Alien Registration Card (ARC)

This is pretty back-dated, but I felt I should post it up nonetheless. My friends at Korea University were pretty lucky as their school settled the entire Alien Registration process for them. LUCKY! Us students at Seoul National University (SNU) didn't have the luxury of having everything done for us.

Basically if you're in Korea for more than 90 days, you HAVE to get an Alien Registration Card. In Korean, it is known as a 외국인 등록증 (Waegukin Deungrok Jeung). Pardon my romanisations! I'm bad at the Korean romanisation and we were never taught it, unlike when learning Japanese or Chinese Hanyu Pinyin.

It is also very useful for occasions like clubbing and drinking in those HOF/Pubs that tend to card people. (I got rejected from a restaurant that served drinks once because my friends didn't bring their cards and so they said they wouldn't serve our table.) In such instances, if they don't know that you're a foreigner, they would ask for your 신분 증 (Identity Card/Shinbun Jeung). I get asked for that a lot, instead of my ARC. 

I visited the Seoul Immigration Office (서울출입국관리사무소) on 5 March 2010. (As recollected in this entry: And I arrived on 23 February 2010. Their guidelines state you should register for your ARC within the 90 days, but trust me, it is a lot more convenient to do it sooner. PLUS SNU required us to have our ARCs before we could get our student cards.

How do you get there? Take Line 5 (Purple Line) to Omokgyo Station (오목교 역) and go out via Exit #8. Ask around and a friendly Korean should direct you to it. I think they get asked a lot, because every Korean I asked knew the way. I remember seeing a Starbucks before we turned towards the left. We even grabbed a drink at Starbucks! 

What should you bring? Passport, passport photo and 10,000 KRW. Oh and since we're students, you would need your Certificate of Admission or Certificate of Enrolment. (Which the school will give you once you're in Korea.) I really can't remember which one I brought, but I think I brought both. They will give you a form to fill out. It's all in Korean AND English. Plus there's staff who speak English who are there to help, so fret not!

And they will tell you when to return to collect your ARC and your passport (Yes, they keep it!). They circled it in red for me. 

Just go back to the same place. And they have a counter just for collection, so that you don't need to queue all over again! That simple!