Requirements for GEPIK

Category : Education/Teaching / Visa/Legal Issues/Tax
Mar 24, 2015

GEPIK stands for “Gyeonggi-do English Program in Korea”. The program is run by the Ministry of Education in Gyeonggi-do, the provincial area surrounding Seoul. GEPIK is separate from EPIK (the English Program in Korea), which recruits for all of Korea, including: Seoul, Incheon, the other big metropolitan areas and all the rural areas. GEPIK, like EPIK, is responsible for recruiting native English teachers to teach at the public schools in the Gyeonggi-do region. Currently, there are over 1,300 foreign English teachers employed by GEPIK, so it’s a huge market for hiring. If you’re interested in working for the public school board but not in the Gyeonggi-do region, check the Requirements for EPIK Jobs in Korea instead.  


GEPIK jobs are good. They are stable. You will be paid on time. You won’t get fired suddenly or on unreasonable grounds. You will receive benefits like health insurance, a pension and severance pay. You will get the vacation days allotted to you and you won’t be forced to come to work if you are sick. All GEPIK jobs contracts are one year and you will receive an orientation and training session when you first arrive. The pay scale for GEPIK jobs starts at 2.0 million KRW per month and is capped at 2.5 million KRW per month. Pay depends on your qualifications.


When you apply for a GEPIK position, schools and locations recruit through the program directly. Although you won’t be located in Seoul, you’ll certainly be nearby. Most locations are within an hour of central Seoul via public transportation. You will know exactly which school you are going to be placed at and where it is. There is comfort knowing that you won’t be stuck in the middle of nowhere and that you won’t be too far from Seoul.


The major downside to GEPIK jobs is that they are highly competitive, and the application process is rigorous and long. You also need a few more qualifications to work for GEPIK then you need for EPIK. Finally, you need to work with a GEPIK-certified recruiter to land a job in the program. It’s not like EPIK, where you can apply directly to the board.


The competition is fierce; you don’t want to lose your chance for an excellent public school job because you forgot one paper or filled in one document slightly wrong. So read carefully and don’t miss any details.



GEPIK ESL Teacher Base Requirements


  1. Native Speaker: You must be a native English speaker to teach at any EPIK school across Korea. There are 7 official English speaking countries: Canada, USA, UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, or Ireland. You must hold a passport from one of these countries, and have lived in that country for at least 10 years. In addition, you must have been educated from grade 7 onwards in the country of your citizenship (or another English speaking country).


  1. Degree Holder: You also need to hold a bachelor’s degree (a 3 or 4 year university degree, not college) from an accredited institution to teach with EPIK. The school of hard knocks doesn’t count. You must have received the degree from a school in an English speaking country. Most schools are recognized so don’t worry too much if you didn’t go to Harvard or Oxford. Finally, your degree can be in any subject. You don’t have to be an English major to teach English. You also don’t need an education degree or teaching certificate. Once you’ve graduated with your bachelor’s, start job searching!


à Note: In addition to these main requirements, you need to meet certain qualifications. These qualifications determine which pay level you will receive. Even the first pay level, Category 3 requires that candidates be more than just English speakers with a degree. See the chart for details.


Pay Scale Qualifications



(from least to most qualified)

Monthly Pay

(millions of KRW)


Category 3

2.0 million KRW

One of the following:

  • A Bachelor’s degree with an English Literature, English, or Linguistic major
  • A teaching license
  • A degree plus a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification (100hrs min.)

Category 2

2.1 million KRW

Category 3 AND One of the following:

  • One year full-time ESL experience
  • A Master’s degree in an English language field

Category 2+

2.2 million KRW

Category 3 AND:

  • One full-year GEPIK teaching experience as a Category 2 teacher

Category 1

2.3 million KRW

Category 3 AND:

  • Three full years of ESL teaching experience

Category 1+

2.4 million KRW

  • Employed as a Category 1 teacher for one full year

Category S

2.5 million KRW

  • Contract renewed at the same school as a Category 1+ teacher.


Application Procedure


  1. Apply via email to GEPIK directly or via a certified recruiter.

You must to send the following together in the same email:

  • A completed GEPIK application form which can be downloaded from the EPIK website.
  • A resume to be uploaded with the application form.
  1. If contacted, you will have a phone interview.
  2. After that, the recruiter or GEPIK will ask you to send hard copies of all the required documents (as listed below). It is this part of the application that is complicated and can take time.
  3. If you are offered that job, you will then need to apply for an E-2 ESL teaching visa. Please read the procedure for that in the article, The E-2 Visa for Foreign Language Teachers in Korea.


Hard Copies of Documents Required for GEPIK


Send all of these documents to your recruiter or GEPIK. Take care in preparing your documents. If you make a mistake, you will not be given a chance to send in what you are missing. The public school jobs are very competitive and someone who has their documents ready will be chosen first.


à Notes:

  1. Make sure that your name appears exactly the same on all your documents. Write your full name out including your middle name. Do not use a middle initial. Korean authorities can be very particular about the spelling of applicants’ names, so don’t make a tiny error that could cost your job and experience.
  2. The documents required to apply for your job are not all the same as the documents required by immigration when you apply for your E-2 visa. Again, documents required by GEPIK (the Gyeonggi-Do English Program in Korea), EPIK (the English Program in Korea) and Hagwons (Language academies) are all different. See the following articles for those details:
  • The E-2 Visa for Foreign Language Teachers in Korea.
  • Requirements for GEPIK Jobs
  • Requirements for Hagwon Jobs.
  1. Your employer may also want copies of these documents with an apostille or notarization if applicable. It is advised to get 2 copies of all your documents so that you may give one to your employer and one to immigration. Also your potential employer won’t give your documents back, especially if you will be working for EPIK or GEPIK. If you decide not to take the job, you’ll need to do all the paper work again. Another reason to get at least one extra copy done at the start!


