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E-2 vs F-4 Visa
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nyla54



Joined: 17 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:45 am    Post subject: E-2 vs F-4 Visa Reply with quote

I am a Korean-American, and qualify for the F-4 visa, which is definitely something I prefer over the E-2 as it gives provides me with more flexibility for work and travel.

Since I am in a huge hurry to get my documents in before my SMOE orientation, my recruiter recommended that I get my E-2 visa and switch to the F-4 once I'm in Korea. They said obtaining an E-2 is much quicker than a F-4.


Is it possible to switch visas once in Korea? Would you recommend this as well?
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SFValley



Joined: 18 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:04 am    Post subject: Re: E-2 vs F-4 Visa Reply with quote

nyla54 wrote:
I am a Korean-American, and qualify for the F-4 visa, which is definitely something I prefer over the E-2 as it gives provides me with more flexibility for work and travel.

Since I am in a huge hurry to get my documents in before my SMOE orientation, my recruiter recommended that I get my E-2 visa and switch to the F-4 once I'm in Korea. They said obtaining an E-2 is much quicker than a F-4.


Is it possible to switch visas once in Korea? Would you recommend this as well?


I found obtaining an F4 infinitely quicker, easier and CHEAPER! The only document you need is a family registry pretty much and the application fee here in the States is $45.00. Compare that to having to get a CRC, getting that apostilled, etc. It just takes a couple of trips to your nearest Korean consulate.

I don't know about switching it. I know you can enter the country without a visa (I suppose that depends on which country you're coming from) and can obtain one there directly.

My recruiter tried to get me to do the E2 route but it was too much of a hassle for me personally compared to getting the F4. Also, you're able to have more vocationally opportunities with an F4 since you'd be tutoring privates (if that's something you want to do) legally.
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nyla54



Joined: 17 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:11 am    Post subject: Re: E-2 vs F-4 Visa Reply with quote

SFValley wrote:
nyla54 wrote:
I am a Korean-American, and qualify for the F-4 visa, which is definitely something I prefer over the E-2 as it gives provides me with more flexibility for work and travel.

Since I am in a huge hurry to get my documents in before my SMOE orientation, my recruiter recommended that I get my E-2 visa and switch to the F-4 once I'm in Korea. They said obtaining an E-2 is much quicker than a F-4.


Is it possible to switch visas once in Korea? Would you recommend this as well?


I found obtaining an F4 infinitely quicker, easier and CHEAPER! The only document you need is a family registry pretty much and the application fee here in the States is $45.00. Compare that to having to get a CRC, getting that apostilled, etc. It just takes a couple of trips to your nearest Korean consulate.

I don't know about switching it. I know you can enter the country without a visa (I suppose that depends on which country you're coming from) and can obtain one there directly.

My recruiter tried to get me to do the E2 route but it was too much of a hassle for me personally compared to getting the F4. Also, you're able to have more vocationally opportunities with an F4 since you'd be tutoring privates (if that's something you want to do) legally.







May I ask where you are working? Is it public or private?

Also, how long did it take to get the F-4?
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RobLeeTeach



Joined: 20 May 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SFValley wrote:

I found obtaining an F4 infinitely quicker, easier and CHEAPER! The only document you need is a family registry pretty much and the application fee here in the States is $45.00. Compare that to having to get a CRC, getting that apostilled, etc. It just takes a couple of trips to your nearest Korean consulate.

I don't know about switching it. I know you can enter the country without a visa (I suppose that depends on which country you're coming from) and can obtain one there directly.

My recruiter tried to get me to do the E2 route but it was too much of a hassle for me personally compared to getting the F4. Also, you're able to have more vocationally opportunities with an F4 since you'd be tutoring privates (if that's something you want to do) legally.


You can switch from E-2 to F-4 when you get to Korea. My father and I talked to the consulate directly in Los Angeles.

Getting the F-4 visa was a pain in the ass for me while in the states. I was lucky to have my Uncle get my registry paperwork in Seoul sent to me.

