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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Know Your Rights as a Foreigner in Korea

The Marmot’s Hole has an excellent article that is a must read for all foreigners teaching English in Korea.  The bulk of the article is an interview with Professor Benjamin Wager, a professor of international law. Prof. Wagner discusses the Visa “requirements” for the E-2 visa – the document a great number of us must possess in order to work here.  There’s no sense in me repeating all of the article but some points are well worth mentioning:

  • Current E-2 visa rules for health, HIV and criminal background checks are discriminatory as Korean teachers are not required to undergo same.
  • Korea is a party to CERD (United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) and as such many forms of discrimination are illegal. This agreement spells out how people, (i.e foreigners such as us) should be treated in a society.
  • CERD has been used successfully in other places as a basis for law suits when discrimination occurs.
  • ATEK (Association of Teachers of English in Korea) and KFTA (Korean Federation of Teachers Associations) are organizations set up for ensuring we are treated properly and legally. They might be something YOU should be a member of or get involved in.

Check out the article yourself and see if there’s something there that you might need to be aware.