Health Exam in Korea: What you need to know

While the idea of teaching English in Korea is certainly exciting, you need to make sure that you are aware of the visa restrictions to first see if you are eligible to teach in Korea, and if you will pass the health exam in Korea once you get there.

When you apply for the E2 visa needed to teach English in Korea, you will need to fill out a self health form which will have the following questions:

  1. Have you ever had any infectious diseases before?
  2. Have you taken any drugs or have been addicted to alcohol in the last five years?
  3. Have you ever been given treatment for any emotional or mental disorders?
  4. Have you had any injuries or diseases in the last five years?

NOTE: If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, other than having an injury, you will not be granted a teaching visa in Korea.

If you answer ‘no’ to all of the questions on the self health check form, you should be fine to pass the medical exam. However, the following are some things that you need to be aware of with the health exam in Korea:

Marijuana looked for in health exam in Korea

While marijuana may be a class b drug in your home country, this is certainly not the case in Korea. Korea has laws against marijuana use and possession that are as serious as would be for heroin, crack cocaine or other majors drugs in Western countries. If you test positive for marijuana in your health test, you will be sent home. Note that some people who have been around marijuana smokers can test positive, even if they didn’t smoke the drug.

Anxiety and depression medication looked for in health exam in Korea

If you are taking anti-anxiety or anti-depression medication, this will show up in your health exam. Your employer will then be informed of this, and will then have the power to make the decision whether to send you home or not. It is best to let your recruiter know if you have any such issues before apply to jobs in Korea.

How cold medication will affect your test results in your health exam in Korea

You need to be sure that you do not have any sort of medication in your blood when you undergo the health exam. As some cold and flu medications can have the same medical ingredients as anti-depressants, these will show up on your health exam.

What if I test positive for something in my health exam? Will my visa be cancelled?

If you were honest in your self health form, you should not have any issues with passing the health exam in Korea. However, if you do test positive for any of the drugs that are listed, you will be allowed to undergo another health exam in 2 weeks’ time. If you test positive again, you could face being sent home.

For more information on teaching English in Korea, and ESL teaching positions in Korea, keep up with our Travel and Teach Recruiting Blog.

If you want to apply to become an English teacher in Korea, please fill out our Travel and Teach application form!

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