Oops! Advice on Visa please!

I went to Japan over Chuseok, and in leaving, cancelled my visa. I thought it was a multiple entry visa. But I was wrong.  I knew when I was departing when the immigration officer told me, but I left anyway as I was already running late for my flight which was spur of the moment and decided to go anyway.   I came back into korea today as tourist.  So all ok there.  However, I will now be working illegally, and I didn't really think this through. I'm not entirely happy where I am and have been at the hagwon for over a month now, I wanted to leave straight away but have stuck it out .  But maybe I have a reason to go now,even though I feel bad about leaving. I can be here for 90 days, but working is illegal. I dont want to tell the school as I feel like a bit of an idiot. Will the hagwon get into trouble?  Is it likely I will be caught out if i decide to stay at the hagwon?

 I am yet to get the ARC.  Any help would be great. 

Thank you

Re: Oops! Advice on Visa please!

Option 1:

Tell your school, tell them you made a mistake and let them sort it with imigration. Likely it will cost some money to fiex but is probably not the end of the world.

Option 2:

Quit the school, tell them the visa was canceled and you are done working. This will require that you get a letter of release before you can work at another school. They will likely not give you one until you pay back the fees that it cost them to employ you.



Re: Oops! Advice on Visa please!

LOR is a sticky situation. The rule is, get one. I have heard it both ways from people who have not needed it and others who have. I needed it the one time I went through all this. My boss and I had no hard feelings so it was fine. 


Good luck~

Re: Oops! Advice on Visa please!

Future reference for those in the situation in the immigration line at the airport...
If you don't have a multiple entry visa...they can make one for you right there...It takes 15 minutes or less.
They may act a little pissy about it but they will make it for you.

Re: Oops! Advice on Visa please!

Re-entry permits haven't been necessary for over a year and a half. I've left and returned multiple times with no trouble (after asking at the immigration office at the airport soon after the change). If your work visa is canceled when you leave, it's because you've told them that you aren't coming back. They do ask, and you need to make sure they listen to your answer. Had one dumbass start to cancel my visa because he didn't bother to listen to my answer when I said, "Yes, I am coming back!"

Re: Oops! Advice on Visa please!

Thank you for all your responses.  When I was going through immigration, the guy said "you know this will cancel your visa?", I said "no".  And he said "are you sure you want to go?" I thought I'm not going to miss my flight and lose the money paid for the fare and accom, so I said "yep". I was running late, huge line behind me. I deal later. He may have assumed I was doing a runner. 

So now I feel like a major idiot after you tell me the multiple entry thing is not necessary.  I must have been reading some old info.  However, it did say somewhere that americans already havemultiple entry on their visas.   Are you americans? Maybe this is why?

I will have to do something soon, not sure what though.

Thanks again, really appreciate it, as I'm on my own on the edge of Seoul.


Re: Oops! Advice on Visa please!

In the past, Americans automatically had a multiple-re-entry permit for the first year of their visa. If they extended the visa, they needed to get a multiple-re-entry permit (for 50,000 won). I did that a few times in the past.

However, re-entry permits are no longer necessary, regardless of nationality. I've left and returned about four or five times since the change.

If you want to work at a new job, you'll need to get a new work visa. In order to get a new work visa (before the term of your old, canceled visa expires), you will probably need to get a letter of release from your previous employer. I'm not sure whether it is an absolutely required by law (since your work visa is no longer valid), but the probability that immigration will insist that you have one is very high.

Re: Oops! Advice on Visa please!

I'm a British, but nationality makes no difference now since re-entry visas are no longer necessary, as Crudler said. Still kind of weird that the immigration guy said your visa would be cancelled.

Everytime I leave I hand my passport and ARC over and these days I don't even get asked any questions, in fact on my last trip they said showing my ARC wasn't necessary as they had all the details on the computer. I do work in a university however, so maybe they presume I wouldn't want to leave!


Re: Oops! Advice on Visa please!

Reentry permits are no longer needed, if you have your ARC.


Actually in the past I'd heard you couldn't leave Korea without an ARC, as it cancelled your visa, but hopefully this has changed now that it takes 1 month to get one.


I have heard that without a LOR you will have to submit all your documents again to get a new visa, and if you haven't held an E2 before the cancelled one you will need to return to your home country.


Good luck.

Re: Oops! Advice on Visa please!

Thanks again for the responses, very kind of you.

So that explains it, I didn't have an ARC.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean Adrian teacher, by not having a visa prior to the cancelled one means having to return to your home country? Why? Is this true for all situations? This is a major problem if it is, I'm really worried.

I am on a tourist visa at the moment if that helps.  I'm not knowledgeable at all when it comes to visas,forgive me.

I can have the  required documents scanned for a new visa, or I can get new copies reasonably quickly, so will not require a letter of release.

Maybe I need to go my embassy?

Re: Oops! Advice on Visa please!

Dude, there are no loop holes here.

If you don't care about staying in Korea then by all means keep working on your tourist visa.  You will more than likely not get cuaght out although you will have to leave when it expires and will probably have a very dificult time when you come back (over staying will incur a fine).

If you do want to have a future in Korea then explain it to your boss and then go with him to immigration and try to sort it out.  If you go this route do not trust your boss to sort it out, insist that you go together or even go there alone to make sure it actually does get sorted.

You should also not that everyday you delay you are making the situation significantly worse.  If you done this immediately you would have had a "good faith" argument and it probably could have been fixed relatively easily, now it's looking a lot more suspicious.

Re: Oops! Advice on Visa please!

Your embassy cannot really help you.


You need to go to Korean immigration, however without a sponsor for a new job,they probably won't be much help either.  Whatever happens do not tell immigration you have been working for this last week.


I was reading somewhere that consular interviews were being dropped and there are no hard and fast rules, however usually a first E2 requires you to apply from your home country if your first was cancelled it doesn't count.  I worked with someone who had to go to the UK for the first time in his life to get an E2 as he applied on his UK passport, the kicker was he was already here.


Time is not your friend here, it has already been too long. Your options are:

  1. Work illegally here, catching the ferry to Japan every 90 days, but when your boss finds out you are sans visa, good luck getting paid and if you are caught you will be in trouble;
  2. Tell your boss about your mistake, would have been better 1 week ago, today is the last chance and either get an LOR or have them sort out immigration for you;
  3. Apply for another job produce all your documents again (I doubt they will accept scans BTW) and hope that you can get the visa in Japan;
  4. If you have to return to the UK to get a visa, apply for a job in Japan, China or Taiwan;
  5. Go home;
  6. Keep posting on here without doing anything to fix your situation, you don't know who we are.


You have messed up, no shame there, we all have, but now you need to deal with it.

Good luck