After quite a few hours/days of research I finally came to the conclusion that it is definitely possible to travel to Korea and look for a teaching gig while on the ground (tourist visa) rather than wait back in my home country. Now, there are definitely pros and cons for both of those options and if you are planning on coming to Korea to look for a teaching gig you have most likely decided that you want to teach at a Hagwon compared to EPIK (otherwise you would of most likely applied from your home country).
This is pretty much the standard within Japan in terms of what you need to bring:
Your Visa Issuance Number will be given to you by your employer. (Eg: PSDO 72001918). Don’t go to Japan without having this number.
Your passport with remaining validity of at least one year.
A Completed Visa Application. Download Here (All of this info can be obtained from your School – immigration only really care about your Visa Issuance Number).
Two passport sized photos.
The Visa fee differs depending on which country you are from. For Americans it’s 6,000 Yen (60,000 KRW), Aussies its about 12,000 Yen and its even more expensive for Brits.
Once you have received your Visa Issuance Number you are ready to purchase your flight/ferry to Fukuoka (you can go to other Korean Consulates in Japan such as Osaka, Tokyo etc). If you are teaching in Busan you can catch a ferry to Fukuoka (timetables can be found here – ask your school to purchase the ticket) or you can fly direct with Air Busan, Jeju Air or Korean Air. If you are teaching in Seoul, you can fly direct with Jin Air, Jeju Air, Eastar Jet, Asiana or Korean Air.
*Please note:getting the school to pay for your flight and your accommodation is something you should try to negotiate into your contract.
Once you arrive in Japan, here are the steps you will need to follow:
Submit the proper documents at the consulate by 11:30am on a weekday, so I would suggest getting there by 10am just in case there is a line.
Come back to the consulate between 1pm-4pm 2 nights from the day that you submitted your passport to be stamped (I handed my application in on a Tuesday and picked it up on the Thursday).
Fly back to Korea with your visa~
The address of the South Korean Embassy in Fukuoka is: 1 Chome-1 Jigyōhama, Chūō-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 810-0065, Japan
In terms of where to stay in Fukuoka, I would definitely recommend staying in the Tenjin area (the busy and bustling area of the city) as there a loads of restaurants, department stores and bars to keep you entertained during your stay. Another area you may want to consider is near Hakata Station although it is slightly further away from the South Korean embassy.
If you do stay in Tenjin you can either catch the subway from Tenjin Station to Tojinmachi Station (only 2 stops away) then a 10 minute walk to the embassy OR catch bus #301 or W1 from Tenjin Bus Terminal (more info here). I have caught both transport options and they are both easy and hassle free. Also there are money exchanges next to Tenjin Station (there is a tourist information desk which will kindly point you in the right direction – they speak good English by the way).
In terms of where to stay in Fukuoka I would recommend the following the guest houses/motels/hotels depending on your budget:
Below are some photos from my trip, hope you enjoy them 🙂
Your E2 visa run to Japan will all depend on how much time you have. If your school wants you to get it done as quickly as possible you may only have a day and a half to look around however if your starting date is not until a few weeks you may want to stick around in Fukuoka for 4 or 5 nights and include a day/overnight trip somewhere. The process for the visa was very simple so you shouldn’t stress about it. Just make sure you have your Visa Issuance Number, Passport validity (more than 1 Year), Application form and your Passport Photos and you will be fine.
If you end up doing a visa run to Fukuoka, good luck and I hope you enjoy your time there 🙂