I got my F-4 visa, but still had to do all the CRC and Apostilled documents regardless.

Before getting your F-4 visa IN Korea, make sure you're not obligated to serve in the military. Lucky again, for having my Uncle in Seoul to help me get my name off the registry otherwise I would have to serve if I tried to get my F-4.
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RobLeeTeach



Joined: 20 May 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the end of the day, after all the paperwork was in order, the F4 visa took me a day. Had to leave my passport at the consulate. Picked it up the next day.
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SFValley



Joined: 18 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RobLeeTeach wrote:
At the end of the day, after all the paperwork was in order, the F4 visa took me a day. Had to leave my passport at the consulate. Picked it up the next day.


Same. Went to the consulate in LA in the morning and there was no line. Turned in application, documents and $45.00 US. Took all of 5-7 minutes and then returned the next day to pick up my passport with the visa on it.

I'll be at a Public School.
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Johnwayne



Joined: 28 Jun 2007

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:21 am    Post subject: Re: E-2 vs F-4 Visa Reply with quote

SFValley wrote:
[\ Also, you're able to have more vocationally opportunities with an F4 since you'd be tutoring privates (if that's something you want to do) legally.


Actually it is still illegal. It just falls under the realm of tax evasion rather than immigration violation.

To the OP: Your recruiter is lying. Getting an F4 is way easier than getting an E2.
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djbeans



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Location: US

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RobLeeTeach wrote:


You can switch from E-2 to F-4 when you get to Korea. My father and I talked to the consulate directly in Los Angeles.

Getting the F-4 visa was a pain in the ass for me while in the states. I was lucky to have my Uncle get my registry paperwork in Seoul sent to me.

I got my F-4 visa, but still had to do all the CRC and Apostilled documents regardless.

Before getting your F-4 visa IN Korea, make sure you're not obligated to serve in the military. Lucky again, for having my Uncle in Seoul to help me get my name off the registry otherwise I would have to serve if I tried to get my F-4.


Thanks for the info! My dad and I were trying to figure out if I could switch from an E-2 to an F-4 once I get to Korea, and the San Francisco consulate didn't really know the answer. By the way...do you know how long it took your Uncle to get the family registry? Trying to see if my cousin can help us out to get my dad's family regsitry...
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t1m1ty



Joined: 24 May 2009
Location: Bundang

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are we allowed to get F4 visas instead of E2 visas if were going to Korea with SMOE? I was told only I am supposed to get the E2
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nyla54



Joined: 17 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

t1m1ty wrote:
Are we allowed to get F4 visas instead of E2 visas if were going to Korea with SMOE? I was told only I am supposed to get the E2



According to the other posts and my recruiter, you can get the F-4 visa while working under SMOE.
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RobLeeTeach



Joined: 20 May 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

t1m1ty wrote:
Are we allowed to get F4 visas instead of E2 visas if were going to Korea with SMOE? I was told only I am supposed to get the E2


I have my F4 and going through the SMOE process. Do they know you are F4 eligible? I don't see why they wouldn't want you to get your F4 since it's so much less of a burden on them if you (e.g. they don't have to sponsor you).
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RobLeeTeach



Joined: 20 May 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="djbeans"]
RobLeeTeach wrote:

Thanks for the info! My dad and I were trying to figure out if I could switch from an E-2 to an F-4 once I get to Korea, and the San Francisco consulate didn't really know the answer. By the way...do you know how long it took your Uncle to get the family registry? Trying to see if my cousin can help us out to get my dad's family regsitry...


It took about a week for the registry to get to me, I think. Maybe a week and a half. I think my dad mailed my uncle some sort of letter stamped by the consulate saying that my uncle is allowed to get my dad's papers from the consulate. Then my uncle got the papers same day, I think and mailed them back. All express mail back and forth.
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RobLeeTeach



Joined: 20 May 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:13 pm    Post subject: Re: E-2 vs F-4 Visa Reply with quote

Johnwayne wrote:
SFValley wrote:
[\ Also, you're able to have more vocationally opportunities with an F4 since you'd be tutoring privates (if that's something you want to do) legally.


