Moving To Korea: Background Check Apostille

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Seoul skyline near the Han River with Namsan Tower in the background. Photo by Ethan Brooke on Pexels.com

In the previous post, I talked about the process I went through to get my background check and how it had to be a national level background check. If you missed that article, you can read it by clicking here. Getting your background check is only part of the process. You have to then get it apostilled. So how did I get my background check apostilled? How much does it cost? How long did it take? Here are the answers.

Why I Didn’t Take It In Myself.

Doing things yourself is sometimes, easier, faster and a better way of doing things. However, this was not one of those cases. In the U.S. there is only one agency that is permitted to apostille a national level background check; and it is in Washington D.C. So what would happen if I were to go there and take my background check to get it apostilled? From my research, new documents can be dropped off between 8:00 am and 9:00 am. That’s right, only one location for the entire nation and only one hour to do it each day. Needless to say, getting professional help would be the best thing in my situation.

Who Did I Go With?

In researching companies, I decided to go with a company called Monument Visa. In my opinion, this was a wise decision. The process was straight forward and easy to accomplish. Best of all, the person who handled my order, Nicole, was very honest. After placing my order, I was contacted and told that due to covid restrictions, expedited service wasn’t possible due to a reduced workforce in the government. Also, I had ordered something that wasn’t necessary, so they wanted to confirm what I actually needed before charging my card. Whenever you find people this honest, go with them.

What Was the Process?

I filled out my order, and then uploaded my electronic copy of my background check. From there, Monument Visa took care of the rest. My order included the cost to get my apostilled background check sent back to me. I was then able to scan it to have it electronically. When emailing companies in Korea, being able to show that I had my degree and national background check in hand and already apostilled put me ahead of people who hadn’t gotten that far in their preparation.

How Much Did It Cost?

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Monument Visa charged me a flat rate of $55 for their services. The price included the cost of sending it back to me in the mail. (Prices are subject to change.) This means that the total I paid to have my national level background check done, and to have it apostilled was only $105. While I could have done this process through a single company, it likely would have cost me double the price to get it done. So overall, I got great service and a great price.

How Long Did It Take?

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The process to get a background check apostilled usually takes only a few days. However, we are not living in usual times. From the time I placed my order, to the time it was delivered to me, it took about 4 weeks. In this “new normal” world, processing times can vary greatly, so it’s best to check how long the process is taking and to get your order in early.

Other Things to Remember

You’ll need to know how new your background check needs to be for the visa you are trying to apply for. You may have to get your background check done multiple times in order to have a current one on file when you can get your visa. Also, knowing where the Korean consulate is that you will be dealing with is vital. Keep in mind that even though the people working there are in your country, they are still Korean citizens with a government job and the place where they work is considered to be Korean territory. Finally, all things are subject to change. A company may raise their fees, processing times may change, or you may have different requirements in the future that could also vary by the country that you are coming from. Keep doing your research, and don’t give up. In time, you’ll be able to get your visa and live out your live in the city of Seoul.

View of the Han River and of Lotte World Tower. Photo by Ethan Brooke on Pexels.com