Getting an Apostille Seal for South Korea
Yesterday and today I had adventures in getting an Apostille seal for South Korea. It’s pronounced: A pos steel, with the accent on the second part of the word. Yup. I embarrassed myself by pronouncing it incorrectly several times.
Anyway, this is part of the paperwork needed for a visa to teach in South Korea. I followed my directions sent to me from Footprints recruiting. Sounded easy enough. Get your degree. Make a copy of the degree. Get the degree notarized. Take the notarized copy to the nearest Apostille for a stamp. The instructions were the same for the criminal background check, but Footprints recommended that a notary in the police department notarize the criminal background report. The directions sounded easy, but it took me two days and a lot of drama to carry them out! Here’s what happened:
Adventures in Getting an Apostille Seal
- I called the Apostille Office in the Secretary of State Department and verified the address. I put the address into the GPS on my phone because I am directionally challenged.
- I withdrew money from the ATM. I knew that it would cost something to get the paperwork notarized
- I went to get my criminal background check from the Sheriff’s department in my town. Oddly enough I didn’t have to get fingerprinted. I just filled out a simple form and they ran a report. I had no record. I asked that the form that I filled out, stating that I had no record be notarized. The lady behind the glass notarized the form and I was out.
- Next, I went to the UPS store to make a copy of my degree and get that notarized. I explained that I was going to Korea and that I needed the notary to state that the degree was a true copy. The notary made my copy for me. She makes copies in the UPS store as well as is a notary.
- I drove about an hour to get to the nearest Apostille. Thank God that the GPS was working!
- I get to the Apostille at 4:03 p.m. Dang, but there was a sign saying that the Apostille does not work after 4 p.m. I looked worried and maybe like a sad dog, and the receptionist said the the Apostille will see me.
I was too happy, and showed her my forms. Homegirl glanced at them and said that they were DONE ALL WRONG.
The woman in the Sheriff’s department who ran the criminal background check should not have notarized the form. A different notary in the police department should have done that. Sorry, but my directions didn’t say anything about that! At this point, I’m annoyed but still smiling.
Secondly, the notary at the UPS store should have written a statement saying that the degree was a true copy. She only notarized and signed the copy. I was still smiling, but I was not really amused AT ALL. The Apostille gave me two forms to complete with the notary. One form verified that the degree was a true copy. The second form verified that the criminal background check was authentic. The Apostille was about the haul #$@! so I had no choice but to make the corrections and try again the next day.
So, today. I go back to the UPS notary and have her complete the forms. She apologizes profusely, but I just really wanted her to make the corrections and let me go out on my way. I appreciated the apology, though.
Fast forward… an hour later…
I get to the Apostille, and homegirl glances at the paperwork and says that it’s STILL WRONG! The notary’s stamp had her inital in it, but when the Apostille tried to look her up in the computer she could not find the notary. Her name did not have an initial in the computer. So. you guessed it. I have to get the paperwork notarized again. This time, I go to a nearby bank, and explain the the manager, who was a notary, what I was trying to do. He takes me in his office and completes the forms; the Apostille gave me new forms. I was so nervous that I made an error on one of the forms, I wrote the incorrect county and I was so afraid to cross something out on the paperwork that I called the Apostille’s office and asked what to do. The guy who answered the phone was irked. He said, ugh… cross it out. Draw a line through it. I felt like a big dummy, but I didn’t want that Apostille to send me back again because I marked something out on the form.
Anyway… this time it was all good. I got my Apostille seals for South Korea and whatnot. Oh, and I have my interview with the public school system tomorrow. I hope that I do well, but in either case, I will do what I need to do to get that visa to teach in South Korea.