Hopefully you don’t have to do this.
Or maybe hopefully you do.
Depends on the kind of person you are. Sean and I were excited about the visa run.
So what’s a visa run? Well, you might already know if you’re reading this. But if not, the visa run is for people who are already in Korea looking for another job or for those whose Korean Consulate takes too long to process a visa so you flew to Korea to get it done faster via the visa run. Basically you just can’t be in Korea to get a Korean visa and Japan is your closest option. Sean and I were flown on a tourist visa to Korea then sent to Fukuoka, Japan to obtain our E-2 work visa. You get a tourist visa just for visiting any country. They stamp it at the airport upon arrival. Sometimes they will give you shit for not having a return flight. If so, you just tell them you are taking a ferry boat to Japan when you leave Korea.
My tourist visa in and out of Korea.
Sean and I did a visa run because it saved us and our employer over a week’s wait since the Seattle consulate takes over a week to process a visa and Fukuoka takes 24 hours. In our mind this was win-win. We got to Korea sooner and got a mini paid for vacation to Japan. And for our employer, well it cost a little more money for them but we were available for the start of their mid-term session which is what they wanted.
So this post will give you step-by-step directions for getting an E-2 Work Visa in Fukuoka, Japan. Our next post will be the fun things we did in Fukuoka on our extended stay. If you think this is a bit overkill or exceptionally detailed, do a google search for Fukuoka visa run. It was a life saver for us and for many other people. You would be surprised at how easy it is to get lost, be late, or feel overwhelmed when doing this run.
The general consensus among the blogs was 3 steps and a list of things to bring:
TYPICAL BLOG STEPS
1. Take subway from the airport to the Tojinmachi stop by the Korean Consulate
2. Walk to Korean consulate to apply for visa, be sure to arrive before 11:30am
3. Return to Korean consulate the following day between 1:30-4:00pm to pick up passport with visa
TYPICAL BLOG’S BRING LIST
1. A passport photo, or pay ¥600 for one from a photo booth at the consulate
2. Your passport
3. The visa issuance number your employer received from Korean Immigration
4. Your new home address, work address, boss’ name, and boss’ phone number
MY PERSONAL EXTRA ADVICE
1. Pack light, preferably in a backpack.
2. Check the weather, it can get hot and sunny.
3. Do your currency exchange before you arrive.
4. Wear comfortable shoes.
Easy enough right? Well it should be, but again, I’m so glad I read other blogs before I left. The best blog I found was American in Seoul.
This blog had some great photos to help with walking directions. My boss actually told me to print them out and keep them with me just in case. And it helped, and worked, since I am typing this from my work desk in Korea. I only decided to do a follow up blog to mention the spots where it may have been possible to get lost, confused, or annoyed.
Follow through to check out some Fukuoka Visa Run fine print.