last year without my school signing off. I informed my co-teachers, and they said that since I'd already been out of the country once and returned, and it was so soon in my first contract, they've no problems with me leaving and returning whenever I wish to. I just inform them out of courtesy. IF your school is afraid of you not returning, just inform them that you've changed your plans (this is once you've tried and failed to no avail to get 'permission') and you're going to visit a friend in another part of South Korea, and then head for the airport or the Busan International Ferry terminal and head on over to Japan for your vacation. Just be careful not to tell them when you get back that you did go to Japan if they've told you still you may not go. Because that could be troublesome. LOL.

There is nothing in your contract anywhere which stops you leaving, its just a precautionary measure to a) keep you safe, as they believe it is on them if anything should happen to you and b) to make sure that you're not going to run out on your contract, leaving them high and dry and not repaying the money you owe them if you should do so.
"It's better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all!"
Teach this to your students... they'll thank you for it later!


  • jehall
  • Veteran

    • 213

    • April 08, 2010, 01:20:16 pm
    • Uijeongbu, South Korea
Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2010, 12:38:32 pm »

If it is because of the recent immigration law changes, explain to her that they've changed only to say that if an E-2 visa holder is in the country less than 91 days before wishing to go 'abroad' then they must pay for a multiple entry visa, if they've been in the country 91 days or more then they don't need a multiple entry visa any longer and are entitled to have free-multiple entry.

Is this new? I thought an any point during you E-2 Visa you had to get a multiple re-entry (or single re-entry) if you wanted to leave and re-enter. I never knew you didn't need to get one after 91 days.


  • pyeager
  • Fanatical Supporter!

    • 221

    • January 19, 2010, 08:19:14 am
    • Korea
Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2010, 12:41:24 pm »
"It's always better to beg forgiveness than ask permission." Don't ask, just go. Apologize profusely and plead ignorance if anybody complains.

Also, buy tickets on Korean Air. They usually have really good cancellation and change policies, just in case your camp days change. Cancellation is usually a full refund except for a 30,000 won penalty.


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5183

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu Province, Taiwan
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Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2010, 12:42:59 pm »
They cannot stop you, just tell them where you are going that is all and if they say anything, tell them to show you where it says that in the contract, what a lot a rubbish!!
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • Koradian
  • Fanatical Supporter!

    • 443

    • October 08, 2010, 10:29:15 am
    • South Korea
Re: I was told I couldn't leave the country over vacation...
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2010, 12:43:50 pm »
As of Dec. 1, 2010, multiple re-entry visas are no longer needed to re-enter the ROK.

As for being told you are not allowed to leave the country: I've always found it easier agreeing with the authorities above. BUT... what they don't know won't hurt them. I suggest schedling your vacation as planned and tell you're school you'll see them when school resumes again.