The Best Way To Get Your Residence Card (Former Alien Registration Card)

Updated on Aug 29, 2023 · By ENKOR

The Residence Card, formerly known as the Alien Registration Card, is the Korean ID foreigners who wish to stay in Korea for more than 90 days must apply for. This does not apply to tourists or anyone on a tourist visa. A-1, A-2, and A-3 visa holders are exempted from this requirement as well. Many services in Korea require this residence card so if you want to create a bank account, access monthly SIM Card plans, health insurances, of even pay online for food delivery or Coupang (the Korean Amazon) you must get one as soon as possible.

alien-registration-card-featured-image-1280x720-1.webpMost of the Visa are Single entry only, however with your Residence Card in hand, you’re able to leave and re-enter the country anytime you want as long as your visa is still valid!

You can leave the country in the process of making your Residence Card if you have already have a multiple entry visa as well as your passport, but we advise not to do this unless absolute necessity. Therefore, contact the Immigration Office to enquiry more whether you’re available for re-entry before you intend to leave.

If you are a minor (under 18, or 19 in Korean age), you can simply register your name on your parent’s card or get a new one for your own.

Don't Walk in If You Don't Have An Appointment!

Immigration offices don’t usually accept walk-in visits (on the rare occasion that they do it is only for emergencies OR soon-to-be expiring visas). Therefore, you will have to log into the official website and make a visit reservation beforehand.

The waiting time is often long so do it as soon as possible. You can usually get it 1 – 2 weeks later but in some more crowded areas it might take longer, I live in Mapo-gu and I had to wait for almost a month to get my appointment. Besides, note that you only have 3 months to make Residence Card from the day you entered the country!

Online Reservation Walk Through

Go to the online immigration service website, Hi Korea.

Before starting, adjust your language preferences at the top

  • Press “Reserve Visit”
  • Go to “Reserve Visit” > “Reserve Visit Guide
  • You need your ARC to log in so choose “Visit Reservation Application (Non-member)”




Onwards, press the second tab “여권번호 신원인증 Identity verification using passport number” and fill in all the informations.


Pick The Right Immigration Office!

On the next page, you will have to choose the immigration office that corresponds to the area that you live in. You can use the “Detailed Search” option to locate the relevant immigration office. To find the right Immigration Office for your area visit The Institute for Basic Science.

Under “Booth category”, you can choose between Chinese visitors and non-Chinese visitors. Choose accordingly based on your nationality.



After pressing on “Date of visit” a pop-up window will appear. Choose the time and date you wish to visit to the immigration office and then click “Close”.


Click “Apply” and you will be brought to the confirmation page. You can print out the confirmation page or take a picture of it. We advise you to directly print and fill the "Integrated Application Form" but you can also choose to grab it and fill it up at the immigration office as they provide it there.

Things To Prepare Before Heading To The Immigration Office

The documents required depend on your visa type, however the most common documents go as follows:

  • Passport
  • Passport copy (scanned main page)
  • Application form
  • A regular passport photo (35mm x 45mm on white background)
  • Processing fees: 30 000 KRW in cash(+ 4 000 KRW if you want your card to be delivered right at your door)

Other required documents may vary, for students (D-2 visa) you will have to show a Proof of Residency, a Certificate of Admission and your school Business Registration Certificate.

But universities often provide a ARC registration service and they bring all foreigners together at the immigration office to facilitate the procedure.

If you need more information about your visa's requirements call the Immigration Contact Center at the 1345 before making your visit to the Immigration Office. The service is free and they have a multilingual staff.

Visiting The Immigration Office


I live in Mapo District (마포구) so I had to go to the Seoul Southern Immigration Office (서울 남부 출입국 관리소). Your experience in other offices will be similar but the floors and details might be different, so you will have to adapt! I would recommend you to go there t least 20 minutes earlier in order to have time to prepare everything even if you get lost a bit.

You can make copies (복사) at the bank on the 1st floor for 500 KRW. While you are there you can pay for the fees, just follow the instructions on the ATM and don't forget your receipt when you are done: the basic fare is 30 000 KRW and you will have to add 4 000 KRW more if you want it to be delivered to you( I was surprised as it used to be 3 000 KRW but thankfully I had enough cash on me). Please note that the ATM does not give your change back. If there is no ATM then you will have to pay directly to the officer.

After that, on to the waiting room! Chinese visitors have to go to the office on the 1st floor, for others the service will be on the 2nd floor.

Once you enter someone will be here to help you out, if you need any information don't hesitate to ask them! Take a look at the board and verify that your name is on the list, you will find your assigned number next to it, when it is called it's your turn!

Hand out everything ( including your precious receipt) to the officer and wait for a bit. If you forgot to pay no worries, they will send you there to do it and wait for you to return with your receipt once you are done. However to make it quicker it's better to prepare beforehand.


Wait For The Arrival Of Your Card

Your Residence Card will be ready within 4 weeks after your appointment, I received mine only a week after! For those of you who opted to have it delivered you will receive the card at your door, if you are not there they will put a delivery notification on your door. And if you chose to pick it up you will receive a document with the pick-up date, simply come back to the same Immigration Office on this day and show your paper, the precious ARC/Residence Card will finally be yours!

Other Residence Card Services

The process for renewing your Residence Card is very similar to the application one. The only difference is that instead of selecting “Alien registration”, select:

”Extension of status of sojourn” if you wish to extend your visa availability period

“Re-issuance of registration card” if you have lost your Residence Card and want a new one

“Change of status of sojourn” if you have changed your visa status and want a re-issuance of the Residence Card under the changed visa type.

You’ll have to make a visit reservation for each different services you want to use and go through the entire process again.

New Services Accessible Thanks To The Residence Card

Thanks to your ARC you can now access monthly SIM card plans, you can create a Korean bank account and get your own insurrance. We will cover all the details regarding bank account and insurance in another post. COMING SOON

Opening a Bank Account

If you’re on a study or work, you can just leave all the procedure to your association. For study, your universities will arrange everything for you while requesting for necessary documents from you. There is a time limit for the document submissions so just be cooperative with them and be careful about the documents submission date! And a few working days later, you shall receive instruction from your school to go to the bank to receive your bank account and card personally.

This situation applies to foreign workers as well. Normally your association will assist you in creating your bank account. So don’t have to worry much about this.

Applying For Insurance

It is basically the same thing as creating a bank account! Your association will do everything for you. The insurance system here is complicated.

See more post