Simple guide to ARC, Bank account & Insurance in Korea
Formerly known as Residence Card, foreigners who wish to stay in Korea for more than 90 days must apply for a residence card. This does not applies to tourist or anyone on a tourist visa. A-1, A-2, and A-3 visa holders are exempted from this requirement too. With residence card, you can sign up for a bank account, cell phone plans, health insurances, ordering food and pay on app/online, or utilize other daily services.
– If you got your Residence Card, you’re able to leave and re-enter the country anytime you want on the condition that your visa is still valid (minimum of 6 months for student visas).
– You can leave the country in the process of making your Residence Card if you have a multiple entry visa as well as your passport, but we advise not to do this unless absolutely necessary. Therefore, contact the Immigration Office to enquiry more whether you’re available for re-entry before you intend to leave.
– If you are a minor (under age of 17), you can get one on your own or simply get it registered on your parent’s card.
Creating bank account
Applying for insurance
Now, before you read on ahead!
Immigration offices don’t usually accept walk-in visits (and on the rare occasion that they do for example you’re in an emergency OR visa is expiring tomorrow). Therefore, you will have to log on to the official website and must make a visit reservation beforehand.
Reservation is also hard to make as all the available times are usually 1 – 2 weeks later. Besides, note that you only have 3 months time to make Residence Card from the day you entered the country!
Go to this website https://www.hikorea.go.kr/Main.pt. Before starting, you can adjust language preferences by choosing language above, and press “Reserve Visit”. Next, press on the Reservation button. You don’t really have to make an account, so you could just choose for “Non-Members Application” as shown below.
Onwards, press the second tab “여권번호 신원인증 Identity verification using passport number” and fill in all the informations.
At the next page, you will have to choose the immigration office that corresponds to the area that you live in. You can use the “Detailed Search” option to locate the relevant immigration office. Under “Booth category”, you can choose between Chinese visitors and non-Chinese visitors. Choose accordingly based on your nationality.
A pop-up window [shown in the image below] will appear after pressing on “Date of visit”. Choose the time and date you wish to visit to the immigration office and then click “Close”.
Click “Apply” and you will be brought to the confirmation page. You can print out the confirmation page or take a picture of it. You can download and print the application form at below but you can choose to fill up the application form at the immigration office too as they provide the form there.
We recommend heading to the office 20 – 30minutes earlier just to be sure not to miss out on your turn. The application venue for Chinese and non-Chinese visitors is on separate floors so it is wise to arrive early and check which floor your appointment will be held.
Once you arrive at the right level, check your call number on the list of reserved appointments that is printed and pasted on the wall or a document stand near the entrance. Wait for your number to be called.
Depending on your purpose of stay in Korea and visa type, the necessary documents you need to prepare are different. The most common documents are as below:
2. Application form
3. 1 color passport photo (3.5mm x 4.5mm) on white background (Prepare your own photo beforehand!)
4. Processing fee: KRW 30,000 (Government Revenue Stamp) *only in cash*
Other required documents may varies, depend on the type of visa you hold. You can call 1345 Immigration Contact Center to enquiry more regarding it and also the fees structure respectively to your visa type before making your visit to the Immigration Office. The service is free and they have staff who speak in multiple languages.
Wait for the arrival of the card
For those who opted to have your Residence Card delivered, with an extra fees of 3,000 KRW (payment in cash too), you can receive the card in your mailbox. For those who opted out of the Residence Card delivery, you will receive a notification from the staff when your card is ready for pickup at the same Immigration Office that you went.
How to Renew your Residence Card
The process for renewing your Residence Card is very similar to apply for it. The only difference is instead of selecting “Alien registration”, select:
- ”Extension of status of sojourn” if you wish to extend your visa availability period
- “Re-issuance of registration card” if you have lost your Residence Card and want a new one
- “Change of status of sojourn” if you have changed your visa status and want a re-issuance of the Residence Card under the changed visa type.
You’ll have to make a visit reservation again and go through the entire process again.
If you’re on a study or work, you can just leave all the procedure to your association. For study, your universities will arrange everything for you while requesting for necessary documents from you. There is a time limit for the document submissions so just be cooperative with them and be careful on the documents submission date! And a few working days later, you shall receive instruction from your school to go to the bank to receive your bank account and card personally.
This situation applies to foreign workers as well. Normally your association will assist you in creating your bank account. So don’t have to worry much about this.
Applying for Insurance
It is basically the same thing as creating a bank account! Your association will do everything for you. The insurance system here is complicated.
We will cover all the details regarding bank account and insurance in another post soon. *COMING SOON*