Alien Registration Card

If you are planning on saying in Korea for over 90 days with a D-2 or D-4 visa, then you are required to obtain an Alien Registration Card (ARC). You must apply for the card within 90 days of arriving in South Korea. With this card, you can travel outside of South Korea and re-enter using your ARC.

Before going to the Immigration Office, you will need to prepare some documents. On the official immigration website, it says you will need to submit your application, passport, two colored passport photos (3x4cm), attached documents per Status of Stay, and a fee. When I went to the office, I brought my passport, certificate of enrollment at Hanyang, and one colored passport photo.  You can pick up your certificate of enrollment on the first floor at Hanyang Plaza (한양플라자) at a kiosk near the front doors of the building. The fee for the ARC was KRW 30,000, and you can fill out the application at the immigration office itself.

If you plan on going to the Immigration Office before April of 2016, you will be able to walk- in and apply without an appointment. After April of 2016, you will need to sign up online for an appointment, and the appointment will most likely be a few weeks after you sign up online.

I applied for my ARC in March of 2016, so I was able to walk in without an appointment. The office is open from 9 am- 5 pm, and I was recommended to arrive there at 8 am or else I would be spending my entire day there. I started my day by leaving from Hanyang Station at approximately 7:30 am. You will need to arrive at Omokgyo Station (오목교역) which is on Line 5 and take exit 7 to Seoul Immigration Office. From Hanyang University Station (한양대역), Omokgyo Station is very far away and took about one hour to get there. It was so far that there was an extra subway fee. Upon arriving at Omokgyo Station, you will see that exit 7 is labeled as the Seoul Immigration Office (서울출입국관리사무소). When you get out of the exit, you will see a blue sign that is labeled “Seoul Immigration Office,” and it points in the direction of the office. You will need to walk straight on the street the exit lets you out on for about 10-15 minutes. The street will curve towards the right, and you will be able to see the building of the Seoul Immigration Office on the left hand side.

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The place where you will apply for your ARC is on the first floor of the building, and you cannot miss it because of the number of people walking towards the room. When you enter the building, the office is on the right hand side. Once inside the office, you will need to get a ticket for the queue. There is a machine on the left side of the room where you can pick up a ticket.  Be sure to choose the ticket that is labeled for D-2/D-4 visas! This should be the second option on the screen and not the first. My friends and I made the mistake of choosing the first option. My friends were at the office at 7:30 am, and when they found out their number 10 ticket was for the wrong queue, they had to wait until 11 am to be seen at the correct line. As for me, I expected to be there until around 12 pm, so I was not too disappointed when I found out I received the wrong ticket. In the photos provided, when I had ticket 269, it was for the wrong queue. Ticket 163 was for the correct line.

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While waiting to be seen, you can fill out your application which can be found at a table next to the machine where you picked up your ticket for the queue. To pay for your application, there is a small room with machines that look like ATMs. These machines will take your payment and will give you a receipt. While you wait, I also recommend going to the nearby Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and chatting with your new friends! I got my new ticket around 9 am, and I was seen at 11:45 am.

When you are sitting with the immigration office worker, she will need the required documents stated above. You will also get your fingerprints scanned for the card. It only took 5-10 minutes for the worker to complete the process. Once you apply, you will receive the Certificate of Application for Permit of Stay. You must stay in Korea one month before picking up your Alien Registration Card. I applied on March 11, 2016, and I will be able to pick up my card on April 11, 2016.

Hopefully, this information will help you have a smoother process of applying for your Alien Registration Card! If you need more information, you should visit for more detailed information.


Article by Catherine from the U.S.A.

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