Survival Tip: How to Get an Alien Registration Card (ARC) in Seoul

Why do I need to get an Alien Registration Card (ARC)?

– To stay in Korea for more than 90 days, all foreigners must apply for a foreign registration card at a local immigration office within 90 days from the date of entry.

The ARC, or a foreigner registration card, is your ID card in Korea. You might need your ID card in many situations like buying a Wi-Fi router, getting medical insurance benefits, etc.

*If you are under the age of 17, you can get an Alien Registration card on your own or simply get recorded on your parent’s card.

How to apply for an Alien Registration Card:

  1. Prepare your passport, a color photograph and go to Immigration Office.
  2. Submit the documents and pay the fee for application.
  3. Once an application has been processed, an alien registration card will be issued within 2 weeks.
  4. The card is valid for one year, after which it will need to be renewed.

*The card must be returned to the immigration office when leaving the country permanently.

Image of ARC

1. Registration Number : first six digits(birth date) – last seven digits(personalized number)
2. Name : name as appears on passport
3. Nationality : nationality as appears on passport
4. Place of stay : address in Korea
5. Status of sojourn
6. Date of issue, Expiry date
7. Issuing office

Don’t forget to bring:

Required documents

  • Application forms (It is placed at the immigration office.)
  • Passport
  • 2 color photographs (3cm×4cm, front view of the face on white background, taken within the past 6 months)
  • Fee in cash (10,000 KRW)

Additional documents

  • Medical check-up record for tuberculosis (Changed since 2016.03.02.)
    • (18 countries) China, Sri Lanka, Russia, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Nepal, East Timor, Indonesia, Pakistan, Mongolia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia
    • Students of these nationalities are required to submit the medical check-up report including the examination for tuberculosis issued from a neighborhood public health center.

*Additional documents are needed if you fall into any of these categories of visa. Click here for more info.

Getting a new card & Reissuing the card:

It usually takes around 3 or 4 days to get your new Alien Registration Card.

If your alien registration card is lost, stolen, damaged or there are any changes made on the details recorded on the card, you can reissue the card. However, you must apply for the reissuance within 14 days.

Locations of Immigration Office:

*Make sure you know which area you’re living in and visit the office that covers your area of residency.

1) Omokyo Office: Covers the areas of Seoul excluding Jongno-gu, Jung-gu, Eunpyeong-gu, Dongdaemun-gu, Jungnang-gu, Dobong-gu, Seongbuk-gu, Gangbuk-gu, Nowon-gu)

Address: 151, Mokdongdong-ro, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul, Korea

Contact number: +82-2-731-1799

(About 15 mins by foot from Subway Line #5 Omokgyo Station Exit #7)

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d3164.526436775666!2d126.86753791556008!3d37.51908593460146!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x357c9e7f17b7d7ab%3A0xc7cbf96c953fbe70!2z7ISc7Jq47Lac7J6F6rWt6rSA66as7IKs66y07IaM!5e0!3m2!1sko!2skr!4v1471850816586&w=500&h=350]

2) Sejongno 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

Operation Hours: 9:00 – 12:00, 13:00 – 18:00 (only weekdays)

(About 5 mins by foot from Subway Line #1 Jonggak Station Exit #5)

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d101264.37007939756!2d126.79968675288929!3d37.519436602134256!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x357ca2c33cc80a3b%3A0x7248f3893b5e98e!2z7ISc7Jq4IOy2nOyeheq1req0gOumrOyCrOustOyGjCDshLjsooXroZzstpzsnqXshow!5e0!3m2!1sko!2skr!4v1471850924374&w=500&h=350]
*There are offices that you can visit without making an appointment and offices that require an appointment. Please contact the Immigration Center (☎1345 or +82-1345 from overseas) to check whether you have to make an appointment or not.

Tips on Alien Card Registration!

  1. Just get your photo and photocopying done at the office. There is a photo booth at the office and it might be cheaper than the usual photo studios.
  2. You have to apply for an ARC at the local immigration office in person and you can save your time by reserving your visit online in advance: http://www.hikorea.go.kr/pt/main_en.pt
  3. Make sure you know the exact address of where you stay so that you visit the right office.
  4. Make sure you have the exact amount of change in cash!
  5. If you go later in the day and end up staying after closing, be aware that you might have to return the next day for fingerprinting.

For more detailed information on Alien Registration Card and visas, we strongly recommend you to check in the official website for immigration (http://www.immigration.go.kr/HP/IMM80/imm_04/imm_0405/imm_405010.jsp) or call the Immigration Contact Center (☎1345 or +82-1345 from overseas / Operates on weekdays only: 9am-22pm KST). You will be able to receive assistance and more detailed information on your issues regarding Alien Registration Card and visas.

