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Immigration and Stay for Foreigners

01 Confirmation of Passport and Visa Expiry Date

Foreigners who enter Korea must possess a valid passport and visa issued by the Minister of Justice.Visitors from countries that have entered a visa waiver agreement with Korea or visitors that areotherwise exempt from visa requirements may enter using only a passport. Visitors are encouragedto be aware of passport and visa expiration dates to avoid any complications in the case of stayextensions, etc.


An identification specifying the carrier’s personal information such as nationality, etc. Foreigners are required to carry their passports at all times

How to Interpret a Korean Entry Visa
  • “Stay qualification” is used to identify the reason the person is entering Korea (i.e.: for married immigrants, the stay qualification is F-6).
  • “Entry Confirmation” shows the date the person has entered Korea. The stay period is counted beginning from the next day.
  • “Duration of sojourn” depends on the visa status. Thosewho wish to apply for an extension must do so beforethe end of visa (within 90 days from the date of entry).(Extensions of visa are granted based on the followingreasons: visa status, reason for extension, etc.)
  • “Expiry Date” shown below the period of sojourn is the expiry date of the visa.
ARC Card
  • Identification card name:
  • Alien registration number: formatted as “oooooo-ooooooo”
  • Gender: “M” for male, “F” for female
  • Name: English name as it appears on passport
  • Nation/region: nationality written in English
  • Stay qualification: specify stay qualification according to Article 12 of the enforcement ordinance of the Immigration Control Law (married immigrant: F-6) *Parenthesis in stay code
  • Issuing institute: Specified in Korean and English
Stay period
  • Permission date: Permission dates for stay permission applications
  • Expiration date: expiration date of stay period
    • For permanent residence qualification (F-5), specified as ‘valid until’ and the validity period is 10 years from the issued date.
  • Confirmation: corresponding permission office (only name of region such as ‘Seoul’, ‘Busan’ is specified, omitting Immigration Office).

(1) ) Short-term visitors (B, C type visa - maximum stay of 90 days)

The expiry date specified on the Visa is the expiry date of the permitted stay

(2) Long-term visitors and permanent residence qualification carriers: Carriers of Alien Registration Card, Overseas Korean Resident Card, or Permanent Resident Card

Permission and expiration dates are specified on the back of the alien registration card; any request for an extension of stay must be made before the end of the stay period expiration date.

02 Registration of Foreign Residents

(1) Qualifications and Period of Foreign Resident Registration

Foreigners who plan to stay in Korea for more than 90 days must complete their alien registration before the 90 day period is complete.

  • Foreigners who receive stay qualification while in Korea or have a change of stay qualification, must complete their alien registration when receiving or changing their stay qualification.

(2) Required Documents

Required Documents for All Foreign Residents
  • Passport (+original, photocopy)
  • Application form (Annex no. 34 form can be obtained at the Immigration Offices (or branch offices))
  • 1 passport size photo (3.5cm x 4.5cm standard size)
    • A close-up natural colored picture with white background which is taken within the last 6 months
  • Registration issuance fee of KRW 30,000 (cash)
  • Certificate of place of sojourn
    (Supplementary documents differ according to the status of stay. Please contact the Immigration Contact Center to check which documents are required. ☎1345)

(3) Married Immigrants

In addition to the documents above, the following documents of the Korean spouse are required :

  • Proof of Marriage (detailed)
  • Copy of Resident Registration
  • (If there are children) Children's Family Relation Certificate
    • Issued within three months of application
  • Certificate of place of sojourn
    • Registration issuance fee of KRW 30,000 (cash) + fee for extension of stay of KRW 30,000
      • People from countries requiring a tuberculosis test must submit a tuberculosis test to get a certificate (as of April 2020)
      • Two-year stay periods are awarded to foreigners who completed the Program for Early Adaptation of Immigrants.

(4) Application and Issuance of Certificate of Alien Registration

Application and (re)issuance of alien registration can only be completed at the immigration office (or branch office) that has jurisdiction over the district in which you live.

Issuance Procedure of Alien Registration Cards

Alien registration cards are issued about 3 weeks after the application date. Alienregistration cards can be picked up in person by the applicant at the Immigration Office(or branch office), or requested to be mailed to one’s residence. Deliver services must berequested and paid for at the time of card application.

(5) Management of Alien Registration Card

Alien registration cards are necessary to verify the identity of foreign residents. Foreign residents arerequired to carry them at all times. Anyone who neglects to keep his/her alien registration card in hispossession may be subject to a fine of up to KRW 1 million.

