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Required Documents

The following documents are required in order for an applicant to be considered as an EPIK teacher.

Please refer to the descriptions below for more details and clarifications regarding the documents.

Required Documents

Completed Application Form & Photo

Successful applicants must submit one hard copy of the full and completed application. The application form must be filled out entirely and correctly, and any changes or corrections to the application that were discussed during the interview part of the application process and after must be properly addressed.

Important: A hand-signed ink signature is required for the hard copy. Applicants must print the final application and then sign the signature section in ink. Digital signatures will not be accepted, and those that fail to sign this section will need to send another signed version of the application at their own expense.

A photo of the applicant from the shoulders up and facing forward must also be submitted with the application. Please try to ensure the background is a solid color and that no part of the applicant’s head or face is cropped outside of the photo

Optional Documents

TEFL/TESOL/CELTA Certifications & Valid Teaching Licenses

Applicants who have or will complete one of these certifications must submit a copy of their final certificate NO LATER than 6 weeks prior to the official start of their contract. If an applicant does not complete their course and provide the required copy of their final certificate by the designated date, any position granted in the interim will be revoked.

Certificates must clearly state the number of hours for the course. If they do not, the applicant must provide proof of the number of hours (e.g. by submitting transcripts, a letter from the course director, or a copy of an online description of the course that highlights the number of hours). Only certificates of 100 or more hours will qualify applicants for level 2 or above status.

For applicants who wish to teach in Busan, the Busan Metropolitan Office of Education will only recognize TEFL/TESOL certificates that have at least a 50 hour in-class component. For all other locations, an in-class component is NOT required.

If an applicant possesses a valid teaching license or credential, they must submit a photocopy of it and bring the original with them to Korea. Teaching licenses must be current and valid at the time of their contract start date to be qualified as a level 2 or above status

Required Documents

An Apostilled Copy of a Bachelor's Diploma

Successful applicants must submit an apostilled copy of their Bachelor’s diploma. While it is possible to have an original diploma apostilled, we recommend having a copy apostilled as we will not return any documents submitted to us. Receiving an apostille for the diploma copy differs depending on the country where the diploma was obtained. Please contact the national apostille office/service in the country for specifics and instructions on how to obtain an apostilled copy of the diploma.

For US applicants, diploma copies cannot be apostilled at the national level. A certified copy of the diploma should first be created by a local notary public. This certified copy can then be sent to the local state’s apostille office for apostille. This is only in regards to diploma copies. For the CRC apostille this must be done by the US State Department only.

For Canadian applicants, apostille is not available in Canada. As such, Canadian applicants will need to present a certified copy of their diploma to the Korean consulate or embassy nearest to them in order to receive an official authentication from the consulate or embassy in place of the apostille.

For applicants who have yet to receive their diploma, a “letter of intent to graduate” or similar provided by a university registrar’s office may be used as a temporary placeholder for the apostilled diploma copy requirement in order to receive placement following the interview part of the application process. However, an apostilled diploma copy will need to be submitted directly to the EPIK office no later than 6 weeks before their expected contract start date. If an applicant will not receive their diploma in time to meet this deadline, then that applicant is not eligible for the current term. Those that submit a placeholder “letter of intent to graduate” to secure a position but then fail to submit the apostilled diploma copy by the deadline will have their position revoked for that term.

Optional Documents

Proof of Full-Time Teaching Experience (PTE)

Proof of teaching experience letters(PTEs) should be on official letterhead, state your full name, clearly state whether your employment was full-time or not, and the duration of employment (including specific start and finish dates). They should also state the capacity in which you were employed (teacher, etc.) as well as what levels/grades and subjects were taught. Experience teaching Kindergarten will only be accepted if the applicant holds a license for teaching at that level. For experience teaching ages younger than Kindergarten, it will not be applied towards salary considerations. Letters from co-workers are not sufficient to prove teaching experience. Letters must be issued by your school's administrative office.