Documents Required


The GEPIK Application Form

This application form can be found online. There are different forms for different nationalities. You will need to print it and send it to GEPIK or your recruiter. You also need to sign the application in ink. The application form should have the following:

  • A Photo Attached
  • Non-stapled pages
  • The completed GEPIK Medical Statement
  • A cover letter or essay
  • The signed agreement for deposit


Four Color Passport Photos

You need to attach the color passport photo to the first page of one of the application form. Use a paperclip to attach the forms. They should follow the correct passport format. That means no smiling and ears must be showing. It should be taken above the shoulders and straight on.


Three Copies of the signed GEPIK Contract

Print the contract out and sign each contract. Mail it with the rest of the documents.


Self Health Check

This is a basic health check answered by you. It is done to ensure that you are mentally and physically fit to teach. It is recommended that you have it completed by a doctor, although it is not essential. Once you arrive in Korea you must visit a Korean hospital to have a medical done in country. If discrepancies are found between the self health check and the Korean doctor’s examination, you risk losing your visa. In other words, don’t lie!


Degree certificate

Copies of all your degrees must be notarized and apostille authenticated by your local notary authority. Send that copy to Korea, not your original. Bring the original with you to Korea and to the Korean Embassy, just in case your school or the authorities want to double check it’s real.


à Note: If you’re Canadian you need to get your degree notarized by the Korean consulate as well as the Canadian notary authority. Most countries signed an apostille agreement with Korea so that their home apostille is recognized, but Canada did not. It applies to Chinese applicants as well.


Transcripts X 2

You must send a set of sealed and stamped official transcripts from your university to verify your degree further. GEPIK does not require two sets of transcripts; however, they recommend that you order two copies in case the Korean embassy asks to see it or in case something happens to the first one. Do not have your university send your transcripts directly to GEPIK. Have them sent to your house and then mail them all together with your other documents.


Criminal Record Check

This part of the process gets complicated. You must have a recent criminal record check completed within the last 6 months. It must be done at the national level for your country. It then must be must be notarized and/or apostille authenticated by your local notary authority. You need to send the original to Korea to receive your visa issuance number, and you need one copy to give to the Korean consulate in your home country. Since it’s such a hassle to get, it’s advised to make a few copies of it or if possible, get an extra check done at the same time. If you have been living in Korea, apply for a Korean Criminal Background Check instead. See more details below.

à Tip: It usually takes a while to process criminal records checks. You can visit your police department before you even have a job in Korea as the check is accepted by Korean authorities up to six months after the issue date.


Two Letters of Reference

They should be professional or academic references. Your name must be clearly addressed at the top and the signature of the referee should be signed in ink at the bottom. If possible, the letter should be printed on official letterhead. If not, you must include a business card of the referee attached with a paperclip to the letter.


Passport Copy

Include a color passport copy of the first page of your passport. Make sure your name and information are fully visible and that your passport is valid.


Employment Records (optional)

Employment records must be included if you have teaching experience. If you don’t have teaching experience, you do not need to send employment records of other work history. The employment records should be on official letterhead with a seal of the school. Your name should be clearly printed at the top and your experience should be at least one full year to be accepted by GEPIK. Your experience must be from an accredited institution.


Copies of ESL Certifications and/or Your Teaching License


à Note: One of these is required if you do not have a Bachelor’s degree in an English language field for Category 3- the first level of hire.


ESL certifications can increase your pay scale and these qualifications help your chances of getting hired. GEPIK only accepts at least 100+ hour certifications. You will also need at least 20 hours of offline experience and GEPIK prefers in-class certificates. Send a copy with all your documents and then bring your original when you come to Korea. Same goes for a teaching license.


Information on Criminal Background Checks


  1. Australia: You need a “National Police Clearance Certificate” from the Australian Federal Police in Canberra. Get it certified with an apostille.
  2. Canada: Get a “Certified Criminal Background Report” with a Vulnerable Sector Search issued from your local police department or the RCMP and then notarized from a Canadian notary authority. Canadians must submit their report to the Korean consulate to be notarized once more.
  3. Ireland: Obtain a “Police Certificate of Character” from the local or federal police in your region. Be sure the police include a ‘Vulnerable Sector Search’ or a ‘Sex-offender Registry Search’. It must first be notarized by a notary public and then authenticated with an apostille.
  4. New Zealand: You can’t get a criminal record check in NZ, so request a copy of your ‘conviction records’ at your local police department instead. You will need to then get it certified with an apostille. It takes 20 days to get your records, so start early.
  5. South Africa: You’ll need a “Criminal Background Report” from the SA Police Services in Pretoria. If you’re not from around there, start the process early to get it on time. You’ll also need to get it authenticated with an apostille.
  6. The UK: You will need a “Subject Access (Basic Disclosure) Certificate” if you are from the UK. Get it from your local police authority. Request it in advance as it takes about a month and get it notarized after.
  7. The USA: You need a “Criminal Background Check (National Clearance)” done by the FBI. It can take a while if you have to send away for it. It must first be notarized by a notary public and then authenticated with an apostille.
Tags : Teaching. Employment. Visa.

Lindsey lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea for over 5 years. While there, she dabbled in different areas of work and explored the culture. She spent time teaching elementary students, business English to adults and high school students about college preparation. She also studied Korean, wrote blogs and tasted as many foods as she possibly could including fermented skate fish. Over the years, Lindsey developed a love for Korea and the culture. She is keen to share her knowledge of Korea with others and she will always consider Korea a second home.