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56 comments

  1. It doesn’t require health certificate? I heard it needs one…I’m going to Seoul for study this sept 4th…and I’m planning to get arc ASAP so I can make bank account. If it doesn’t require health certificate then I’m good to go.. 😊

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  4. 5 months remaining on my Alien registration card and i need to travel urgently. do I need to wait for 14 days or there’s emergency way. Thank you

  5. 5 months remaining on my Alien registration card and i need to travel urgently. do I need to wait for 14 days or there’s emergency way. Thank you

  6. Actually it sounds very easy, and thats scary somehow hahaha Im going to Korea in October. I dont require a visa as I hold a peruvian passport and I can stay 90 days, but I want to stay more since my desire is to live there. Any help for me? Any advice would be great

    1. Hello Aminata.
      Our advice is to consult the Korean embassy in your area to see if there’s any requirements for you to extend your stay once you get to Korea! 🙂

  7. Actually it sounds very easy, and thats scary somehow hahaha Im going to Korea in October. I dont require a visa as I hold a peruvian passport and I can stay 90 days, but I want to stay more since my desire is to live there. Any help for me? Any advice would be great

    1. Hello Aminata.
      Our advice is to consult the Korean embassy in your area to see if there’s any requirements for you to extend your stay once you get to Korea! 🙂

    1. The alien registration card can only be applied for at the Immigration Office that has jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence in Korea. Hope this answers your question. 🙂

    1. The alien registration card can only be applied for at the Immigration Office that has jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence in Korea. Hope this answers your question. 🙂

    1. The alien registration card is required for those who want to stay over 90 days in Korea. With a tourist visa, you are allowed to stay in Korea up to 30 days only and thus you must have another visa type in order to be eligible for the issuance of alien registration card. Hope this answers your question:)

      1. I can stay for 90 days visa free as a tourists.
        I want the registration card to make a bank account in korea and I want to apply for residency. So is it still possible?.

        1. With a tourist visa, it is not possible for you to make an alien registration card. You must apply for a long-term visa if you want to make the alien registration card. Hope this info helps! 🙂

  8. Can you go to immigration without an appointment and just wait till there is a free time? My appointment is 2 weeks later, but it’s a long time to wait for the ARC to get phone, internet etc connected.

    1. Hello cyrusb! Regarding your question, there are offices that you can visit without making an appointment and offices that require an appointment. Please call +82-1345 to check which offices don’t require an appointment before you visit. 🙂

      1. Ah ha. I thought I could only go to Omokgyo, because I’m staying in Gwangjin gu. I didn’t realize I could ask for other places, is that right?

      2. Thank you. I called 1345 but they said that Omokgyo requires an appointment and if I go to another office, they won’t accept my documents. Good to check it out anyway. The only thing that will make it a little faster is to go a bit earlier in the day and if lucky, your number comes up quicker than the scheduled appointment time.

  9. Can you go to immigration without an appointment and just wait till there is a free time? My appointment is 2 weeks later, but it’s a long time to wait for the ARC to get phone, internet etc connected.

    1. Hello cyrusb! Regarding your question, there are offices that you can visit without making an appointment and offices that require an appointment. Please call +82-1345 to check which offices don’t require an appointment before you visit. 🙂

      1. Ah ha. I thought I could only go to Omokgyo, because I’m staying in Gwangjin gu. I didn’t realize I could ask for other places, is that right?

      2. Thank you. I called 1345 but they said that Omokgyo requires an appointment and if I go to another office, they won’t accept my documents. Good to check it out anyway. The only thing that will make it a little faster is to go a bit earlier in the day and if lucky, your number comes up quicker than the scheduled appointment time.

  10. Can I work with a alien registration card, I am a us citizen planning to move over the summer, and can I arrange that in Korea or does that have to be done here in my local town in the states

    1. Hello Sam! You must register and apply the alien registration card at a local or district Immigration office within 90 days upon your arrival in Korea. Hope this answers your question! 🙂

  11. Can I work with a alien registration card, I am a us citizen planning to move over the summer, and can I arrange that in Korea or does that have to be done here in my local town in the states

    1. Hello Sam! You must register and apply the alien registration card at a local or district Immigration office within 90 days upon your arrival in Korea. Hope this answers your question! 🙂

  12. I need to make a bank account as quickly as possible. I am doing freelance work in Korea right now and need a place to store the money so I can send back to United States. What would you reccomend?

    1. Hello Paul! You may want to set up your bank account at Korea Exchange Bank (KEB), which is the only one that offers foreigners-only bank accounts and record all transactions in English. Various types of bank accounts, as well as a global check card, which can be used overseas, are available. If you would like to to open a bank account with KEB, make sure you bring a valid passport and alien registration card. Hope this info helps! 🙂

  13. I need to make a bank account as quickly as possible. I am doing freelance work in Korea right now and need a place to store the money so I can send back to United States. What would you reccomend?