Proof of teaching experience letters must prove at least one full “academic year” of teaching experience to qualify a teacher for a higher pay level. For experience at private institutes (such as hagwons), you will want to be sure that the dates stated on the letter show that you have completed a one-year, 365-day contract. If your contract is currently in progress, you will have to submit the letter separately once the contract concludes.

Required Documents

Original Sealed Transcripts

Applicants must submit a sealed (in an unopened envelope provided by the university/institution itself) set of final (reports the completed degree/qualification) transcripts from each university/institution where a degree used toward EPIK program or salary qualifications was earned. If an applicant attended any schools where credits/courses were transferred to their final school at which they earned their degree, a sealed set of transcripts will be required from these schools as well only if the name of the transferred courses and credit worth of each transferred course is not reported on their final transcripts from the university/institution where the final degree was earned.

For applicants who have yet to receive their diploma, if final transcripts are not yet ready from the university/institution attended, applicants may submit a set of sealed current transcripts as a placeholder document. However, a sealed set of final transcripts will need to be submitted directly to the EPIK office no later than 6 weeks before their expected contract start date. Those that submit a placeholder sealed set of current transcripts to secure a position but then fail to submit the sealed set of final transcripts by the deadline will have their position revoked for that term.

Optional Documents

Documents for Korean Citizens

Copy of Citizenship and a Copy of Legal Residence Certificate
If the applicant is a Korean citizen and holds legal residency/dual citizenship in one of the seven designated countries where applicants are accepted from, they must provide proof of legal residency/dual citizenship.

Proof of English Education
Furthermore, these applicants will need to submit proof that they have received their education in one of the seven designated countries from where applicants are accepted or at accredited international schools beginning from the 7 th grade/year and through university. Transcripts and proof of enrollment from these schools will be necessary.

Required Documents

An Apostilled National Level Criminal Record Check (CRC)

The Criminal Record Check (also known as a “Police Certificate”) must be issued by a national police authority from the applicant’s country of primary citizenship. CRCs issued by police authorities below the national level will not be accepted. Please see the table below for specifics on obtaining a CRC by country. The CRC must be dated from on or after February 1st for the Fall Term’s main intake and on or from August 1st of the preceding year for the Spring Term’s main intake. Dates will differ slightly for late intake positions.

All applicants should use the links in the table below to begin the process of obtaining a national level criminal record check in their home country. An apostille must be affixed to the original by the appropriate government office. Receiving an apostille for the CRC differs depending on the country where the CRC was obtained. Please see the table below for apostille information.

Note: If you are currently residing in a foreign country and have resided there for 1 or more years, you may need to submit an apostilled CRC from that country as well. Details will be discussed during the interview.

Applicants from the United States must submit an FBI background check. Please be aware that the FBI check can take up to 12 weeks to receive, so we advise that you apply for it via an FBI-Approved Channeler. The FBI does not issue apostilles for the background check; you will have to submit it to the Department of Authentications in Washington, D.C. The FBI background check must not be apostilled at the state level; a state level apostille will not be accepted for CRCs.

Country Criminal Record
Check Agency
Apostille Agency
United States FBI - Channelers (Recommended)
FBI - Direct (~12 Weeks to Process)
FBI CRC's should be apostilled by the Department of State
Canada RCMP (or a check based on the CPIC) Not available. Documents must be notarized by a public notary, and then authenticated at a Korean Consulate or Embassy.
United Kingdom Disclosure Scotland or APCS (Basic Disclosure) Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)
Ireland Garda Síochána Department of Foreign Affairs
Australia AFP Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
New Zealand Ministry of Justice Department of Internal Affairs
South Africa SAPS Department of International Relations & Cooperation (DIRCO)

Optional Documents

Documents for In-Country Applicants

ARC & Current Visa Photocopy

On top of other documents, current teachers in Korea must also submit a photocopy of their ARC (both sides) and of their initial Korean visa page located in their passport.

Diploma, Transcripts and Background Checks for In-Country Applicants

Applicants currently teaching in Korea can receive certified copies of their vital documents (apostilled CRC, apostilled diploma, etc) from either their current office of education or their local office of immigration. These copies can be used in place of new documents to save time for applicants currently in Korea.

