I keep finding information saying that tutoring is illegal in South Korea but this is usually referenced with teaching at a school there. I have a connection to a Korean that already tutors there, and I would be able to get jobs tutoring without needing to be teaching in a school. Is it possible to get a visa to just tutor and not be attached through a school? Or is it always illegal for foreigners to tutor privately or in small groups?
Is tutoring possible legally
Yes, you have to register your place with the Board of Education. You cannot roam doing privates, there are set prices per student. About 12,000 per hour.
Private, unregistered classes are illegal. or working in Hakwans without registerring. I know, because my Hakwan owner forgot to register me.So, register, probably better for you, and it is not a criminal act. It's a 4 million won fine for not registerring. Probably deportation. All the people doing privates and working illegally in Hakwans are probably in for a nasty surprise.
Cause for concern-
A/ I think they could be monitoring bank accounts now, cos they rang immigration when I opened a new KEB account.
They can access our accounts via Tax agency. Unusual savings, or spending patterns would probably not match the "average " they have on file at tax offices.
B/ There is a massive crackdown on illegal workers right now.
It depends on your visa. Most teachers have E visa, which means they can only work in a hakwon. An F visa means you can work anywhere, including tutoring. I don't know where they got 12,000 from. I'd say the average fee would be 30,000-40,000 an hour.
An F visa does not make you exempt . You can not tutor legally without a Board of Education permit. It applies to Koreans too.