October 31, 2014, 03:36:00 AM


Author Topic: Private teaching scare  (Read 6022 times)

Offline ThePhantom

  • Explorer
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Private teaching scare
« on: January 16, 2012, 10:38:50 AM »
Hello there,

I've recently started private teaching this winter as january and feb are slow months for elementary. I've been with my school for a while and have a great status with them and didn't think it a big deal to moonlight a little. My korean-american friend told me the other day to be careful and that if they catch me I could get thrown out of the country with a red flag.

Is this really true? I know so many other expats that skim off the tutoring and it doesn't seem to bother them at all. And how can they catch you anyway?

Phantom

Offline JahRhythm

  • Fanatical Supporter!
  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • ***
  • Posts: 1150
  • Gender: Male
  • University E2 Visa
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 10:43:28 AM »
Well, seeing as it's a violation of the terms of both your employment contract and visa..yes it's true.
Shocking how many people seem not to read their contracts or understand their legal status while here.
It's a don't ask, don't tell situation.
Proceed at your own risk.
But,  do us all a favor and don't post about this on here!
Actually just delete this thread.
We teach EFL not ESL. Hagwon and "Private School" are not synonymous. Not everyone works in either a hagwon or public school. Immigration Question? Call 1345.

Offline lotte world

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 2288
  • (rolls eyes)
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 11:54:17 AM »
Is this really true? I know so many other expats that skim off the tutoring and it doesn't seem to bother them at all. And how can they catch you anyway?

Yes, it's really true.

They catch you because someone else decides they don't like you.  Maybe the parent of a child you refused to teach.  Maybe someone who just doesn't like foreigners.

Offline Janitor

  • Moderator - LVL 2
  • Expert Waygook
  • *
  • Posts: 907
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 02:03:16 PM »
Does this really need to be stated? In your contract it states that you will only work for your school and no one else. ON AN E2 visa you are only allowed one employer and can be subject to investigation should they think that you have a few more.

Do people get caught... yes. Every no and again immigration will shake the tree and see how many waygooks fall out of the tree with English books in hand and white envelopes of cash in their pockets. Seriously, it happens. In one of the rich apartment blocks the police and immigration just waited by the gates and searched/questioned the foreigners heading in to that apartment complex. They check the bags of the foreigners for teaching materials and asked for id. There was also a huge campaign a few years ago started by the Hogwan Owners Assoc. to "watch for foreigners doing illegal private teaching"

So the answer is yes people do get caught and it can be a big thing. Further more, please use the search function as this topic gets brought up a lot and I would rather it not be. Also, unless you are an F2/F5 and have to license to teach privately, don't mention that you are doing privates on a public forum.

Keuka

  • Guest
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 03:09:00 PM »
There is no standard way that the authorities look for illegal tutoring except for when someone tips them off.  Yes, people do get caught.  You have increased your chances of getting caught by posting so on this site.  How much?  Hard to say.  You may not believe me, but if the authorities wanted to catch most of the waygooks privately tutoring, they could, but it would take a great deal of effort, manpower and salary.  And today there are the F visa waygooks, who are either tutoring (legally) themselves, or who have a school and don't want any more competition.  They might be the most likely ones to call the authorities.

Offline Janitor

  • Moderator - LVL 2
  • Expert Waygook
  • *
  • Posts: 907
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 03:53:03 PM »
Do people get caught... yes. Every no and again immigration will shake the tree and see how many waygooks fall out of the tree with English books in hand and white envelopes of cash in their pockets. Seriously, it happens. In one of the rich apartment blocks the police and immigration just waited by the gates and searched/questioned the foreigners heading in to that apartment complex. They check the bags of the foreigners for teaching materials and asked for id.

What does that even prove? "I'm a teacher, I need teaching material for my job. Yes, I carry money, so what?" I don't think even Korea practices kangaroo courts of this measure.

So then what would you be doing in the apartment block with cash in an envelope and teaching materials. This did actually happen Rusty, I am not pulling out of my...

The point I am trying to prove is that it is enforced to some extent.

