Getting the Alien Registration Card

Nope, we’re not aliens (:

The Alien Registration Card (ARC) is for foreigners staying in Korea for more than 90 days. It’s something like an identity card you would have in your country.

So how do you apply for it?

Basically you just have to go down to the immigration office nearest to your place of residence within 90 days of arrival in Korea. So if you’re living in Seoul, go down to the Seoul Immigration office. If you’re living in Incheon, go down to the Incheon Immigration Office.

List of Immgration Offices in Korea here

The documents you would need (if you’re holding a student visa):

  1. Certificate of Admission – the school would have sent it to you even before you arrive in Korea
  2. Certificate of Enrollment – you can only obtain it from your school after you start the school term in Korea
  3. Proof of Tuition Fee Payment/Proof of Scholarship receipt – you’ll have to get it from your administration office
  4. 1 passport sized photo – You can take it at the immigration office itself if you don’t have one already
  5. Application form – You can get it from the immigration office
  6. W10,000 application fee

Note that the staff at the immigration office don’t really speak English T_____T

You can reserve a visit here (you get to skip the long queues) but you’ll need a Korean to help you.

Otherwise you can just go early in the day and pray that there aren’t much people!

You’ll be able to collect the ARC after 2 weeks! For collection you just need to bring back the application receipt form to the immigration office, so you don’t have to be there in person for collection (:

What you can do after getting your ARC:

  • Get a mobile phone!!!!
  • Open a bank account!!!
  • Apply for many Korean websites e.g. Gmarket, Daum, etc
  • Apply for membership at cosmetics shop (xD)
  • Apply for admission tickets into music shows live (xD)
  • Many other benefits

So it’s better to apply early for your ARC!! Don’t wait till the 89th day before going down to the immigration office 😀


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