Episode #1-Visa Run to Japan

This is the first episode of the conleys overseas series.

This is what my visa looks like:



Stay tuned for pictures from our stay in Fukuoka, Japan.


Fukuoka, Japan Korean E-2 Visa Run

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.

IMG_20131013_142726My 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:


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


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
5. ¥4500


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.

Continue reading

The E-2 Process Complete

Just in case our previous document posts weren’t enough we have a final document post for you. We present pictures of what your documents done correctly will look like. At the end of this a fancy E-2 visa awaits.

First off, what the apostilles will look like. Official, half empty pieces of paper. Voila. We have pdfs on here because we had to send scans for a lot of our applications. You should just assume you have to do the same and scan them with your smart phone or at Kinkos.




So the FBI apostille should be exactly the same since you are getting it from the US Department of State. Your diploma notary and apostille will look different because states use different documents. But it gives you the general idea.

Not bad for a few weeks of tireless effort and annoying hurdles. Those three scans just don’t do the documents process justice. You can really see how much work you did once you line it all up together.


From the top:

Health Assessment signed
Contract signed
Resume with photo and signed
Notarized and Apostilled Diploma
Apostilled FBI CBC
2 Passport photos
and Apostilled Vital Marriage Record

That’s right. We/You did it. Congratulations! Your year in Korea is gonna finally happen.

Just kidding. Now it’s time to play the waiting game.

Once you have that pile of documents you will mail it to your school or recruiter. Mailing to Korea can take about a week. Then you have to wait for Immigration to process your paperwork. That’s another 2 weeks. Then you get your Visa Issuance Number. Next you send the visa number to your Korean Consulate with a visa application and your passport (go to your consulate website to verify their visa application process, you might need more paperwork). That can take 1-2 weeks or more depending on your consulate (I would call way in advance, like while still collecting your documents so you know what time frame to give your employer). Once your passport comes back with a visa then you can go to Korea.

Remember when I said to make sure you apply and accept a contract at least 4+ weeks from the day you want to start? That’s because of this process.

And here it is. All that work. All those applications. All those fees. It’s done. Your passport has a shiny sticker and it says you can stay. Congratulations. For real this time.


You’re going to Korea.