Offline elzoog

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 597
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 05:03:29 PM »
So then what would you be doing in the apartment block with cash in an envelope and teaching materials. This did actually happen Rusty, I am not pulling out of my...

The point I am trying to prove is that it is enforced to some extent.

There are ways around that sort of problem (i.e. don't carry teaching materials around with you for example).

However, the main problem is, you don't know what sort of mistake you might make that would tip you off to immigration.   So let's suppose to get around the above problem you buy two sets of books.   One set you keep home and use that to do your lesson plan, the other set you give to the student.   You never carry either set with you when you are travelling to and from the student's house.   So, you've gotten around that problem.   Immigration won't catch you carrying teaching materials.   But you are still at risk that a parent, or another foreigner that doesn't like competition, might report you.   


I don't know if I would want the stress of constantly having to think of ways to avoid being caught while at the same time, being up front enough to get private jobs in the first place. 

As far as the police not having enough money or manpower to catch everybody, I would point out that monitoring a forum frequented by NETs (such as this one) would be relatively cheap in terms of manpower or money.

In short, it's probably not a smart idea.   Especially if you had to post on this forum asking about it in the first place.

Offline FloridaGator314

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 220
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 05:56:58 PM »
It's absolutely true and you absolutely shouldn't tell anyone, which is precisely what you're doing with this thread. In short, you are doing it wrong.

Offline iggyb

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 285
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 07:05:39 PM »
Yes, private lessons are illegal.  If you get caught, you'll likely get fined, deported, and blocked from reentry.  This is especially true for public school teachers, because the government at least talks serious about keeping Korean teachers from doing expensive private lessons.  Korean teachers are not allowed to work in their time off even during vacation. 

I haven't been reading the Korean press much the last couple of years, but there used to be about 1 or 2 stories a year about FTs getting caught private tutoring.  There were about 2 or so "crack downs" a year - much like with prostitution in Korea. 

I think usually they would stake out hakwons and follow teachers. 

As someone else noted, there is a reward for turning in people doing private lessons.  Hakwons are such a competitive business, and rumors are always flying around, some likely turn in others.

I would think with public schools, one worry to consider is word of mouth.  If the mothers and kids talk you up, it could get to someone who doesn't appreciate how much money private tutoring costs the nation, and they might turn you in.  There are several articles throughout the year about the high costs of education in Korea - hakwons and private tutoring.  It is a recurrent social issue the press covers.

Korean teachers will also not take kindly to finding out your doing private lessons.

Offline elzoog

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 597
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 08:13:18 PM »
It's absolutely true and you absolutely shouldn't tell anyone, which is precisely what you're doing with this thread. In short, you are doing it wrong.

Yeah, so if you shouldn't tell anyone, how do you advertise in whatever neighborhood that you want to teach privates?

Offline iggyb

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 285
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 10:39:53 PM »
bobrocket,

Do you have any source information on that?

As far as I know, private lessons are still illegal as they have been since I first went to Korea in 1996. 

There have been changes in the law, but I believe those involved allowing Korean college students to tutor to help them cover school costs.  I haven't heard of changes that allow non-Korean citizens (except for F-4 visa holders) or Korean teachers to do private tutoring.  And it seems the other commenters have also heard that privates are illegal.

A quick google of the Korea Times archives shows what I meant about a small number of stories about crackdowns on illegal tutoring come out each year (including crackdowns on Koreans doing illegal private lessons).  Here is a story on point: 

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/02/117_60083.html

"Many foreigners are unaware that private tutoring is illegal. Under the Immigration Law, E-2 visa holders and foreigners on tourist visas are banned from making money through giving private lessons. "

Although you might meet people doing privates, although it might be fairly widespread, it is illegal (unless changed very recently), and it is a topic of frequent conversation in the society, because of the amount of their incomes parents have to spend on it.

 

Offline elzoog

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 597
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2012, 01:17:40 AM »

I'm not even sure how it would come to that.

Police: Can I look in your bag?
Me: No.

Police: Can I check your ID?
Me: I suppose so.

