How to Apply for an F-4 Visa

This is information on how to apply for an F-4 visa for Korea as an adopted American citizen. This is information from my own experience.

To be eligible for an F-4 visa, you must meet the following requirements:
1. Born in Korea –or– a parent born in Korea
2. Be at least 22 years old
3. Not a Korean citizen*

*If you currently have Korean citizenship or dual citizenship, you will need to renounce your Korean citizenship before you are able to apply for an F-4 visa.

Step 1:
Contact your Korean adoption agency. Keep in mind that Holt International and Holt Children’s Services are two different agencies. If you do not know which agency you were adopted through, it would be better to send an email to both. Explain that you would like 2 copies of your adoption certificate (입양사실확인서). This is a different document than your adoption records. One will be used to apply for your visa, the other will be needed later when you apply for your Alien Registration Card (ARC). Give as much identifying information as possible.

Step 2:
Contact your local Korean Consulate. Explain you would like to apply for an F-4 visa and ask what documents are needed. Here are all the documents I had to turn in:

  • Passport
  • Visa application form
  • Korean registry application form
  • Adoption certificate
  • Original Certificate of Naturalization
  • Payment ($45.00 for visa plus $1.50 for family registration fee)
  • Self-addressed stamped envelope (since I couldn’t pick up in person)

It’s highly recommended to send with tracking to and from the Embassy. About 2-3 weeks later, you should get your Passport back with a shiny F-4 visa pasted in it. Oh and you’ll get your Certificate of Naturalization back, too.

Benefits of an F-4 Visa

  1. Unlimited entry
    This doesn’t really mean much if you have an ARC. If you don’t have a job in Korea but want to come and go as you please, an unlimited entry comes in handy.
  2. Valid for 2 Years
    Standard teaching work visas are E-2s and are only valid for a year. You will have to go to the immigration office if you want to renew your contract. Tourist visas are good for 30 days.
  3. More Employability
    Having an F-4 means your employer does not have to sponsor your visa, which makes them more willing to hire you. This is especially useful for some hagwons. Don’t want to work as a teacher? No problem! An F-4 also gives you the freedom to work anywhere as a Korean citizen would. 
  4. Notoriety
    Don’t like the new girl in school? Just hang a red card in her locker and let Goo Joon-Pyo do the rest. Don’t get the reference? Please watch more classic Korean dramas.



Why I Call Myself an Immigrant and Not an Expat

My friend, Reb, posted this on Facebook.

[Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?]

I found it right on the money. If you don’t have time to read for 5 minutes, what are you doing here? But seriously. Summed up, the article says that the term expat is reserved for White people working in foreign countries. It is used as a way to flex White supremacy.

It’s probably not much of a stand coming from a Korean-American who is probably already considered an immigrant whether I’m working in the US or in Korea. Regardless, I can’t pretend that it’s a non-issue and go around calling myself an expat.

How to Get Your College Degree Apostilled – Ohio

1) Make a copy of your degree.

2a) Take original document and copy to an attorney to get notarized.
2b) Take original document and copy to a regular notary to get notarized. THEN take notarized copy to your local County Clerk of Courts to get the notary signature verified.

Note: I’m not sure the cost for either of these services. My friend is an attorney and was nice enough to provide the service for free.

3) Make out a check for $5.00 to the Ohio Secretary of State.

4) Mail the following:
– Letter explaining you need your document apostilled
– Check for $5.00
– Copy of notarized (and verification if you went to CCC) degree
– Self-addressed pre-paid envelope

You should get your documents back in 2-3 weeks.

Why do I have to get my degree copy notarized AND verified by the County Clerk of Courts?
It was explained to me that the notary’s signature had to be verified.

Why do I have to get my degree notarized by an attorney?
An attorney’s commission never expires, and somehow that makes all the difference.