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Is living in Korea with an F Visa worth it nowadays?
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Weigookin74



Joined: 26 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:01 pm    Post subject: Is living in Korea with an F Visa worth it nowadays? Reply with quote

Is living in Korea with an F Visa worth it nowadays? I use to hear it was the path to cash. But, can you actually make money here anymore? Is it even worth it? Just curious how times have changed. Obviously, the market has flipped for those on E Visas. But, are there better job offers for those on F Visas or chances to start your own schools, etc? How is this market for married foriegners as we approach 2015? (This is assuming your wife works too and maybe you have a couple of kids.)
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm curious about this as well.

I was surprised to see this:

meangradin wrote:
i'd say the downturn in the market has affected f visa holders more than e-2's. previous to 2008, an f visa holder had almost an endless amount of good jobs (at least where i live). i used to turn down 50,000 an hour because there were so many jobs, i.e., corporate work, after school programs, to name but a few, that paid well above that level. heck, some of my friends had tv shows. the best job i ever had in korea in terms of hourly income was in an after school program which paid me 4,000/student and i had between 40-50 students for a 40 min class. with no exaggeration, it was possible to have a monthly income pushing 10 million. BUT those days are long gone; kindies wont pay more than 30,000/hr, corporate jobs have peaked and are paying less and less, while the after school jobs have totally been restructured.


Jobs are getting more strict about having the f visa, so I had assumed that would translate into to higher earnings for the f visa holders. For some reason it's not.

Who is getting hit harder by the contracting market? I would have guessed e-2s, but it looks like both are.
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alongway



Joined: 02 Jan 2012

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

F visas are all about putting together multiple part time jobs, often involving privates or other things like that which E2s can't do.

You put together 2-3 decent part time gigs with a handful of privates and you can pull 5-6 million a month if you aren't some lazy loser.
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FDNY



Joined: 27 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This year has been difficult. I have seen many of the families I teach
struggle to pay. However, being white, still gives us a huge competitive
over the locals in terms of employment. The poster above is correct.
It is better to put together a group of jobs. In my case:

Study Room: 4M
Privates: 2M
Corporate: 0.4M
Kindy P/T 0.8M
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tob55



Joined: 29 Apr 2007

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the rules for receiving the F-visa have changed, providing most anyone the opportunity to gain this status, the businesses have caught onto the fact that they can drive down prices by changing their requirements to F-visa only positions. Of course the playing field was once upon a time much better, but now having an F-visa is not all that it used to be. However, it should not be assumed that the F-visa has no greater benefit than the E-2, because it does.

The F-visa gives the individual control over their employment rather than being at the mercy of the employer. This simply means that if you don't like a job or they are ripping you off, you just give the proper amount of notice and leave to find other employment. In essence, each person gains more control over their living situation in Korea with the knowledge that as long as you are doing your job, the employer can't come up with some lame excuse for terminating a contract.

It has been several years since I was on the F-2-1 marriage visa, which is now the F-2 single resident visa. The F-5 was a good visa to have back when I had it because it was permanent, at least it was then (I heard rumor that Immigration was trying to make it a 7 year renewal visa, but now sure on the current status of that situation).

Once I moved to dual citizenship, things got much better for my situation, but in no stretch of the imagination did it stop businesses or employers from discriminating against me. However, at least with citizenship I have legal rights which can be held up in a court of law, so most if not all of the blatant discrimination has stopped.

To go back to the original question, I would have to say YES the F-visa has lost much of its luster and prestige.
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basic69isokay



Joined: 28 Sep 2014
Location: korea

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say yes, just because of the control and freedom it gives you.
I just want to make as much for my family as possible, and many of my friends are the same. Nobody's trying to get rich. Just live a comfortable life.
It's true that earning potential is down these days, but I'd still say 4M won is a reasonable target if you get several PT jobs.
But really, it's just so nice to be free of the E2. The E2 is so exploitative, human trafficking-ish because you are at the mercy of your boss. If you get fired for any dumb reason, that's it. Leave the country or hope they give you a D10. So, in that way, an F visa is nice. Most people I know make about 4M now, less than before I've heard, but it's still nice. If your job goes south, just bail out, find a new one tomorrow. In that sense, its worth it.
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jazzmaster



Joined: 30 Sep 2013

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nowadays China is the place to go to make money. While Korea might be a safer bet, in esl fortune favours the brave. I have a couple of friends in China saving a lot more than they were in Korea. I also have a friend who had an F visa who is in the Middle East with his family making serious coin.
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Roman Holiday



Joined: 22 Sep 2014

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though I've found a uni job with reasonable pay and conditions just south of Seoul, I'm seriously thinking of doing a few years in Beijing for the following four/ five years or so until I give up for good the ESL life. I guess I'll use the semester breaks to explore the territory first.
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Lazio



Joined: 15 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an infant son and a stay-home wife and we save roughly half of my income with a very comfortable workload. So yes, it is worth it. It would be very difficult to do the same elsewhere.

Good jobs are getting harder to come by though. You see ridiculously low paying job ads online. 20-25k/hour and they want only F visa holders.
If you have lived here for a while you will probably have some connections with either recruiters or directly with schools and those will pay better.
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Lucas



Joined: 11 Sep 2012

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have an infant son and a stay-home wife and we save roughly half of my income with a very comfortable workload.


I bet you wash and clean too, whilst she watches day time TV Twisted Evil
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Weigookin74



Joined: 26 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lazio wrote:
I have an infant son and a stay-home wife and we save roughly half of my income with a very comfortable workload. So yes, it is worth it. It would be very difficult to do the same elsewhere.

Good jobs are getting harder to come by though. You see ridiculously low paying job ads online. 20-25k/hour and they want only F visa holders.
If you have lived here for a while you will probably have some connections with either recruiters or directly with schools and those will pay better.


