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June 2017

Teachers in Korean deportation ‘nightmare’

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A total of 14 Canadian teachers working at an international school in Seoul have been forced to leave the country because they had the wrong visas, according to broadcaster CBC.

CBIS Canada, one of five schools in Korea accredited by the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC), was ordered to close because of issues around its licence, officials confirmed.

All the CBIS teachers are state qualified in Canada. But they were found to be infringing Korean law because they held E2 visas designed for private language school teachers rather than the E4 visas required to teach in international schools.

Other Canadian teachers in 11 of BC’s accredited schools worldwide may be affected by similar issues, the province’s official website confirmed. CBIS is one of 46 schools across the globe listed on BC’s website as ‘certified offshore schools’, following the province’s curriculum.

According to English-language newspaper The Korea Times, the founder of CBIS had obtained a licence from the Seoul Education Office as a private language school, not an international school.

Teachers faced with deportation say they have been caught up in a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’.

In a Skype meeting with British Columbia ministry of education officials, one of the teachers said she had been detained by Korean immigration officials and interrogated for three hours.

Under threat of arrest, she said she was forced to confess that she had knowingly obtained the wrong visa, even though she had not.

‘I had to confess out loud to something I didn’t do wrong. Now, I’m a criminal’, she said.

Teachers said that they weren’t aware they were violating immigration laws. The BC ministry of education says it is undertaking a review of all its accredited international schools in South Korea to ensure that they hold the correct licence.


Pic courtesy: Faustus Salvador / youtube

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