About a year ago, I was finally awarded my F-2-7 (points) visa from the Daegu Office of Immigration. Having jumped through all the hoops to get it, I had to admit that I was a bit dismayed to find out they had made it valid for only ONE YEAR. Well, that year has passed, and so I was somewhat dreading the renewal process. However, I can say that it went surprisingly smooth.
Immigration asked for only two documents. Proof of residence and proof of employment. Providing the proof of residence bit was easy. I brought with me my housing contract signed by my landlord and I. I also brought a recently utility bill with my name and address on it, though it wasn’t needed. I have also heard that one can bring in the official notice of renewal from immigration as proof of residence (though I haven’t verified this independently).
Now…moving along to the proof of employment…
I had quit my public school teaching job after 5 years in February, 2016. Having the new visa meant that I could work, as I’d desired, as an independent freelancer. Having paid off all my student loans and credit card debt, I was able to coast for a bit and not worry much about income. However, the immigration officer was wary of my sudden Bohemian lifestyle and did say that the F2-7 is still tied to work in a specialized field.
So, I reached into my bag and pulled out what might have been my trump card. It was a publishing contract recently offered to me by a major publisher in Seoul for a series of English education novels I was to write (the contract was for the first in the series). I will write more about my experience with publishing in Korea soon. I handed it over and the immigration officer looked through it. He convened with others for about 5-10 minutes and then gave me the good news.
Visa extension would not only be “no problem”, but I was getting a 5-year extension!
I’ve heard of others getting 5-year F2 visas right off the bat and I certainly didn’t expect it. It was great news (and great to know that I needn’t report to immigration for another 5 years). I paid my fee (60,000 won), got my updated expiry sticker on the back, and was on my way.
So, all one apparently needs to renew their F-2-7 (points) visa is simply:
- Proof of Residence
- Proof of Employment (contract)
If any of you have more information or other stories about renewing your visas. Leave a comment below!