Expert Info

Posted by emiima
on 3 Oct 2019


I just got an opportunity to work in South Korea as an English teacher but I am Albanian.

I have been several times in Korea and now I got the chance to work there but considering the fact that the Korean government accepts only native speakers, I am kind of reluctant if I would be eligible to work there.

I want to emphasize that the Employer is willing to sponsor everything. Can you please tell me the procedure and all the steps I need to take to work there? What kind of visa can an Albanian citizen get?

Rianca on 3 Oct 2019 - 14:10

Hi Emiima,

You are right to be sceptical about this job offer. The E-2 visa is the visa foreigners need to apply for when they get a job offer as an English teacher. However, this visa only applies to citizens from native English speaking countries like the USA, UK and South Africa. Often times the owners of English academies (called hagwons) in Korea try to employ foreigners who aren't native English speakers as they get away with paying them much smaller salaries. These employers will also not offer workers basic compulsory things like medical insurance and accommodation.

There is no visa for non-native English speakers to teach English in South Korea. Some non-native speakers go to Korea on a tourist visa and teach illegally. However, the government has been cracking down on illegal English teachers very severely in the last few years. In 2018 many teachers were deported and banned from ever entering South Korea again.

Work visas in South Korea are mostly aimed at people with special skills (like doctors) or skills that are in high demand (like the IT field). Do you have any special skills? You can have a look at our guide on visas for South Korea for more detailed information. However, you should think about this job offer carefully, as there is no legal way for a non-native English speaker to teach English in South Korea.


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