E2 Visa Run: South Korea to Japan
When you find yourself in South Korea in need of an E2 work visa, you may well find yourself on a “visa run”. When I first heard about a visa run, I assumed it was illegal. I kept quiet about it to recruiters because I thought it would jeopardise my chances of getting job offers.
Visa runs are common practice in Korea
This is not the case. “Visa runs” to Japan are well known and common practice when looking for work in Korea. It is not illegal to look for work while on a tourist visa but of course it is to actually earn money without having a work visa.
The reason a lot of teachers need to do a visa run is because they may be in-between jobs, changing their contracts or like me, actively seeking work while on a tourist visa.
Deciding where to travel to when you need a quick work visa for Korea always ends with Fukukoka. A short one hour plane journey away and maybe the cheapest destination to venture to when in need of a visa, Fukuoka is a good option. You can pick up your new work visa in a matter of days.
Another option to get your visa is Osaka as they also have a Korean embassy. However this process usually takes longer meaning your visa will be processed within 5 working days as opposed to 3 working days in Fukuoka.
Shop till you drop!!
Overshadowed by bigger and better cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, Fukuoka is low on the travel radar. However this 12th largest city of Japan certainly boasts a lot of Japanese charm, mouth watering foods and the chance to try delicious sake while soaking up the sight of the city, all within a few days. If shopping is your thing, then you won’t be disappointed by Fukuoka.
Canal City Shopping Complex
There are tons of shopping malls, stores and outlets all offering tax free shopping. Bear in mind it is Japan and therefore items might be more expensive in general.
Osaka (another option for the visa run) can be overwhelming if you only have a few days to spend, which makes Fukuoka a great base to explore while getting a taste for Japanese culture.
What you’ll need for your visa process:
Before leaving Korea you will want to make sure you have a few things organised to ensure your visa application is processed smoothly.
One passport photo
Visa Number (issued by the Korean Immigration)
Visa Fee ( this can differ depending on Nationality) (Irish 60,00won / British 220,000won))
Note: You will need to have this fee in Japanese Yen
Visa Application Form (this can be obtained at the Korean Consulate in Fukuoka)
It is important that you arrive at the Korean Consulate before 11am to ensure your visa is processed with 2-3 working days. Otherwise you may find it will take longer.
We arrived around 9:30am on a Monday morning and were told to come back on Wednesday afternoon between 1:30-4pm to pick up the visa and we then headed straight to the airport to catch our flight back to Seoul. We landed in Fukuoka on Sunday evening and left Wednesday evening, making 4 days enough time to complete the whole process and get some sightseeing in too!
How to get to the Korean Consulate in Fukuoka:
If you look at this map and find the large blue building in the top left hand corner you will find the Korean Consulate on the corner of the intersection facing it. Numbered #1. If your hotel is close to Tenjin Station then you can easily walk the 30 minutes journey but the orange subway Line will take you there in a few minutes.
Get off at Tojin-Machi Station numbered #K5 and find exit 1. You will clearly see here the Korean Consulate is listed.
Walk straight from exit 1 to the large intersection where you will see a car garage/ petrol station.
Turn right at this intersection and continue to walk straight until the next large intersection. You should see the Korean Consulate on the opposite side of the road to your left.
It’s actually fairly easy to find if you make it to Tojinmachi Station. If you find that your hotel is too far from a subway you could alway ride in one of the quirky Japanese taxi’s.
I always find it funny when I takes pictures of simple things like taxi’s or food trucks. I’ve seen a million and I’m sure a lot of countries have them but I always think to myself I bet that guy is thinking “why the heck is she talking pictures of a bleeding taxi”! Is it just me or do you get this too??
Here is the Address for the Korean Consulate in Fukuoka incase you struggle to find it.
Jigyohama, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka,
Fukuoka Prefecture 810-0065, Japan
Please leave a comment below if you found this post informative or if you think there is something missing that can help other teachers.
To make the most of your trip check out my three days in Fukuoka for ideas on what to do to pass the time. Happy Travels & Good Luck with the E2 Visa Run.
February 11, 2017
January 07, 2017