Reissuance of alien registration card :

In the following cases, foreign residents should apply for reissuance of their alien registration card at the appropriate Immigration Office or Foreigners' Office (or branch office).

  • Loss of alien registration card (ARC)
  • When the alien registration card is worn-out/unreadable
  • When there is not enough room to mark current information
  • If the name, the gender, the date of birth or the nationality have been changed
Required Documents
  • Passport
  • Application
  • 1 color photo (3.5cm x 4.5cm)
  • Registration issuance fee of KRW 30,000
  • Return of alien registration card: Alien registration cards must be returned to the proper authorities in the following cases
Required Documents
CasesWhen to Return the CardRequired Documents
Those leaving the country permanentlyAt the air or sea port before departureNone
Those receiving Korean nationalityWithin 30 days after the date on which you have finished resident registrationOriginal alien registration card, application document for issuance of identification card (or identification card), other basic certificates as needed
In the event of deathWithin 30 days of the acknowledgment of death (spouse, parent, sibling, etc.)Alien registration card, death certificate or other documents that prove death

03 Extension of Stay

(1) Qualification and Period

Foreigners who intend to stay in Korea longer than permitted stay period may request an extensionof stay anywhere between four months before the visa expiration date and the final expiration date.Anyone who applies for an extension of stay after the final stay expiration date will be subject to fines.

(2) Procedure of Extension of Stay

    Civil service
    (civil petitioner)
    (public official of Immigration Office)
    (Investigation when necessary)
    Computerization and recording of information pertaining to approval
    Issuance of passport, etc.

(3) Required Documents

  • Application
  • Passport and Alien Registration Card (if applicable)
  • Proof of stay
  • Other required documents related to status of stay
  • Fee of KRW 60,000 (KRW 30,000 for F-6 Married Immigration)
Documents Required for Married Immigrants
  • Certificate of marriage to the Korean spouse (detailed)
  • Copy of resident registration of the Korean spouse
  • (If there are children) Children's Family Relations Certificate
  • Certificate of place of sojourn (needed only when the addresses of a Korean spouse and his/her foreign partner are different from one another) The head of the Immigration Office may require additional documents if deemed necessary during the application and evaluation process.
  • Documents differ according to stay qualification. Please contact the Immigration Contact Center ☎ 1345 to check.

04 Change of Nonimmigrant Status

(1) Qualification and Period

If foreign residents in Korea intend to cease the activities permitted under their current status andundertake activities permitted under another status, they must visit the appropriate Immigration Office(or branch office) for a permit before undertaking said activities. These cases include, but are not limited,to the following.

  • Foreigners who are currently working under a short-term visiting visa (C-3), and intend to invest in Korea (D-8)
    • Stay changes for those with C-3-2 group tour visas are prohibited.
  • Foreigners who have completed their language studies (D-4) and intend to continue studying at a Korean university (D-2)
  • Foreigners who have other stay qualifications (except for carriers of short-term visas effective for less than 90 days, illegal immigrants, etc.) and plan to marry a Korean (F-6 visa)

(2) Required Documents

  • Application and a standard-size photo
  • Passport and alien registration card (if applicable)
  • Other required documents, according to status of stay
  • Fee of KRW 100,000 for change of qualification (fee of KRW 30,000 for registration issuance not included)
    • Fee of KRW 200,000 for change of qualification for permanent residence (F-5) (fee of KRW 30,000 for registration issuance not included)

05 Fee of KRW 200,000 for change of qualification for permanent residence (F-5) (fee of KRW 30,000 for registration issuance not included)

(1) Qualification and Period

If long-term foreign residents of Korea who stay for more than 91 days (short-term visa holders for 90days or less are excluded) intend to maintain their current status and undertake activities permittedunder another status, they must apply for a permit for said activities before beginning said activities.Cases include, but are not limited, to the following.

  • Persons with a study abroad (D-2) or language study (D-4-1, D-4-7) qualification who are certified bya foreign student authority (Other qualifications required. Inquiries at ☎1345)
    • Language students will be approved 6 months after the date of entry.
  • Missionaries with a D-6 visa who wish to deliver lectures at related agencies (E-1)

Married immigrants (F-6) can work full-time or part-time jobs without any restrictions. No separateactivity permit except stay qualification is required. In the case of jobs such as teaching, additionalqualifications in corresponding areas may be required. Even for permitted working activities, Korean lawmay require prospective employees to possess certain qualifications if required by the job.