Police: Can I check your pockets?
Me: Am I under arrest?
Police: No.
Me: Walking away.

I'm not saying you are lying Janitor, just that the only way that situation works is if the foreigner confesses.

If the Korean police are similar to American police they could simply search your bag anyway and claim that you are resisting them.   If it ever goes to court, it would be your word against the policeman's word as to how the above conversation went down and the judge is more likely going to believe the policeman.  It's not entirely out of the question, if you tell a US police officer that he can't search your bag, for him to do so anyway and then plant something in the bag to incriminate you.   The police officer could example, claim that he saw pot ash on your bag and then had cause to search it.

Of course I am talking about US police officers.   Whether or not Korean police officers would do the same thing is another question.


Offline iggyb

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 285
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2012, 01:45:53 AM »
Given the plenthora of articles in the press over the years that talk about foreigners doing illegal privates and saying it is illegal, I'll go with them until you can give me something more concrete to work with.

I mentioned the exemption for the F series visa already.  I do think you are right about certain student visas for foreigners being able to.  I vaguely remember reading something like that in the news within the last few years, but a person would need to carefully note the rules for it.

Your example of an E-2 visa holder doing it doesn't apply to what people generally consider doing privates. 

You described a situation in which the business that sponsored your E-2 farms you out to other locations.  That too used to be illegal, but I think now it is legal depending on whether your hakwon filled out the paperwork for it and it meets whatever legal requirments set for them.  I don't know what those are, but the article mentions minimum and maximum number of students as one factor.

That is a far cry from a FT making contact with Koreans who want private tutoring - which is what most people think of.  It is also different from going through a privates-recruiter who illegally puts students together with FTs whose E-2 is sponsored by someone else or who are on a tourist visa or have overstayed their visa.

Also, public schools can't farm you out.  It is illegal for Korean teachers to do private lessons or have other jobs.  I taught a lot of Korean teachers this 2nd time around in Korea, and one topic that came up regularly when comparing teaching the US to here is --- how American teachers make significant extra money teaching in community colleges or for other local opportunities or work a 2nd job during their vacations or during the school year.  Korean teachers can't do that.

"To tutor school kids you need a tutor permit, not just for foreigners teaching English, everybody."

This applies to Korean college students.  It was a change in the law within the past 5 years or so.  It also applies to foreigners in the F series visas.  It does not apply to the vast majority of foreigners in Korea.  It does not apply to FTs working in public school or other E-2 visa holders.  (Or US soldiers and their family members.)

Violating visa and tax rules is breaking the law.  It is illegal.  And what people in the ESOL market here generally think about when they are talking about privates is - illegal.

Every year, you read about crackdowns on it a couple of times.  Anybody can search the archives of the online English papers here in Korea to see it for themselves.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 02:00:33 AM by iggyb »

Offline iggyb

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 285
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2012, 01:56:15 AM »
"Under the Immigration Law, foreigners with other visa types [non-F series] are not allowed to offer private tutoring to make money, except for those with student status, who can do so with restricted hours upon approval from their professors. Otherwise, foreign nationals are subject to fines and deportation."

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/02/117_60240.html

That's the last quote I'll track down.  Everybody can look easily enough for themselves in the archives for the Korea Times or Chosun Daily or other English-language paper that has free archives.

I am fairly sure another restriction on the student visa tutoring is the amount charged per hour.
 

Offline Yu_Bumsuk

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 2355
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2012, 10:28:58 AM »

I'm not even sure how it would come to that.

Police: Can I look in your bag?
Me: No.

Police: Can I check your ID?
Me: I suppose so.

Police: Can I check your pockets?
Me: Am I under arrest?
Police: No.
Me: Walking away.

I'm not saying you are lying Janitor, just that the only way that situation works is if the foreigner confesses.

If the Korean police are similar to American police they could simply search your bag anyway and claim that you are resisting them.   If it ever goes to court, it would be your word against the policeman's word as to how the above conversation went down and the judge is more likely going to believe the policeman.  It's not entirely out of the question, if you tell a US police officer that he can't search your bag, for him to do so anyway and then plant something in the bag to incriminate you.   The police officer could example, claim that he saw pot ash on your bag and then had cause to search it.

