So for the first time in the 9 years I have been in Korea I have run afoul of Immigration...possibly.
I got a new job! TBS eFM has decided that I am worth hiring in an official capacity and of course to do anything but teach English in Korea you need the approval of the Immigration service. Fair enough, and frankly Immigration is not to be fucked with anyway. The thought of being detained in Daejeon with various illegal Chinese students and Nigerian businessman has thus far been enough to keep me on the straight and narrow when it comes to reporting stuff to Our friends at Immigration.
So I THOUGHT it would be a simple case of making an addition to the places I can work under my visa. This is quite a simple process and upon arriving at immigration this morning there were but five people ahead of me in line and a bunch of Russian people applying for entertainment visas.
However My heart sunk when I get called up to the counter and sitting behind an inch of plastic is a young girl, barely out of college with the English skills of...well... A young Korean girl just out of college. Immigration rules and regulations are complicated things, and I'm sorry, but they are a bit beyond your average dopey 22 year old Korean girl....
She spent ages flicking through my documents mumbling away before finally stamping some shit and giving me another waiting number - so I could pick up my passport and Alien card in 10 minutes with new stamps and off we go..... Of course, this didn't happen.
She calls me back over and proceeds to tell me in some of the shittiest English / Konglish I have ever heard that this will cost me 60,000 won. My face must have had a serious "what the fuck!?" look about it since she immediately said "wait" and called over someone to translate. This chap - not a uniformed immigration officer, and about the same age as Girl Friday here, was immediately on the defensive. This I can understand given the number of petulant 20-something English teachers he probably has to deal with, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Turns out the 60,000 is for a new visa - an E6 broadcasting visa. Which, since I thought it was an addition of workplace to an E2 (like the immigration hotline said) means I have been working illegally for 2 days and in the words of the young man "there might be a penalty" because of that.
So I was then required to go p to the 6th floor - the "Investigations Division" and sit amongst said illegal Chinese Students and Nigerian businessmen (No disrespect - it just happens to be true) and make an appointment to talk to an investigator.
Because I was acting totally in good faith and wanted everything to be above board.
On top of this the E6 visa itself takes about 10 days to process (not to bad in terms of the station since I won't be on air for at least another 2 weeks) And it costs 60,000! Oh and they want to keep my passport - and of course I'm going to China tomorrow.
So where does that leave me? Sitting at a cafe down the road from Immigration waiting until 2pm for my appointment, when I could be at home packing for The Chin-a. I shoulda just shut up and handed over the 60,000 won!