Actually it is still illegal. It just falls under the realm of tax evasion rather than immigration violation.

To the OP: Your recruiter is lying. Getting an F4 is way easier than getting an E2.


So basically it's legal as long as you make sure you report your earning to the government.
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nyla54



Joined: 17 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an update on the post after talking to two representatives from the Korean Consulate and then having my mother call them herself (once the representatives starting talking about power of attorney, my head started to spin).


The process is much easier if you had a parent who renounced his/her Korean citizenship. Apparently there's an official, government-sent document that can prove this; I'm not sure exactly what the document is called, but it has something to do with ho-juk-ding-bam (excuse the butchering; I could barely hear the pronunciation). When you renounce, you should have that record.

If one of your parents have it, I believe you should be essentially good to go. Take that and the other documents you need (birth certificate, passport--things you should already have) and the process takes about 1-2 days in Southern California.


The process becomes more difficult if you don't have the proof of you/your parents renouncing Korean citizenship. This is when people have contacted someone they need in Korea to basically get the family registry. The representative said that, in the end, what they are looking for is proof that "you are not only American but also Korean." Then she said that one of my parents needed to give power of attorney to someone in Korea to get the registry for me. I'm not quite sure about this answer--from what I hear, you can have a family member in Korea access without the p.o.a.


I don't know how the requirement military service changes things; there's a post above that comments on that. What I have posted is what I've been told to bring to the Korean Consulate in Southern California; let's hope it works!

Also, I think that recruiters do not mention F-4 visas (commonly referred to as the Korean-American visa) because not everyone has access to it. In addition, the process can be more difficult if you don't have the proof that you need.

The reason why I'm interested in the F-4 in the short run is because I don't have to do an interview, which I read is required for SMOE applicants and do not have time for.
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RobLeeTeach



Joined: 20 May 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nyla54 wrote:

The process becomes more difficult if you don't have the proof of you/your parents renouncing Korean citizenship. This is when people have contacted someone they need in Korea to basically get the family registry. The representative said that, in the end, what they are looking for is proof that "you are not only American but also Korean." Then she said that one of my parents needed to give power of attorney to someone in Korea to get the registry for me. I'm not quite sure about this answer--from what I hear, you can have a family member in Korea access without the p.o.a.


That was my situation since my dad gave up Korean citizenship back in the early 70's and either he couldn't find the renunciation document or he no longer had it.

My dad gave p.o.a. to my uncle in Seoul by writing a letter and having the Korean Consulate in L.A. stamping it (notarizing/authenticating/???). Then he mailed that stamped letter to my uncle which my uncle used to get the registry. By the way, this is my uncle on my mother's side.

nyla54 wrote:

I don't know how the requirement military service changes things; there's a post above that comments on that. What I have posted is what I've been told to bring to the Korean Consulate in Southern California; let's hope it works!


The reason I mentioned the military service is because, I, (a male under 35) was on the registry "by mistake". My dad gave up Korean citizenship, became a U.S. citizen, I was born in the U.S., my grandmother put me in the registry. The Korean officials shouldn't have allowed that. If my dad was still a Korean citizen when I was born in the U.S., then I would justifiably be in the registry, and also a Korean citizen (bound to serve in the military since Korean citizenship is based on parents and not place of birth like in the U.S.). So it took a couple weeks to sort that out.

But if your parents renounced citizenship, and you're NOT in the registry, then there shouldn't be any problem getting your F-4. If your parents renounced citizenship and you ARE in the registry, get that fixed before entering Korea and trying to get your F-4.

If your parent's are still citizens, guess what, you're a citizen, too, and you don't need an F-4, just the documents (Resident Registration Number) all Korean citizens have. You get all the rights, but also all the obligations (ie Military service).
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