Renewing my Foreigner Resident Card in Korea

Tuesday 12th March 2019.

Today, me and my Korean Co-teacher visited the Korean Immigration Centre so I could get my Foreigner Resident Card renewed. This card allows me to stay in Korea as a legally registered foreigner, and acts as a Multi Entry Visa during my time in Korea. The actual name of the card is ARC which stands for Alien Registration Card, but I prefer the word ‘foreigner’. It makes me feel less ‘othered’, surprisingly.

The actual process of renewal, where they stamped the new period of residency on to my ARC, was pretty swift, it was getting all the required documents that was a stressful headache. For the appointment I had to prepare and bring my passport, my ARC, money to pay the renewal fee, proof of my residence in Korea, my school’s business licence, my certificate of employment, proof of tax I had paid in Korea, my original contract, a copy of my contract and my weekly timetable. That’s 10 things I needed in order to renew my ARC. I have no clue how immigration services work but I really think that’s a lot of documents. Think of how much paper you’re using. But it’s done now so I can put it behind me and move on.

There was actually a small issue at the immigration office. Super minor though. The residence document my school had given me was dated for last year, 2018. I had actually queried this with one of my co-teachers, but I was told not to worry about it……… Luckily I had brought with me my ‘Notice of ARC Renewal’ letter that was posted to me by the Immigration Centre. I had previously rung immigration services and I was assured this could be used as proof of residence in Korea. Lo and behold, I did end up submitting this letter as my proof of residence document.

Oi, I hate paper work. It brings out this stressful, anxious side of me that worries if I have got everything right. Probably something I need to address for the future if I’m being honest, but for now I can be happy that I managed to collect and submit all the required documents to renew my ARC for another year in Korea. What’s next? 

Have you had any stressful experiences like this? Possible an experience with Immigration or any other Government Office? Share your experiences below so I know I’m not alone in this ridiculousness 🙂

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