Alien resident card South Korea (ARC), which is also known as 외국인등록증, is widely used by foreigners who plan to stay in Korea for more than 90 days as an identification card, and they are obligated by law to carry it to wherever they go.
An Alien Registration Card benefits an applicant in functioning as the official identification in Korea once received. This implies that it is no longer necessary to use a passport to travel within the country or show their age.
With an ARC, establishing a local phone number or bank account will be much easier, as the applicant will have more alternatives, such as signing up for a post-paid mobile phone plan or a credit card. Then, the stay in Korea will also become unlimited, given your ARC is still valid.
WHY DO I NEED AN ALIEN RESIDENT CARD IN SOUTH KOREA?
The applicant is eligible for ARC if one of the following criteria suits their current need. The criteria are as follows.
- Planning to stay in Korea for more than 90 days upon arrival in the country.
- Do not have Diplomacy (A-1), Official Business (A-2) or Conventions/Agreements (A-3) visas and family members that hold the visas.
Given the requirements, most ARC applicants range among foreign workers and students.
HOW TO REGISTER FOR AN ARC?
Step 1: Register on hikorea.com.
By clicking the “login” icon at the top of the website, the applicant can first create an account on hikorea and schedule a visit. By choosing the “language” button in the top right corner of the website, you can change the language settings. An appointment needs to be made within the period of 90 days before the date of the arrival.
Step 2: Make an online reservation
Select the immigration office that is located in the neighborhood. To find the appropriate branch, use the “Detailed Search” option. The applicant can select between Chinese and foreign visitors under the “Booth” category. The “Date of visit” link will activate a pop-up window. Click “Close” after selecting the time and day of the visit to the immigration office. The applicant must download and print the application.
Step 3: Complete the application form
Both English and Chinese versions of the application are accessible. Select one and complete the application. Select the “Alien Registration” option from the form’s menu at the top. The applicant must prepare all the required documents. Before visiting the immigration office, one can also call the Contact Center at (800) 1345 to find out what documents are needed.
Step 4: Visit the Immigration Office
The applicant should go to the immigration office. The officer will review the application and instruct one of the building’s ATMs to pay the processing fee of KRW 30,000. The applicant will need to pay an extra KRW 3,000 if he wants the ARC shipped to the address.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO GET AN ALIEN RESIDENT CARD SOUTH KOREA
- Application form
- 2 passport photos
- Residency document
Please note that the officers might request additional documents to check the nationality and visa further. For more information, contact the Korea Immigration Service.
TIPS FOR ARC REGISTRATION IN SOUTH KOREA
- Be early for the appointment
- The application fee is payable at the ATM inside the immigration office
- English is usable at the ATM
- Keep the receipt
- ARC will be given to the applicant after a month
- ARC can be mailed to the applicant’s provided address with an additional fee of ₩3,000
- Cash is important as the ATM and the immigration office do not accept foreign cards.
What if the details change?
The applicant must notify the immigration office of any changes within 14 days if he needs to update the name, sex, date of birth, nationality, residence, passport information, or, for some visa holders, the information on the organization he belongs to. To do this, the applicant must go to the proper immigration office armed with the ARC, passport, updated application, and any other pertinent paperwork outlining the necessary adjustments.
What happens if I lose or damage my ARC?
The applicant has 14 days to notify the immigration office if the ARC is lost or damaged. If the present ARC photo is older than six months, he must also send two color passport-style images with a white backdrop, an application form, a processing fee of 30,000, a document explaining the reason for reissuance, and the old ARC in order to obtain a replacement card (if still in the possession).
LIST OF IMMIGRATION OFFICES IN SOUTH KOREA
Seoul Immigration Office:
Covers Gwanak-gu, Gwangjin-gu, Gangdong-gu, Dongjak-gu, Songpa-gu, Seongdong-gu, Seocho-gu, Yongsan-gu, Seognam-si, Hanm-si, Gwacheon-si
Address: 151, Mokdongdong-ro, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul, Korea
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 18:00 (only on weekdays)
Contact Number: +82-2-2650-6214
Seoul Immigration Office Sejongno Branch Office:
Covers Jongno-gu, Jung-gu, Eunpyeong-gu, Dongdaemun-gu, Jungnang-gu, Dobong-gu, Seongbuk-gu, Gangbuk-gu, Nowon-gu
Address: SK Hub Bldg. 2F, 89-4, Gyeongundong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 18:00 (only weekdays)
Contact Number: +82-2-731-1799
Seoul Southern Immigration Office:
Covers Seodaemun-gu, Mapo-gu, Gangseo-gu, Yangcheon-gu, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Goro-gu, Geumcheon-gu, Gwangmyeong-si
Address: 48 Magokseo-1ro, Gangseo-gu, Seoul
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 18:00 (only on weekdays)
Contact Number: +82-2-6280-4813
If you are a foreigner wishing to set up a company in South Korea. You can refer to South Korea Company Registration for additional information on the requirements and the types of visas available in South Korea.
What should I do if I lost my ARC
Report to the immigration office in 14 days. You may re-apply for a replacement accordingly.
Can I keep my ARC after leaving Korea?
No, you are required to hand in your ARC once you are leaving with no intention of returning before the expiration date.
Can I become a permanent resident in Korea?
Yes, you may gain your permanent residency by starting a business, investing in a business, investing in real estate, or investing in a government fund.
Can you apply for the card without travelling to Korea?
Yes, you can apply for the ARC online but the appointments must be attended physically.
What is the estimated time for me to receive my ARC?
You will receive your ARC a month after the appointment. You can either self-pickup or choose for the delivery option.
Can I apply for the ARC from overseas and complete the process in Korea?
Yes, you will be able to apply for ARC through their website (using Internet Explorer is recommended) and later attend the appointments in Korea.
Can I leave Korea without my Alien Registration Card?
When leaving Korea, you must hand the Alien Registration card back to the immigration officials. As you go through immigration at the airport, you can do this. You will have trouble exiting the country and be fined heavily if you don’t turn in your ARC.
How do I get a Korean resident alien card?
Within 90 days of their date of entry, foreign nationals who want to stay in Korea for more than 90 days must apply for an Alien Registration Card (ARC) at a nearby immigration office.
A visa is not the only requirement for registration; those who already have one must also get an ARC in order to complete their sojourn documents.