Alien Registration Card or ARC

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.


  1. I wouldn’t worry about it. When we left Korea in 2005, I forgot to surrender our cards as well. When I arrived here last year and applied for a new card, the immigration officials never asked me for my old card, it’s also interesting that I still have my old number. I really wish the Philippines would have some sort of valid national ID so that we would avoid having to submit all sorts of redundant documents such as NSO Birth Certificates, NSO Marriage Contract etc.. but we all know that will never happen….;-)

  2. hi, how long did the process take for you to get ur Korean National I.D.?I’m already eligible to apply for the f5-visa or the korean citizenship but i’m still having doubts on which one to apply for, what made you decide to become a korean citizen anyway?

  3. @emil – that’s good… i could keep it as a souvenir then
    @cher – i applied for korean citizenship before we had a baby… it took 1 1/2 years… my friends said that it’s faster when you have a child (3 months) or if you live in the province (less than a year)… i chose to become a citizen because of my son and my FIL thought it’s for my “protection” (but not from NoKor)… i was a bit hesitant to change citizenship because that meant i’ll lose my visas and i’ll have to apply for them again

  4. I would like to know if I need to apply for re- entry because I will be going home to the philippines my visa expires by november. and I want to go back 2009 I have a D-6 visa.
    thank you so much.

  5. my wife is Korean and we live in Korea. Everytime we get in a fight she always threatens me with my visa satus. If she divorces me I have to leave Korea. I love her and never want to get divorced, but I am really tired of getting that threat. The last time I said ok. I am going home. I love her but I am tired of those threats. We have been married for 3 years in Korea. I think I will apply for the F-5 visa only because I am tired of her threats. Then she can’t threaten me anymore. I love her so much!

  6. I arrive in korea last April 17 is been 2 months my allien card is valid for 1 yr my husband said he will renew my alien card next yr. is it ok to work in a fatory if you already have your allied card ? or do i have to wait 1 yr. before i can work?

  7. Pde Ba na bumalik ng southkorea kapag ndi pa expired ung alien visa ..? kc bumalik xa dito 4 visiting lang,, taz ang expired ng visa nya ih may 29,,, please responce, ,

  8. ask ko lang po sana kung saan ko po kaya pwedeng makuha yung dating alien card number ko.. kasi need po sya sa poea.. ex-korean po ako..thanks in advance..

  9. hi po, ask ko lang po ung about sa opening bank account,
    kelangan po ba na working visa ka, di po ba pwede ung multiple c3 visa? thanks

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