Saturday, November 15, 2003

"It is pointless to resist, my son."

Name that movie quote!

It's relevant, if you've been trying to avoid getting an E-2 visa.

I found out yesterday (i.e., Thursday; ignore my time stamps, which're on Seoul time): I can't get the F-4 visa I've been coveting. Also known as a "dong-p'o visa," the F-4 is issued to people who can prove their Korean ethnicity. Back in June, when my mother and brother Sean were visiting me in Seoul, we went to the Immigration Office to find out what documents I'd need to provide to obtain an F-4. It didn't seem impossible: we were given a list of documents that didn't look hard to conjure. Over the ensuing months, my parents shipped those documents to me in Seoul. I needed to ask a relative for one final document (a copy of the relevant section of our family ledger), but I procrastinated.

Turns out it doesn't matter. In a conversation with an immigration official based in Annandale, VA yesterday, I learned that I'd need another document-- one my mother should have provided the Korean government when I was born, to establish lineage.

It doesn't surprise me to find out There's Always Another Document. That's how bureaucracy works, and Korean Immigration is particularly notorious for the runaround. The point is that I won't have a stab at a visa that would have allowed me to do just about anything while living in Korea, up to and including running my own business if I so desired (not that I have any clue how to run a business).

So it's Ye Olde E-2 visa for yours truly. I'm hoping to obtain a teaching post at Dongguk University; the semester begins in March. Meantime, from January to March, I'll be offering my services as a gigolo in Cheongnyangni. Ladies, come on by for some chunky off-white lovin'.

No comments: