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  • karoo_guy
  • Adventurer

    • 52

    • April 05, 2012, 12:51:16 pm
    • Incheon
Hey forum people!

I have some venting to do and some advice to ask so please bear with me!  ;D

I'm looking for a little visa advice. I've been in Korea for almost 5 months now working for EPIK/IMOE in Incheon (duh  :P). I'm enjoying Korea but I couldn't be more miserable at my school. It's literally to the point where I am hating my life because of how my head co-teach and VP treat me. I once was a bee keeper in North Dakota, USA. On my first day they didn't give me proper boots and the bees NAILED my ankles. Feet were so swollen for 2 days after that that it was agony walking....that was still better than where I am now because at least the bees had a reason to hate on me! I was "stealing" from them!  ;D

Anyway, so I'm approaching the start of my 6th month (its been tough to hang in here this long) and I plan to give in my notice on Monday next week. I started work on Mach 26 and so I will be bang on for being here 6 months once I leave, so I wont have to pay back the entrance bonus. I would like to stay in Korea and look for new work. I'll stay with a mate for a while and take the time to look for somethign good.

Can some one lay some knowledge on me as to what happens with my visa and ARC now? I know I have to ask the IMOE for a letter of release...but what then? How do I organise that I can legally stay, on say a tourist visa or something for a while?

Any info would REALLY be appreciated! Don't try and convince me to stay...I'm WAY past that!  ???
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 09:21:29 pm by karoo_guy »


  • JeremyC
  • Featured Contributor

    • 2321

    • July 15, 2012, 03:48:16 pm
    • Korea
Hi karoo_guy, sorry to hear it's not working out with your current school. Is there anything in particular that's happening that's putting you off? Is it the students, your co-teachers or a mix of the two? Feel free, within reason, to vent here.
Remember your colleagues can also access Waygook  ;) 
In regards to your visa, you can search for 'D10 visa' here, there are lots of threads that you can read until you get more replies.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 09:37:35 pm by JeremyC »
It's nice to be important but more important to be nice.


  • JahRhythm
  • Fanatical Supporter!

    • 1122

    • May 25, 2011, 12:49:41 pm
    • Seoul
    more
Yeah there's lots of info on the D-10 visa available.
You can also always call immigration at 1345.

I think your biggest hurdle will be to get a letter of release.
Your employer is not required to give you one because you're not completing the contract.

But I've no direct experience with this kind of situation so hopefully some others can help.
We teach EFL not ESL. Hagwon and "Private School" are not synonymous. Not everyone works in either a hagwon or public school. Immigration Question? Call 1345.


  • karoo_guy
  • Adventurer

    • 52

    • April 05, 2012, 12:51:16 pm
    • Incheon
Hey Jeremy, thanks for the info! I will most definitely do a search for that! Students are fine, its just my REALLY old school head co-teach and VP that drive me up the wall. I've just been unlucky and I've had enough jobs to know a good boss from not so good boss.... Not worried about my teachers being on waygook as I've been reprimanded enough times for being on sites that they don't recognise as "academic".   :laugh: Crazy stuff. I just wanna take the experience for what it is and move on....

JahRhythm, I figured I may have some trouble but I am keeping within the bounds of the contract by resigning properly...so I figure they have to give me one. The IMOE has been pretty straight up so I'm hoping it goes well.


  • skippy
  • Expert Waygook

    • 873

    • January 12, 2011, 04:08:17 pm
    • Daejeon
    more
Sorry about the bad situation to the OP.

As commented above,  the school does not need to give a letter of release (LOR).

Even worse news, I have heard is that many POEs as a matter of policy will NEVER give a LOR.  That said do check your contract on what is the procedure in regards to quitting.  Maybe you can finagle a LOR from your school principal.   Unless you can get a LOR you can not do the D-10.  Your best option is to get new paperwork, leave and come back.

One more point,  another thing ya hear, is if you quit with a public school, your name pretty much becomes mud.   You can still work at hagwons.   Just in the future any applications with EPIK or GEPIK will be refused.

I also suspect if you do not quit properly with the school and give the required notice, you name might even become mud with immigration.

You can ignore my advice and thoughts as I am a lowly hagwon teacher and have never taught (full time) public school.
Please consider adding some info to your "Personal Text"  Like type of school, visa status, county of origin.  These little bits of info can help people help you.


Contact your coordinator and have them contact the school to share your grievances; then take it from there. You lasted this long so suck in your gut and  remember the experiences with the bees in the USA, you can can get through this situation as well! Fighting!
HIP HOP IS NOT MUSIC


  • lotte world
  • The Legend

    • 2272

    • August 22, 2011, 09:00:38 pm
    more
I suggest you pad out your notice period by a few days.  Don't time the notice period to end *exactly* on the 6-month boundary, let it fall clearly after that point (allowing for falling on a weekend or a holiday).