Public school teachers may receive a certified copy of their apostilled diploma, apostilled CRC, apostilled birth certificate (if applicable) and of their transcripts from their local office of education.

Teachers at private institutions may receive a certified copy of their apostilled CRC and apostilled birth certificate from their local office of immigration. They will still need to submit an apostilled birth certificate (if applicable) and a sealed set of final transcripts as the offices of immigration do not require or hold these documents.

For both public and private school teachers, the certified copy of the CRC is only valid if the applicant does not plan to leave Korea for more than 90 days between their current and new contract. Proof of this will be needed in the form of a “Record of Entry and Exit” document which can be provided by a local government office or by the local office of immigration. Details on this will be given during the interview.

Required Documents

Two Letters of Recommendation from Professional or Academic Sources

Applicants must submit the original hard copies of both letters of recommendation that were submitted electronically with the initial application. There are very specific requirements for the letters’ contents. Please pay careful attention to the letter of recommendation requirements outlined below. Each letter of recommendation must meet the following requirements:

They must be from a supervisor, professor, academic advisor, co-teacher, or other professional source. The referee cannot be a friend, family member, or co-worker.

They must be on letterhead OR the referee’s business card must be attached. If neither is possible, the applicant will need to obtain a letter from a different source.

Letters must have the name of the referee and their title either in the letter or at the signature. Letters must also be signed with ink. Electronic signatures are not acceptable.

The contact information of the referee must be on the letters of recommendation. Ideally, both a phone number and an email contact should be on the letter.

The letters must be dated and must be no older than 2 years from the opening of the application period for the applying term.

Letters may be in Korean or English.

Letters should be 1-2 pages in length.

The letters should be addressed to “Whom it May Concern” or to the “EPIK Team.” Letters addressed to recruiters or other institutions/organizations will not be accepted.

Letters must include the applicant’s full first and last name as it appears on their passport.

Letters should clearly state the relationship between the referee and the applicant, including the length and nature of the relationship.

Current teachers in Korea must provide at least one letter from their current school. Public schools in Korea do not normally have letterhead so the letter must have the school’s stamp along with the ink signature of the referee.

We cannot accept letters from online TEFL/TESOL/etc course providers.

A sample letter of recommendation template can be found in Appendix 1 of the Required Documents file.

Optional Documents

Apostilled Birth Certificate (UK/AU Applicants)

Applicants from the UK and Australia must submit an apostilled copy of their birth certificate along with their other documents. Please check with your national apostille office/service for apostille details. For those whose current name does not match that on their birth certificate, multiple or a more detailed criminal record check may be necessary. Details on this will be given during the interview.

For those who have become naturalized citizens of these countries and thus do not possess a birth certificate from these countries, a copy of immigration or naturalization papers will be needed in its place. This must also be apostilled.

Required Documents

Passport Information Page Copy

Each applicant must submit a color copy of the photo page in their passport.

Optional Documents

English Education Proof (SA/Quebec Applicants)

Applicants who received their education from 7th year/grade and through university in either South Africa or Quebec must submit proof of English Education. To be eligible for the program, the schools attended during this period must have used English as the primary language of instruction for all subjects not considered foreign language subjects. This proof can come in the form of a letter from their school’s administrative office that states the period they attended the school and that English was the primary language of instruction during their time of attendance. A letter must be submitted for each school attended during this period.

Required Documents

Proof of Level 2 Status

Applicants may apply while technically considered as level 3, but will need to qualify as a level 2 or higher no later than 6 weeks before the official start of their contract and provide documentation of such. Failing to do so will result in the revocation of any placement offer. Attaining a level 2 or higher status may be done through various means. Please see Optional Documents in the above chart for details.

Optional Documents

English Education Proof (Int'l School Attendees)

If an applicant’s education from 7th grade/year and onward was completed outside one of the 7 designated countries from which applicants are accepted, the school attended must have been an accredited, English-medium international school. Documents required from these schools include transcripts and proof of enrollment.