OFFICIAL COPY OF DIPLOMA (+APOSTILLE)
All E-2 visa applicants are required to submit an apostilled official copy of a diploma from an accredited 4-year college or university.
Request at least 2 copies because, in addition to the one you’ll need to submit for the visa application, your employer may require an additional apostilled copy of your diploma to properly register you after your arrival in Korea. We recommend 3-4 copies, though, because it won’t cost much more and it’s good to have a couple of extra copies on hand in case you need them in the future.
1) OBTAIN A COPY OF DIPLOMA
The procedure for obtaining a visa varies by school, but it is generally cheap and requires no more than a few weeks. The safest bet is to visit your school’s website. Many schools accept electronic requests for diplomas. It’s also not a bad idea to call the school if you’re in a hurry, because sometimes they can recommend ways to expedite the process. Usually these requests are handled by the registrar, though sometimes it’s another department.
2) HAVE YOUR DIPLOMA NOTARIZED
In order to get an apostille (Step 3), you must first have your official copy of the diploma notarized. Some schools provide notification services, so it may be possible for them to notarize the diploma directly. It’s worth asking when you make your initial request. If not, most banks can notarize a document for a minimal fee. Notarization services are cheap and ubiquitous. If anybody tries to charge you more than $10 per document for notarization, they’re asking for too much.
3) REQUEST AN APOSTILLE
Unlike your FBI Criminal Background Check, which required an apostille through the federal government, your diploma should be apostilled through the state government. In most cases, it must be the same state in which the document was notarized (see step 2). The cost and timeframe for this service varies by state. Most states will accept documents mailed to them, which can be the easiest method if you’re not in a hurry. Some states offer expedited service, for which a small premium will be charged. Most states also accept walk-in requests, which we highly recommend because it’s safest (the document never leaves your hands) and can be completed on the spot. We recommend that you bring multiple forms of ID with you (drivers licence and passport), which they might request for authentication purposes. Check with your state for details.