Also, double-check your contract.  Mine was originally 30 days, but my most recent one was changed to 60 days.

Also also, the last three months of your contract (January, February and March) are very light, due to the school vacation over much of this time.  So, you have one month you must do (to take you to 6 months) then only 3 months of actual work after that.  Worth considering hanging on if you can.


  • rcollin1
  • Adventurer

    • 45

    • March 21, 2011, 02:46:25 pm
    • South Korea
have you already tried contacting EPIK and asking for a change to a different school? that might be possible!!!


  • fwilsie
  • Veteran

    • 80

    • November 03, 2011, 03:34:20 pm
    • 창녕
One more point,  another thing ya hear, is if you quit with a public school, your name pretty much becomes mud.   You can still work at hagwons.   Just in the future any applications with EPIK or GEPIK will be refused.

Just to clarify, in case the OP is considering looking for another public school job, this is not necessarily true. I quit a GEPIK job and my next job was with an EPIK school.


  • karoo_guy
  • Adventurer

    • 52

    • April 05, 2012, 12:51:16 pm
    • Incheon
Thanks for all the replies people. Much appreciated!  I've considered bringing my co-ordinator into it but I don't think thats a good idea. It's all just going to end up looking petty and I think I will just be told even more how useless I am for not being a "real teacher". I've also considered trying to switch schools in the IMOE area but I've been told that its pretty unlikely that I will be accepted at another school as the new school is likely to contact this one for a reference over me. I hate not being able to understand the language and defend myself.... I've quadruple checked my contract to make sure it's 30 days notice. I've also already planned to make it slightly longer that 30 days as 30 days would mean I leave on a Wednesday and I would rather see the kids through the week and end on Friday.

Not particularly phased about my standing with immigration. If they don't want me back there are a lot of other countries I could try. I'm just sad that this has really made it hard for me to enjoy Korea.... Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

Thanks again for the input and I'll be calling immigration myself this week so see where I stand. Hagwon here I come I guess :p


  • Deesh
  • Super Waygook

    • 250

    • April 01, 2011, 02:22:10 pm
    • Gyeonggi-do
It is possible to get a letter of release, but it doesn't sound too likely considering the way you are being treated by your CT and VP. I'm sure they wouldn't have a problem convincing the principal not to give you one.

I know you said don't try convince you to stay, but I agree with lotte world. If you can get to December, then the last 2-3 months will be a breeze. And you've managed to get through the worst already. This semester at my school is 3 weeks shorter than the spring semester (similar at most PS's?), and most public schools should have the best part of a week off for Chuseok.


  • karoo_guy
  • Adventurer

    • 52

    • April 05, 2012, 12:51:16 pm
    • Incheon
Nice to know I could possible change provinces or something.

It really has felt like a struggle and after what they said to me yesterday (1st day back from vac) I had to fight myself not to be vulgar and walk out the door. They found out that I left 15 minutes early on my last day of school. It was literally just me and the secretary left at the place, everyone had gone so I figured it wasn't a big deal. Anyway, they threw a fit and started yelling at me about how disrespectful I am and that when I've been sick (twice, I swear) I've been sick in such a manner that is disrespectful because I just sent my CT a message saying I was sick. First time I got a stomach thing my second week and then about a month ago a woke up with a migraine (NOT a hangover... I'm not much of a drinker). Anyway, I was called lazy and a bad teacher that makes the kids bored...and bad for not learning from them. Was really surprised at that as I KNOW the kids are bored but the odd time I've deviated away from the text book and tried to play and English game I've been scolded. They also added something about me not being a real teacher so maybe its their fault for expecting too much of me. They busted out an "official letter of warning" and asked if I really wanted it. I told them they must do what they feel is right....and then they just said OK they wont give me one but I must apologise to the principal. I apologised to him for leaving early and, as always, he looked super chilled about it. He seems like a legit guy, its just my CT and VP who get worked up at me.

This isnt the first time I've been spoken to like this...sometimes I'm even disrespected a little in front of the kids. Yesterday was just the last straw. I'm done at this school......


  • Deesh
  • Super Waygook

    • 250

    • April 01, 2011, 02:22:10 pm
    • Gyeonggi-do
That does sound pretty rough, particularly the teaching part - they're being really unfair saying classes are boring, but then not allowing you to deviate from the book. You can't win. 

If and when you hand your letter in, try deal directly with the P and leave your CT and the VP out of things. It might be your best chance of getting a letter of release which will make things so much easier should you choose to stay in Korea.


  • karoo_guy
  • Adventurer

    • 52

    • April 05, 2012, 12:51:16 pm
    • Incheon
Thing are sometimes so crazy I just keep my mouth shut thinking that my friends will think I'm making it up! My orientation mates seem to all have been pretty lucky....

