Monday, February 11, 2008

Bali Bali (hurry hurry)

Another rant --

I've just found out via email that I sent the wrong documents to Korea. Which, for those of you who know about the visa process, means that I don't have a work visa number.

The long and the short of it is, I was given a list of stuff to send to Korea. I attached everything in a nice envelope and BEFORE I sent out my documents all the way across the ocean I emailed 2 people (the women who gave me the list and my boss) to make sure I WASN'T FORGETTING ANYTHING. You see I've become accustom to Korean culture and I know full well that things are left to the last minute and then rushed and done half-ass -- which was the purpose for my CONFIRMATION EMAIL

I got the go ahead from my boss to send my documents to Korea (which cost $50) and the women didn't even bother to email me at all.

I sent them. I happen to have NOT included an important form. WHY??? Because it wasn't on the list. So now I can't get a work # until I send in that important form (another $50).

They can't stamp my passport with a work visa until I have a work # and I can't get a work # until I send in the form that I didn't include (even though I double checked BEFORE I shipped stuff).

No big deal right? Ship in the form get the number, problem solved.

EXCEPT.................. my ticket to Korea (which I paid $1000 from my own money since my new job doesn't include airfare) leaves in 2 weeks exactly and the nearest Korean Embassy is 2 provinces away.

Now I have to call the Korean Embassy in Vancouver and convince them to process my visa (without a work number) and miraculously send it back to me in time (before my flight leaves). YAH RIGHT!!!!

So my other option is to enter the country on a visitors visa (which requires you to have a return ticket....................which I don't have since I only bought a one way, so I don't know how that's gonna work out). But even if I go into the country on a visitors visa then in order to process my work visa I will have to do a visa run to JAPAN.........and get this, he said he would TRY to get the school to pay for HALF of the transport. Now I have to possibly fork out more money for a mistake I didn't make?

This is absolutely ridiculous!!!!!! And I'm absolutely certain that if Sung Hyun wasn't in Korea then I wouldn't tolerate this bs. Maybe, just maybe I won't go back!!!!!!


Professor Amy-Michelle said...

Hey Jenn,
I know EXACTLY what you are going through. I had this EXACT situation last year but then my passport got stolen while waiting for the number to be emailed and so I had only about 2 weeks to get the passport and number.
I only got the passport, but thank God I did.
So, what did I do, you ask...
1. Got myself back to Korea and got a hold of the confirmation number.
2. Took KTX down to Mokpo
3. Took a ferry to Fukoka, Japan
4. Went to the Korean Embassey (1 day process.. you get it the very next day)
5. Mingled with the foreigners at the Embassey and gave one of them $10 to let me sleep on his floor.
6. Ended up staying an extra night and so I stayed at a hostal.

The round trip with food and sleeping arrangements, cost me around $250.

Youth hostal was about $15 and it was awesome! Super clean and packed with LOTS of interesting and fun people.

If you're thinking about going this route, I still have the Fukoka maps and hostal information if you need it. Fukoka was a great experience for me despite the situation that brought me there. I had a blast and really wish to revisit it. It's a beautiful city.

But, having said that, they are defintely not Korean and so it made me really appreciate and love my Koreans even more!!!

One last night, I agree with you. Someone SHOULD be paying for THEIR mistake in stead of you!!!

If they try to pass the buck, well, keep all your reciepts and then hand them in. Don't let them simply push the issue aside!

Louise said...

Dear Jen,

Thanks for visiting my site again. I too have been through this rigmarole with Korean embassy, immigration and bosses. I know and understand how you feel. And with your fella waiting for you in Korea, it must make your frustration feel a hundred times worse.

I agree with Prof Amy Michelle; ask your boss to share the cost of all of this. If they don't perhaps they are not nice to work for and you will be in for a year of troubles, not just a month.

PS, my contract ends soon and they are looking for a female teacher. Also they are one of the highest paying hagwons in Korea..

Sandra said...

AH! How annoying. :(

Beloved said...

Ah, yes. I have done the visa run to Japan, too. Like Amy said though, it can actually be fun and a great experience. It made me want to go back (which I did--to Kyoto) and see more of Japan. I understand how frustrating these kinds of things are though. It is so wrong to have to go through all of this when you've done everything right and someone else is to blame. I agree that you have to try as hard as possible to get your employer to pay at least half of the visa run. They need to be held accountable and you'll end up feeling resentful if you don't push the issue. GOOD LUCK!

Annie-Me said...

Hun, I have had a few friends come on a visitors visa before. One way that they got around this was buy another ticket... to any that is FULLY refundable (make sure of this). As soon as they got into the country, they canceled the ticket.

Then if you had to go to Japan for a visa run...well you could. The trip to Mokpo isn't that bad. You know how many times I'm been to Mokpo. lol. Anyway...that's the best advise I could give you.

Buy a FULLY refundable ticket, yes I know they are very expensive but you can put it on your visa and then get it returned to you as soon as you get here. I hope everything works out that that doesn't become necessary. What forms did they not include?

Amanda said...

I've done two visa runs to Japan, but are you SURE that all of these workarounds are now possible with the new regs? The new regs that the gov't can't even keep straight?