ARC Card Korea

In recent times, Korea has become a top destination for tourists and business people around the world; in 2021, it is estimated that around 11 million people will visit the country alone. With the Arc Card Korea, you can take your time and enjoy the country. One of Korea’s main attractions is its cultural and traditional heritage, products, and pop culture. There is also the existence of the famed Hanok villages, the royal palace, and the main cities and metropolises for businesses such as Seoul or Chungcheongnam-do.

However, whether it’s for tourism, work, or the need to relocate, there is an essential item that is needed to be able to live and move freely in Korea as a foreigner, and that is the ARC or the residence card.

In this piece, we will explain what the ARC is, how to get it, the documents necessary to procure it, why it is so important to get the ARC in Korea and how PREMIA TNC can assist you in acquiring it.

What is the ARC?

The ARC (Alien Registration Card) is a vital means of identification for foreign residents of South Korea, as long as one is staying in South Korea for an extended period (usually more than 90 days). Getting an ARC is a mandatory process to ensure that you stay in Korea is as peaceful and smooth as possible and for you not to encounter identification problems or issues. Without the ARC, you might not be able to have access to even the most basic of state or private services, such as mobile phone service, internet, pension, banking, health care, transportation, driver’s license, or creating an account on Korean websites.
It is advisable to get the ARC within 90 days of getting into Korea, as it has some other benefits with regards to immigration; reentering South Korea after getting your ARC would be a much smoother process.
So, the ARC is an extremely important piece of document and identification that should be obtained as soon as possible when visiting Korea as a foreigner.

How to apply and get the ARC?

The process of acquiring the ARC can be broken down into the following.

1. Getting the necessary documents ready.

First and foremost, before you decide to get the ARC, you should make sure you have all the necessary documents and files. The documents include:

  • An alien application form

This is the basic form needed in order for you to start the registration process; it can easily be gotten for free at the lobby of a local immigration office or online. When you have gotten the form, make sure to read through it and write down the requested information correctly.

  • Color passport

 A passport that depicts your facial features clearly; there is an exact measurement for the passport that you should provide, which is 3.5 mm by 4.5 mm; it might be different from what you are used to. But you can get the required passport at the immigration office.

  • Medical report

A standard medical report issued by a certified E2 Visa Medical hospital, you should be able to find one of these hospitals in the local area close to you, or you can search for the hospitals online. There are some items that the hospitals also require before conducting the exam. The items are 2 passport photographs, a fee of 100,000-150,000 KRW, and a legitimate Visa/Passport. You can request extra copies of the result before taking the exam. Generally, the exam would test your overall health conditions, X-ray, blood test, and some specific tests for some diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria.

  • Certificate of residency

This is a document that shows clearly your location of residency, the house number, and the provider of your accommodation, whether you are staying at a college campus or a local residence. You need to bring some proof of your stay within the borders of Korea.

2. Finding an immigration office near you and registering

When you finally have the important documents necessary, the next step is to find and go to the nearest local immigration office.
Once you arrive at the Immigration Office, instead of paying directly to the personnel that are present at the booth, you would pay to the Government Immigration ATM that is in the immigration office, and you can ask for directions if you don’t see it. When you reach the machine, you should select the pay for residence card option, and then you would place your passport on the scanner. When the passport has been successfully scanned, you would be given the option to pay 30,000 KRW to pick up the ARC back at the immigration office or 33,000KRW if you want it mailed to your residency. Then you place the cash into the machine and wait to receive the receipt.
When you have your receipt with you, you will head to another floor where the collection of the documents and registration will occur, and you will meet a clerk present; then, you will submit your documents and the receipt received earlier. Usually, the ARC would be ready in about three weeks or less than a month.

Appearance of the ARC

The ARC of most immigrants is blue, and the front of the card contains the owner’s photo, the owner’s gender, full name, the immigration office you registered in, and a 13-digit number. This 13-digit number holds quite a number of information, such as whether or not you are a Korean citizen, your date of birth, your residency, what century you were born in, and other details. The rear of the ARC contains two boxes; the first box holds information about your stay in Korea and gets updated on your visa anytime it has been extended; it also has the date your visa was issued and its expiration. The second box holds your residence address in Korean. 

Losing the ARC

If, by some unfortunate event, you lose your ARC, getting a new one means that you have to repeat the process detailed above. That is providing the documents and paying the fee again, so it is advisable to handle the card with care.

How can Premia TNC Help?

PREMIA TNC is a renowned human resource and business consulting agency in different countries, including Korea. We are best known for aiding foreign visitors, entrepreneurs, or companies and helping you to manage your overseas business effectively. If you are having some issues in getting the ARC in Korea, you can contact us and get the much-needed solution immediately.


Q: Is it mandatory to acquire the ARC if you travel to Korea?

Yes, as long as you are staying in Korea for more than 90 days, then you must get the ARC.

Q: What is ARC?

It’s Korea’s ID card for foreigner who lives in South Korea.

Q: Where can you use your ARC?

Your ARC can be used as a source of Identification at certain places such as banks and hospitals or any Korean Government’s website that requests you to put your ID No.

Get a FREE Quote