But ja, no matter which way I go its wrong and that's why I feel like resigning is my only option to really start enjoying Korea. I've read a few stories that are similar to mine. Sometimes you are just unlucky and I accept that... I just don't want to stay and turn bitter. I want to try end up at a school that my friends are at and actually enjoy working with the kids!

My contract does say I need to give the letter to the Principal so I guess I'll go that route....


  • aemaier
  • Veteran

    • 83

    • February 29, 2012, 02:51:42 am
    • Suwon, South Korea
The last time that I had end of contract trouble it was at a hagwon, but from the 20 hours I spent on the phone with immigration I got the same answer enough times for me to think it is true. That's how you do with immigration, you call multiple times and get so many different answers that you take the most common one.

They told me that an employer is never required to give a LoR. Even if you do everything in your contract and complete the contract, they still don't have to give you a LoR.

From what I heard from them last time, there is no transferring schools in public, though that really isn't their jurisdiction. I guess I need to ask GEPIK and see if they changed the rules.


  • JahRhythm
  • Fanatical Supporter!

    • 1122

    • May 25, 2011, 12:49:41 pm
    • Seoul
    more
The last time that I had end of contract trouble it was at a hagwon, but from the 20 hours I spent on the phone with immigration I got the same answer enough times for me to think it is true. That's how you do with immigration, you call multiple times and get so many different answers that you take the most common one.

They told me that an employer is never required to give a LoR. Even if you do everything in your contract and complete the contract, they still don't have to give you a LoR.

From what I heard from them last time, there is no transferring schools in public, though that really isn't their jurisdiction. I guess I need to ask GEPIK and see if they changed the rules.

Interesting.
I agree that immigration is notorious for giving different answers at different times depending on who you speak to...  ???     >:(

But, my understanding has been that your employer IS REQUIRED to give you an LOR IF you complete the contract.
I had a friend deal with this situation recently.
He indicated that he would be re-signing with his employer (a private school-no, not a hagwon) but before he was given a contract to sign, he got an offer from a university. He accepted the university job and told his current employer "sorry but I've changed my mind." They got angry and said they wouldn't get him an LOR (which is required to transfer a visa from one sponsor to another, even when you complete a contract).
He said, "No you need to." They said, "No, we don't."
He let them cool down for a day or two, then said, "I've consulted with an immigration lawyer who says that you must give me an LOR because I'm going to complete my contract and never officially agreed (i.e., signed a new contract) to re-sign.
They relented and he got his letter.
He even got a nice letter of recommendation from the head of the English department.
We teach EFL not ESL. Hagwon and "Private School" are not synonymous. Not everyone works in either a hagwon or public school. Immigration Question? Call 1345.


  • Cereal
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1239

    • March 16, 2011, 12:51:55 pm
    • Earth
    more
Lotteworld gave good advice about handing in your resignation letter. Give yourself 10 business days (2 weeks) padding time.

If you follow the contract as it is spelled out, and you have documented the reasons why you are leaving early (you should do this with times/dates/what happened/who was involved etc. - facts not emotional) you will be fine.

You're allowed to quit, this ain't prison.
"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge."
Bakunin


  • glb0b
  • Expert Waygook

    • 601

    • July 06, 2010, 03:02:56 pm

an LOR (which is required to transfer a visa from one sponsor to another, even when you complete a contract).


Are you sure about this? I transferred schools 2 years ago and never had a LOR. The only thing I got from my old school was a document showing my employment dates (which I never needed).

I transferred from public school to public school but both my contracts were directly with the principal of each school (not the education office) so it was definitely changing jobs.


  • JahRhythm
  • Fanatical Supporter!

    • 1122

    • May 25, 2011, 12:49:41 pm
    • Seoul
    more

an LOR (which is required to transfer a visa from one sponsor to another, even when you complete a contract).


Are you sure about this? I transferred schools 2 years ago and never had a LOR. The only thing I got from my old school was a document showing my employment dates (which I never needed).

I transferred from public school to public school but both my contracts were directly with the principal of each school (not the education office) so it was definitely changing jobs.

Yes, I'm sure.
Are you sure that the document showing employment dates wasn't your LOR? Because that's basically all it is, with a stamp.
That's not to say that every immigration officer individually decides to require it.
As mentioned before, there is no consistency.
The policy is that you need an LOR to transfer a visa.
We teach EFL not ESL. Hagwon and "Private School" are not synonymous. Not everyone works in either a hagwon or public school. Immigration Question? Call 1345.


  • karoo_guy
  • Adventurer

    • 52

    • April 05, 2012, 12:51:16 pm
    • Incheon
So does all this mean that if I plan to stay in Korea that I need to leave the country on my last day of school?