How to Get a Korean E2 Visa in Japan
If you’re planning to travel before you start your teaching contract, then you may want to consider getting your Korean E2 visa in Japan. This guide will show you how exactly to do all that.
So, I found myself in an interesting predicament preparing to teach in Korea my second time around. I’d be in Korea before I had my actual visa. I’d made plans with my friend to visit Jeju in early August, and I didn’t want to waste the money I spent booking accommodations, flights, and everything just because the government failed to send me back my Visa Issuance Number (VIN) on time.
I knew people had gotten theirs done in Asia without having to go all the way back to the U.S., so I messaged a friend and asked her. She told me it was super easy to get a Korean E2 visa in Japan, and they had turned their run into a little trip.
The two main places with a Korean Consulate are in Tokyo or Fukuoka. I chose to go to Fukuoka as it’s a lot cheaper, and I just wanted everything taken care of as quickly and painlessly as possible.
How to Get a Korean E2 Visa in Japan
Timeline of Getting the Visa
As much as I enjoy visiting Japan, I was not in the mindset to stretch this visa run into an actual trip. I was tired AND it was so humid, you really can’t enjoy being out and about for more than maybe 20-30 minutes. I only went Monday morning – Thursday morning.
I went to Busan from Yeosu and stayed at Hotel Airport. It was super nice and has a free shuttle service. Obviously, if you live in Seoul or Busan, skip this step.
You can take a ferry from Busan to Fukuoka OR you can fly. I chose to fly because I get a little nauseous on ferries.
I read you can get ferries for as cheap as 100,000 KRW round trip (~$100), but my flight was exactly $177.01. For me, the extra $77 is worth it.
The cheapest I found on Kiwi was with Air Busan, which is a nicer airline, so if you’re traveling Asia with your things and want to make Fukuoka your last stop before Korea, you don’t have to worry about budget airlines charging you an arm and a leg to check things in.
So Gimhae Airport in Busan is probably the easiest airport to navigate and get through. Since all I had was a backpack, I arrived maybe an hour before my flight left at 7:30 a.m.
My flight landed at 8:30 a.m. in Fukuoka and customs there took forever. I was mildly worried I wouldn’t make it in time. I got a SIM card right away so I’d be able to navigate and whatnot. Pocket wifi rentals are also a really popular option.
However, I made it through and went straight to the consulate. (Check below for the directions on how to get there.)
Once I arrived, I turned in my application, photo, passport, and 4,950 JYP (~$45 USD). They told me to come back Wednesday between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to pick up my visa. I know from last time that the visa is just a page in your passport.
I then left to go find my Airbnb, which was in the same area, got food at the 7-11, and relaxed the rest the day.
TUESDAY – WEDNESDAY
Exploring! I’ll admit I wasn’t the best at making the most of my two days of free time to explore. Again, it was the middle of August, and my sleep schedule had been out of whack for the last year.
However, I did do some fun things! Here’s the video I put on Facebook.
Basically, these are some of the things to do in Fukuoka:
- Go to the main shopping area called Canal City Hakata to visit Ramen Stadium. I’m actually drooling a little thinking about how good that ramen was. Basically, there are different styles from various regions in one area. I had the tonkatsu ramen, which is from Fukuoka, and I still think about it. You order on screens outside of the nook restaurant and then go in and show them your ticket.
- Visit Fukuoka Tower to get some skyline views. It’s a nice way to kill time and is close to the consulate.
- Venture over to Ohori Park in the afternoon. It’s a really cute little park with a pretty pagoda/sitting area on the water. You can rent the duck boats too if you want.
At one point on Wednesday, I went back to get my visa, messaged my manager, and repacked my backpack.
I flew back to Busan Thursday morning. I remember it being a lot faster to check in than it had been getting into Japan.
What You Need for Your Korean E2 Visa
- 1 Passport Photo (35 mm x 45 mm)
- 1 Visa Application Form (You’ll put your VIN on there. Getting the VIN is another process altogether, which I touch on here)
- ON YOUR FORM: You need – your school/education office or center’s name, contact information, and year they were founded
- Your Passport
- Around 6,000 yen in cash (~$60 USD) to be on the safe side (mine wound up only being 4,950 yen)
- You’ll leave all of this with them (yes, including your passport).
**Honestly, all you really need is cash and your passport. There’s a photo booth there, and as soon as I walked in, they handed me a visa application. I just rewrote mine since the first one was a bit messy.
How to Get to the Korean Consulate in Fukuoka from the Airport
Luckily the Consulate is right on the same subway line that runs from the airport through the city! Yay! Here’s what you do:
- Take the shuttle bus from the International Terminal to the Domestic Terminal. This is a free service and happens frequently.
- From the Domestic Terminal walk to the subway entrance.
- Take the subway to Tōjinmachi station.
- From Tōjinmachi Station, take Exit 1 and walk straight to the intersection.
- Turn left and walk straight. You’ll see the consulate with the Korean flag waving.
- Go to the left of the building (I went to the right) and you’ll see the side entrance.
Where to Stay in Fukuoka
So there are a few places nearby the station to make your life easier. I stayed at this Airbnb, which was nice and easy to navigate from. There’s a 7-11 nearby and one or two restaurants really along the same road.
When I was looking up places, I saw Heiwadai Hotel 5 recommended but it was booked when I was trying to go.
If you want to be near more things to do, then I’d stay in the Hakata neighborhood as it’s closer to the bigger attractions.
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This is so helpful, thank you! Do you still need new and apostilled copies of your undergrad degree? How did you swing that logistically from abroad? This is the one piece I’m concerned about with moving to Korea and possibly extending my contract. Thanks in advance!
Yep I believe you do (that goes towards getting your VIN). I think your best bet is to mail the copies into whichever office you need to (mine was in Harrisburg for PA) or if you have someone nearby who can copy + get them apostilled for you, I’d do that as well.
However, if you’re worried about extending your contract, does this mean you’ve already gone through the process and have an ARC and everything? If that’s the case, then you don’t have to go through all the paperwork I believe. Then it’s just a matter of renewing your ARC which can be done in Korea (I think there was maybe a form?)!
Let me ask my friend about it. I think she switched hagwon jobs and had to do the visa run in Fukuoka, so I’m not sure how she figured out the diploma thing in that case.