An “Apostille” is a verification seal or page that is attached to a document to certify it for international use. Only state or federal governmental entities can issue apostilles. Apostilles are required in order to submit various documents to teach English in Korea. Apostilles do not have an expiration date.

Which documents need to be apostilled to teach in Korea?

  • Criminal background check
  • University diploma
  • Birth certificate (UK & AUS only)

How are apostilles different from notarizations?

Apostilles certify documents for international use whereas notarizations certify that documents are legitimate copies of original documents.

I’m from Canada and we don’t use apostilles. What should I do?

Canada does not currently participate in the Hauge Convention which approves the use of apostilles. Teaching candidates from Canada instead need to obtain verification stamps from their local Korean Consulate on documents that need to obtain an apostille.

I’m from the US. Do I need to get a state apostille or a federal apostille?

This depends on the document. FBI criminal background checks are federal documents and therefore can only receive a federal apostille from the US Department of State. FBI Criminal background checks are already notarized, therefore obtaining an additional notarization before an apostille is not needed.

Your university diploma is a state-level document. Therefore you can get it apostilled by your secretary of state office in your own state. In order to be apostilled however, the document needs to first be notarized. For more information about notarizations, please click here.

Where can I find further instructions about how to apostille documents in my country?

Please see the following links:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Not Applicable. Please check with your local Korean consulate.

Department of Foreign Affairs

New Zealand
Department of Internal Affairs

South Africa
Department of International Relations & Cooperation

United Kingdom
Foreign & Commonwealth Office 

United States
For federal apostille for your FBI background check please check with the U.S. Department of State. For a state apostille for a university diploma please check with your individual state’s secretary of state office


*Featured image courtesy of Freepik