    1. Hello Paul! You may want to set up your bank account at Korea Exchange Bank (KEB), which is the only one that offers foreigners-only bank accounts and record all transactions in English. Various types of bank accounts, as well as a global check card, which can be used overseas, are available. If you would like to to open a bank account with KEB, make sure you bring a valid passport and alien registration card. Hope this info helps! 🙂

    1. Hello peter h! According to Immigration Bureau, Canadian citizens, with the status of stay such as B-2, D-1, D-6, F-1, F-3, G-1, can enter Korea without a Korean visa for a stay of up to 6 months. B-2 (Tourism/Transit) holding Canadian nationals must apply for change of their status after five months of stay and must register upon application. For more details, you may want to contact the Immigration Contact Center (+82-1345).

    1. Hello peter h! According to Immigration Bureau, Canadian citizens, with the status of stay such as B-2, D-1, D-6, F-1, F-3, G-1, can enter Korea without a Korean visa for a stay of up to 6 months. B-2 (Tourism/Transit) holding Canadian nationals must apply for change of their status after five months of stay and must register upon application. For more details, you may want to contact the Immigration Contact Center (+82-1345).

  14. Hello!
    I have some questions regarding the Alien Registration Card.
    Firstly, could you please tell me if there is any biometric procedure needed/mandatory for receiving this type of card?
    I am asking this because I saw the “fingerprinting” part and I would like to know some more details about the procedure of getting an Alien Card once we arrive at the office.
    Also, does this card have a chip inside(containing my details or anything else)?
    Additionally, is it possible for you to tell me what I will be asked to do for identification once I arrive at the airport in Korea?- as I understood the requirements are different from country to country.
    Additionally, what are the office hours for the Immigration Contact Center?

  15. Hello!
    I have some questions regarding the Alien Registration Card.
    Firstly, could you please tell me if there is any biometric procedure needed/mandatory for receiving this type of card?
    I am asking this because I saw the “fingerprinting” part and I would like to know some more details about the procedure of getting an Alien Card once we arrive at the office.
    Also, does this card have a chip inside(containing my details or anything else)?
    Additionally, is it possible for you to tell me what I will be asked to do for identification once I arrive at the airport in Korea?- as I understood the requirements are different from country to country.
    Additionally, what are the office hours for the Immigration Contact Center?

    1. Hello Lorelai Luli! Yes, they will need your finger prints and signature. The card does not have a chip that contain your personal information, but your name, nationality, visa type, date of issue, gender and your registration number will be shown on the card instead. Regarding your inquiry about the questioning for the screening procedure at the airport, we cannot give you a definite answer on it but the questions will probably be related to the purpose of your visit. The Immigration Contact Center operates only on weekdays from 9:00am to 22:00pm (Only Korean, English and Chinese provided after 18:00). For more detailed information on the alien registration card, we strongly advise you to contact the Immigration Contact Center (☎1345 or +82-1345 from Overseas) or check out their website (http://www.immigration.go.kr/HP/IMM80/imm_04/imm_0405/imm_405010.jsp). Hope this info helps!

      1. Hi wanna ask if after submit all the document,would we still be questioned about the reason we apply for Korea id or interview?

        1. Hi Jordan! They probably won’t interview you for applying for the ARC Card or ask questions unless there are issues with your visa or so but if you’d like to make sure, we strongly advise you to call the Immigration Contact Center (☎1345 or +82-1345 from overseas / Operates on weekdays only: 9am-22pm KST) for more detailed information. 🙂

  16. Hi, i am holding a Singaporean passport. and its 90days exemption visa to Korea under B-1 Visa.
    Is it possible if i apply for the alien registration card when i arrive korea with the 90days exemption visa as i have thought of applying for d-4-1 (general trainee visa) in korea.

  17. I’ve got following question. I’m hired in the company in UE and I’m gonna work in Seul for half a year (a simple business trip) meaning more than 90 days, so I need to get Alien Registration Card. Anyway I’m gonna still be paid by UE company. Because of having it do I need to submit any tax documents afer I have left Korea?

    1. Hi, Tom! Regarding your question, we strongly advise you to contact the Immigration Contact Center (☎1345 or +82-1345 from overseas / Operates on weekdays only: 9am-22pm KST) for more detailed information! 🙂

    1. Hello Asbjørn! You should report changes of particulars of your Alien Registration card to a local or district immigration office having jurisdiction over the place of their stay, within 14 days since the changes occur. Regarding changes in your visa, we strongly recommend you to check in the official website for immigration (www.immigration.go.kr/HP/IMM80/imm_04/imm_0405/imm_405010.jsp) or call the Immigration Contact Center (1345 or +82-1345 from overseas / Operates on weekdays only: 9am-22pm KST). You will be able to receive assistance and more detailed information on your issues regarding Alien Registration Card and visas. Hope this info helps!

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