I had heard that there was an F website where those of you on the F visa share more info and resources. Is this true? Does it link to jobs and other offers?


I guess I'm just thinking strategically. I've been busy paying down ridiculous debt, which thanks to a fallen exchange rate, had me paying longer than I should have. But, I wonder if it would be worth it to marry and stick around. I have heard of married dudes in Japan having a hard go of it. I wonder if Korea is becoming like that.

Either Korea will become more like Japan or rebound when the US economy recovers. Either way, we'll know withing a couple of years what's going on. I just wanted to see how you F'ers were holding up and if the F visa is worth it. Maybe I should stretegically hop over to China and marry there instead. (Not sure if they'd let me open an academy or not though with a future wife. Lol)
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GENO123



Joined: 28 Jan 2010

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alongway wrote:
F visas are all about putting together multiple part time jobs, often involving privates or other things like that which E2s can't do.

You put together 2-3 decent part time gigs with a handful of privates and you can pull 5-6 million a month if you aren't some lazy loser.



Doing it for a few months is one thing, doing it every month for an extended period of time is another.. I have seen people go up to five than drop down to three then go back up to six then drop back down to 2.5.

Some homes schools do well, others fail. It is very often hit or miss.


There is 2 sides to every story for every big paying job you see adds like the following:



Quote:
Nov 26 Private Tutoring English 20,000 won! per hour (Seoul) pic

Hey I am ******* from Australia I am currently half way though my Master Diploma 120 Hour TEFL (Teaching English to Foreign Language.)



The most representative and realistic post on the subject is below.

http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?t=234625



Quote:

Instead of withholding I'll explain how it has worked for others. You get your resume into the plethora of small business class organizers so that you get a few offers for 50k-60k/hour company classes to fill an hour or two each day in the morning 6:30am to 9:00am or so. If you are good with kids and have your license you could also look at Kindergarten & Preschool privates before they go to Kindergarten though the average rate there is only 40-50k. If you can find a Kindergarten nearby that can give you a block of 2-3 hours at 40k that can be 10am to Noon. Fill up 1-5pm about 3 hours each day at 35k/hour with afterschools. After that options vary wildly. Company classes again near end of work, business person private classes, small private group classes of 4-5 elementary/middle at 12k/hour each (so 48-60k), cut a deal with a Hagwon for them to offer classes (IBT usually) designed and taught by you, or worse case night shift with an Adult Hagwon like Pagoda or YBM adults.

If you do that you are looking at probably 4mil +/-300k per month.



Even this much would require some connections , some luck and the right visa. Otherwise it would be less.
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Coltronator



Joined: 04 Dec 2013

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll second Geno on that well thought out and extremely helpful post from

http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?t=234625


....... Smile
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nicwr2002



Joined: 17 Aug 2011

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weigookin74 wrote:
Lazio wrote:
I have an infant son and a stay-home wife and we save roughly half of my income with a very comfortable workload. So yes, it is worth it. It would be very difficult to do the same elsewhere.

Good jobs are getting harder to come by though. You see ridiculously low paying job ads online. 20-25k/hour and they want only F visa holders.
If you have lived here for a while you will probably have some connections with either recruiters or directly with schools and those will pay better.


I had heard that there was an F website where those of you on the F visa share more info and resources. Is this true? Does it link to jobs and other offers?


I guess I'm just thinking strategically. I've been busy paying down ridiculous debt, which thanks to a fallen exchange rate, had me paying longer than I should have. But, I wonder if it would be worth it to marry and stick around. I have heard of married dudes in Japan having a hard go of it. I wonder if Korea is becoming like that.

Either Korea will become more like Japan or rebound when the US economy recovers. Either way, we'll know withing a couple of years what's going on. I just wanted to see how you F'ers were holding up and if the F visa is worth it. Maybe I should stretegically hop over to China and marry there instead. (Not sure if they'd let me open an academy or not though with a future wife. Lol)


It helps to marry a Korean who is also an English teacher. That way you can get students a lot easier since she/he will have the connections. It also depends if she/he is good or not.
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Troglodyte



Joined: 06 Dec 2009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GENO123 wrote:

Quote:

Instead of withholding I'll explain how it has worked for others. You get your resume into the plethora of small business class organizers so that you get a few offers for 50k-60k/hour company classes to fill an hour or two each day in the morning 6:30am to 9:00am or so. If you are good with kids and have your license you could also look at Kindergarten & Preschool privates before they go to Kindergarten though the average rate there is only 40-50k. If you can find a Kindergarten nearby that can give you a block of 2-3 hours at 40k that can be 10am to Noon. Fill up 1-5pm about 3 hours each day at 35k/hour with afterschools. After that options vary wildly. Company classes again near end of work, business person private classes, small private group classes of 4-5 elementary/middle at 12k/hour each (so 48-60k), cut a deal with a Hagwon for them to offer classes (IBT usually) designed and taught by you, or worse case night shift with an Adult Hagwon like Pagoda or YBM adults.

If you do that you are looking at probably 4mil +/-300k per month.



Even this much would require some connections , some luck and the right visa. Otherwise it would be less.


4 million doing freelance as describe above is no problem at all. If you're willing to do the running around and networking that some people do, you can bring in more than that. The problem is that you usually don't have much job stability and you constantly need to be finding new work to make up for old clients that lose interest. That's why a lot of people take on part-time (but long term) contracts with hogwons. They aren't the most lucrative but they are stable. In fact, even if you worked 25 hr/week at a hogwon, you'd still make 4 million/month. A lot of hogwons want a long term foreign teacher but don't have enough demand to hire one full time (so it's not worth hiring an E2 teacher). So if you can find a couple of hogwons in the same area of town that want a part-timer, it's a win-win situation.
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