(2) Required Documents

  • Application
  • Passport and alien registration card (if applicable)
  • Additional documents, according to status of stay
  • Fee of KRW 120,000 (no fee required for foreign students (D-2) and regular training (D-4))

06 Reentry Permits

(1) Subject

  • Registered foreigners who plan to stay in Korea for more than 91 days
  • Foreigners exempt from alien registration; staff of foreign embassies and international organizations stationed in Korea, diplomats and others who have similar privileges and positions as consuls according to agreement with the Korean government, and their families.

(2) Period

  • Maximum period for a single re-entry: 1 year
  • Maximum period for multiple re-entries (2 or more times): 2 years

(3) Re-entry Permission Exemptions and Exceptions

  • In A1-A3 cases and registered foreigners (all stay qualification) who intend to re-enter Korea within 1 year after departure, re-entry permission is waived. (If left stay period is less than 1 year, re-entry permission will be exempt within the range of stay period.)
  • For F-5 (permanent residence) carriers, re-entry permission is waived for up to 2 years after departure.

(4) Required Documents

  • Application
  • Passport and alien registration card (if applicable)
  • Fees – single entry: 30,000 won, multiple re-entry: 50,000 won

(5) Extension of Reentry Permit Period

If foreign residents who have left the country with a reentry permit are unable to reenter Korea within theallowed period or exemption period due to unavoidable circumstances, they may apply for an extensionat the local embassy or consulate of Korea during the permitted period. When the applicant fails to enterKorea during the period for permission of re-entrance, the existing stay qualification becomes invalid.

07 Obligation of Foreign Residents to ReportImportant!

Foreigners registered as alien are required to report the following cases to theImmigration Office (or branch office) in their area of residence or employment within 14days from the date of the cases occurred. Foreigners who fail to report may be subjectto fines or other penalties regarding their stay.

(1) Cases to Report

Foreign residents who have been registered in Korea must report the followinginformation changes to the appropriate Immigration office (or branch office) within 14days of said change.

  • Changes in name, sex, date of birth, and/or nationality
  • Changes in passport number, date of issuance, and passport expiration date
  • Changes in basic information (including change of names) or addition of organizations for D-1, D-2, D-4 and D-9 status holders
  • Initiation of training of D-10 holders or change of training organizations (including change of names)
  • Initiation/changes of employment for H-2 holders
  • Change or name change of individuals and organizations for H-2 holders
  • Change of residence

(2) Required Documents

  • Application
  • Passport and alien registration card
  • Documents to prove the change (documents proving the new address for change of the residence)
Useful Information
What is quarantine? (Inspection of livestock/plants)

Quarantine inspection is being implemented to all incoming livestock and plants from abroad toavoid epidemics of diseases and harmful insects in all ports and airports nationwide.Possession of agricultural/livestock products and failure to report may be subject to penaltiessuch as fine, restrictions of entry, etc.

  • If you possess agricultural·livestock products, please make sure to check the Traveler Declaration Form and report to the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency located at the Airport or seaport.
Quarantine Procedures
  • Arrival in Korea (airports, seaports, postal service)
  • Immigration screening
  • Fill out customs declaration (inspection report) form
  • Inspection on animals, plants, agricultural and livestock products: Only the products that passed the quarantine will enter the country.
  • Customs inspection
  • Entry to the country
Inspection of animal/livestock products
  • Livestock products that are restricted (Possession of livestock products and failure to reportmay be subject to fines of up to KRW 10,000,000. Foreign residents who fail to report may besubject to penalties such as prohibition of entry, restriction of stay, etc.)
    1. 1Meat and processed meat products: beef, pork, chicken, duck, sausage, ham, beef jerky, boiled meat, beef processed food (curry, etc.)
    2. 2Milk products: milk, cheese, butter, etc.
    3. 3Eggs and processed egg products: chicken eggs, bird eggs, egg white, egg powder, etc.
    4. 4Pet foods, pet snacks, nutritional supplements for pet, etc.
Inspection of plants/agricultural products
  • Products banned for import
    1. 1Raw fruits and vegetables including mangoes, bananas, apples, pears, oranges, limes, avocados, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.
    2. 2Root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, Chinese yams, etc., and walnuts with shells on
    3. 3Soil, plants with soil on, live insects, seeds of weeds, etc.
Cautions for importing plants/agricultural products by air or mail

Plant quarantine certificate issued by the exporting country must be submitted for plants for planting and breeding such as seeds, seedlings, etc. Products without a plant quarantine certificate cannot be imported (To be implemented from July 2019).

  • For more details on quarantine, please contact the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency ( (☎054-912-1000 or ☎032-740-2661,2077)
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