Of course I am talking about US police officers.   Whether or not Korean police officers would do the same thing is another question.

Generally the last thing Korean cops want to do is deal with foreigners. It's nothing but a pain in the bum for them. I'm sure the average one also knows nothing about immigration law and there are no doubt many who've hired illegal tutors to teach their children.

Keuka

  • Guest
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2012, 10:51:11 AM »
Yu Bum Suk is right.  I had a friend long ago who tutored a police officer's kid.  He used to joke that if he ever got into trouble, that he would call his student's father aka his get out of jail card.

Once the EPIK, GEPIK and SMOE public school GET programs are finished, I expect the National Police Agency to start paying more attention to tutoring again.  Right now it seems to be low on their list of priorities unless someone calls in a complaint which they have to investigate.  They are already trying to close down the tourist tutors loophole in case anyone out there is thinking of doing that.

Offline iggyb

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 285
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2012, 06:49:00 PM »
"so could we just say it's illegal for somebody on an E2 visa to do private tutoring as it breaks their visa conditions."

Well, yes.  Breaking immigration law is breaking the law.   

So why do you keep saying things like, "So to sum all that up, Private tutoring is not illegal right, because people can and do legally do it, including people that use this site."

The vast majority of FTs are E-2 holders.  If they do private lessons, it is illegal.

So saying "Private tutoring is not illegal because some people can do it legally" makes no sense to me and is misleading the average reader on the site.

I've said from the start, if you read the Korean press, you'll see a crackdown on illegal private teaching a couple of times a year, just like crackdowns on prostitution. 

Private lessons are not as common as prostitution here, but it is also widespread and done fairly openly.

The OP was suprised when he heard private tutoring was illegal because he knew so many that were doing it.  It is.  It is for the vast majority of readers on this site since they are E-2 holders, and you started by just dismissing it with a one sentence denial.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 07:09:25 PM by iggyb »

Keuka

  • Guest
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2012, 09:22:11 PM »
It looks like you're disagreeing over the definition.  Webster's Collegiate dictionary defines illegal as 1) not according to, or authorized by law.  E2 teachers are not authorized by the terms in their contracts, contract law, to tutor hence that's illegal.  Most of those 15,000 registered tutors are probably Koreans, who may have started their own education related business, or they are just teaching.  What wasn't said was that you have to be approved by the local Education Office to get a tutoring license.  It's a privilage given by the government and not a right or entitlement.  Most of the foreigners with F visas I know of, or have heard of, have gotten tutoring licenses especially if they have started their own private teaching businesses.   I have heard that more than a few, who are teaching privately, are not registered with the Education Office.  That may be why Bobrocket is saying that it's not illegal.  Apparently, you don't have to register as a tutor if you don't want to and some don't because they don't want the local Education Office asking them to fill out a fees form of how much they plan to charge students, or telling them how much they can charge, or how late they can teach, or where they can teach, etc.  Those people are not planning on filing tax returns and reporting their tutoring income to the government. 

Offline sejongthefabulous

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1184
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2012, 09:54:33 AM »
Don't you realize cops aren't immigration officers? Booking foreigners for illegal visa violations isn't their concern. They have more important priorities like stopping maniac drivers from killing people, preventing crime and violence, and stopping drunks from acting up.
Also the idea that EPIK programs are preventing this is foolish. Most E2 visa holders don't work for the government anyway. The drop in arrests is because most of the bums who taught here on tourist visas have moved on to China and the government has bigger problems to deal with than slight infractions.
Over 99% of people worldwide are foreigners...chilling thought

Offline Yu_Bumsuk

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 2355
  • Gender: Male
Re: Private teaching scare
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2012, 10:12:43 AM »
"Most of those 15,000 registered tutors"

If there are 15,000 registered Korean tutors that means at least 90% of Korean tutors, at a minimum, are illegal.

 

Recent Lesson Plans

Buy/Sell/Trade

Employment