Getting An Alien Registration Card

What Is An Alien Registration Card?

Obtaining an E-2 visa upon your arrival to Korea does not actually give you permission to live in Korea. I know, I was confused at first too! But, an E-2 visa is a legal document you need to teach English in South Korea regardless of educational institution. An Alien Registration card, or ARC, is an identification card that foreigners are legally obligated to carry with them at all times. According to Yonsei University (2014), “It is illegal to stay in Korea for more than 90 days without being registered, regardless of your visa at entry.” 


Alien Registration Card being held up by a woman's hand.

How To Get Your ARC

To register for an Alien Registration Card, you must go to a Korean Immigration office and provide an application form, passport, 1 color photo (3.5cmx4.5cm), proof of residence, application fee of 30,000 KRW, and medical check-up record for tuberculosis. The staff at your branch will schedule an appointment for you weeks in advance and provide all necessary documents (application form, proof of residence, and medical check-up record). However, you are responsible for providing your passport, colored photo, and application fee the day of your appointment.


Sample E-2 visa grant form for teachers in Korea
ARC Application Form

Immigration Office

The day of your appointment, you’ll feel like you’re at a DMV. You’ll sit down, wait for your number to be called, go to the help desk, present your folder, sign a couple of papers. That being said, you’ll be on your way out within 10 minutes. And, yes, the people at the immigration office speak English! The great thing about this Company is that they basically hold your hand when it comes to setting up legal documentation. With that being said, try to release some of that weight off your shoulders. I promise everything will be okay! If you have any other concerns about the ARC process, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea is a great website that conveys helpful information.


Amber Ochoa is from Los Angeles, USA, and just recently moved to South Korea in May. She studied Biochemistry as an undergraduate. After graduation, she began venturing out and embracing her love for adventure. She finds that “nothing holds greater power in our life than the unknown.” One night while applying to random jobs on Indeed, she came across an English teaching position in Seoul, Korea. Flash forward, she is now teaching at CDI, Mokdong branch. She claims that Creverse found her and ended up becoming a blessing in disguise. Amber says giving knowledge to students & inspiring them for higher achievements in life is one of the greatest feelings in the world.