After nearly two months and two three-hour trips up to Seattle, I finally have my Visa! My one-year E2 Visa is securely stuck in my US passport with less than a week before my flight (phew!).
The Visa situation was frustrating. To be sure, this sentiment may be unique to my American standards of individualism, which compared to Korea are much more pervasive. With that said, I called the Korean consulate in New York who told me that my father must submit proper citizenship documentation for me to obtain a Visa to work in Korea.
I’m 21 years old and figured my parent’s citizenship would have no bearing on my Visa. What’s more, my mom has all of her citizenship documents, but the mother’s documents don’t matter, only the father’s. To which my mom responded: “In Korea, women have no rights!”
Here’s some random advice:
-If you can, avoid the NYC Korean consulate. The lady both I and my mom spoke with was curt and unfriendly. Given we’re from Portland, I told my mom to contact the Seattle consulate, correctly assuming that people living on the West Coast are generally easier to work with (more polite, friendly, etc.) :-D
-If any one of your parents was at any point a Korean citizen and you are even remotely thinking of working or studying in Korea, make sure they are clear about their citizenship status. Even though my Dad has been a U.S. citizen since he was 12 years old, he has still remained a dual citizen all of these years and we had to “quickly” obtain proof of his citizenship (by quickly I mean as soon as we could, which amounted to almost two months). He had to expedite the processing request from the U.S. immigration office in Nebraska.
-As always, do everything as early as possible
Korean work Visa options: http://www.gone2korea.com/korean-work-visas.html
U.S. State Department info on traveling to S. Korea: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1018.html
U.S. State Department info on Visas in general: http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html
Seoul U.S. Embassy: http://seoul.usembassy.gov/
Busan U.S. Embassy: http://busan.usconsulate.gov/