While blogging on the F-2-1 visa (National Spouse), I remembered that I haven’t sent my Alien Registration Card (ARC) to the Seoul Immigration Office. The immigration official told at the naturalization counter told me to send it to them once I receive my Korean ID, and that was more than a half year ago.
Every long-term alien (non-Korean) in Korea is required to get the ARC. Long-term means staying here for more than 90 days or three months. It is important to get this ID since some transactions involving the government, bank, or sometimes the internet requires this — from opening a bank account to having your own korean cyworld page and even when you leave the country. (You’ll also need it in case an immigration official stops you on the street and asks for your ID — never happened to me!)
I applied for my ARC when my husband and I had my F-2-1 visa extended in October of 2003. I came here in late August, 2003 with the same visa valid for 59 days only (I didn’t want to pay $30 when I applied for the visa at the Korean Embassy).
Here’s how the ARC looks like (or at least mine):
Under the heading “Certificate of Alien Registration” is your ID number. The first group represents your birth date. If you were born on April 28, 1990 it will be shown on the ID as 900428. The second group of numbers (seven digits) is your alien identification number. Foreign women’s number starts at 6. Sorry but I don’t know what it is for foreign men and children.
Below your ID number is your name in this format: LAST NAME FIRST NAME MIDDLE NAME. If you have a long name it will occupy two lines, like mine. Well, I don’t have a long first name but including my last name and middle name (the mother’s family name – traditionally in the Philippines). If your name is MARIA CONSUELO BUENAVISTA Y ALVAREZ, then it would be written on the ID as BUENAVISTA MARIA CONSUELO ALVAREZ.
The PHILIPPINES is my home country while the F-2-1 is the type of visa I hold. The Korean writing below that is my address in Korean.
On the right side is my ID picture and below that is the effective date of the ARC. Under the said date is the expiration of my visa. Below is the back portion of the card:
The blank list is for additions or supplements in relation to your sojourn. The boxes below is for your visa extension, i.e. stay until 2005.08.23 (this is how date is written in Korea).
I really want to keep my ARC as a souvenir. I just hope I won’t get any letter from the immigration.