Monday, August 05, 2013


So I've got my spanking-new E-1 professor's visa. That's cool. And I've got my Catholic University Daegu employment contract. That, too, is eminently cool. But here's the problem:

1. The E-1 visa's validity period runs from 24 July 2013 to 24 July 2014.

2. The employment contract's validity runs from 1 September 2013 to 31 August 2014.

So: my visa runs out before my contract does. This means I'll need to acquire a visa extension (bija yeonjang in Korean). And here's the wrinkle: in reading through a new-profs' manual that had been emailed to me in PDF form, I saw that CUD permits visa extensions only if the professor intends to sign up for a second year of work at CUD. Otherwise, no dice.

This obviously creates a self-perpetuating quagmire. Any time I might want to leave the uni, the extension problem rears its head, and I remain stuck in the muck, unable to move forward. Most vexing, especially since I hope to re-apply for work at HUFS-Yongin next year. For now, though, I've decided to wait a few months before tackling this issue. A lot can happen between now and, say, next April. For all I know, I might fall so deeply in love with life at CUD that I'll decide on my own to stay there a second year.

As always, life enjoys throwing me curves.

ADDENDUM: One possible solution might be this:

1. I tell CUD I don't intend to work there a second year.
2. They tell me "Fine; fuck you. No extension."
3. I teach until the end of my visa, thereby forfeiting the benefits that come from teaching to the end of my contract.
4. Once done with my visa's validity, I immediately change my visa over to tourist status (not that I actually need a tourist visa for 90 days; Korea and the US are part of a visa agreement that obviates the need for a visa for stays of 90 days or less).
5. I move into a cheap hasuk or goshiwon for 1-3 months.
6. While I'm in limbo, I apply for work elsewhere (HUFS-Yongin, etc.).
7. I get accepted. The new university presents me with the same visa/contract validity problem, but this time it's different because I'm now where I've wanted to end up.

Sincerely—no disrespect to CUD. It's just not my ideal school, pay-wise. 30 million won versus 45 million won at HUFS, with the same weekly/monthly work schedule and benefits as can be found at CUD? You tell me what the better deal is. Again, I may be singing a different tune in a few months. If I've figured out a way to live a fairly lucrative lifestyle despite CUD's low salary, I may just stay put and enjoy life at CUD. On verra.



John McCrarey said...

Do you have to leave the country when you change visa status? I can see you making a run to Japan to initiate the tourist visa status...

Kevin Kim said...


Good question. Yes, I'd have to leave the country to change my status. Japan's probably the place I'll head for. In 2003, I ended up spending a night in Fukuoka; in 2005, I went to Osaka, I think. If I have enough money, I might even just go back to the States and enjoy a simultaneous visa change and vacation. Not sure. I'll revisit this question in a few months.

John from Daejeon said...

No, you don't have to leave country to change your status any more. You actually "don't want to leave the country" before switching your E-1 visa over to a D-10 (job seeking) visa at your local immigration office because if you change status other than this way, you "will" have to go through that massive paperwork process (FBI background check and apostillings) all over again. You could have actually come over this summer and stayed a full 6 months with this visa while looking for work, but the visa does cost $45.

Job Seeking Visa (D10)

There are several blogs on the Internet of people going through this process, so it's pretty easy to navigate nowadays.

Kevin Kim said...

John from Daejeon,

Thanks for the info. Good to know. So I can switch to a D-10 while still in Korea, then. Cool.

For the record, I didn't have to go through FBI checks or apostilling because I'm on an E-1 (professor's) visa, which doesn't require any of that nonsense. Paperwork was fairly simple and straightforward. Annoying, yes, but not as annoying as for an E-2.

(I did get my background check done, and I did get one document apostilled, but both of these procedures turned out to be unnecessary. Instead of fuming about wasted time and effort, though, I'm just glad I had to turn in less paperwork than anticipated.)

Kevin Kim said...

Ah, yes: the HUFS-Yongin job for which I'm shooting is also an E-1 post.

Addofio said...

Addofio here, commenting on your addendum.

I wouldn't tell CUD that you do not intend to stay a second year, at least not soon. For one thing, that's burning your bridges a bit soon--as you say, you might end up loving it there. It will also affect not only your attitude toward the job, but also theirs toward you--They'll know you aren't committed to the institution, and your students will know you aren't committed to them long-term.

Also, begin your job-hunting before the end of your job with CUD. People have better luck getting jobs if they currently are employed than if they are not. Especially in academia. At least here in the states, but I'm guessing that will be true there too. If it were me, I'd figure on staying at CUD up to two years, allowing for time to scope out the job-hunting scene and timing. Also, you'll look better to a new employer if you stay on the job for two years--they don't want to have to be doing a job search every year, so people who look more stable and likely to commit to stay awhile are more attractive. (I'm saying this based on my admittedly limited experience on job search committees.)

Kevin Kim said...



Kevin Kim said...

I should have made clear, Addofio, that in the procedure I'd outlined above, I would have timed things to occur close to the end of my contract. Universities normally ask you whether you plan to renew a few months before the end. When CUD asks, I'm likely to say "no." Everything you said about commitment is right, of course: HUFS-Yongin might not look favorably upon a worker who jumps ship too quickly.