Korean Visa Renewal for North Seoul Residents
There is some conflicting information on the web about the Sejongno Immigration branch and renewing your visa in general. Some sites claim residents of Seoul, generally, must go to Omokyo, but if you live in North Seoul (Jongno-gu, Jung-gu, Eunpyeong-gu, Dongdaemun-gu, Jungnang-gu, Dobong-gu, Seongbuk-gu, Gangbuk-gu, and Nowon-gu), you will need to go to this location instead (Keep in mind that it is based on the location for the next year, so if you are moving, it is your new address that matters for which branch you go to). Some sites are still posting the old address near Anguk Station and I even found an address for the new one that is a few blocks off that can get people turned around. On the government website it is still an additional click about the change, even though it is over a year old. If you are new to renewing your visa, recently moved or are moving to North Seoul from another branch, or have forgotten then this is for you.
The new location is just outside Jongak Station on line 1. Exit out of exit 6 and you walk less than a minute and you are there. It is a nice new glass building with a curved facade called the Seoul Global Center. The immigration office has a small sign outside, but you can’t miss the signs once you enter telling you to go up to the second level.
Follow the sign and the stairs up two flights and you will enter the office. Just past the information desk is the ticket kiosk that you will get your number from. Most English teachers will hit the yellow button. There will be a number in a box on the right side that tells you how many people are in front of you in line. There is also the same number at the bottom of each screen at the counters, just in case you forgot or have trouble with math once you get your number.
What to Bring
- ARC Card
- Proof of Residence (월세 계약서)
- Business License from your employer (고유번호증)
- Contract (original and copy)
- Class Schedule (If you are a teacher)
- Cash (60k for extension and/or 30k for reissue and 7k for pictures if needed)
Once you get your number, no doubt you will have plenty of time to finish the rest of the process long before your number is called. There are desks with pens and glue that will have the application you need. Fill that out. Get your picture, if you need one, from the photo booth next to the desks. Then go to the desk on the far side and purchase your revenue stamps. Don’t listen to the women there that tell you to pay at the counter, if you are extending your stay, you will need to pay them 60,000 won for what looks like mail stamps. Bring them to the counter with the rest of your paperwork. You can pay the 30,000 won for the reissue at the counter, however.
You will wait for an hour or more, depending on what time of year. The busiest time is when a good chunk of the English teacher contracts are coming to a close at the end of February and the beginning of March. If you, like me, can’t seem to do anything the first time here in Korea, you will wait and have your number called only to find out that you are missing something. For me, I was missing the proof of residence last year and this year it was expired.
After you are finished they will let you know what to do next. If you are getting a new card (reissue), then you will get it in about a month. If you are just extending your stay then you will wait in the office for them to call your name and leave with your card freshly stamped on the back for another year.
Things to Remember
Double check the list and make sure you have everything. If you don’t want to do what I did, then check the expiration on any of the forms that your school or employer gives you to make sure they are current. The odds are they don’t want to have you go back multiple times any more than you do, but it’s your time that is wasted in the end.
Make sure your contract is signed by you and your principal. Then make a copy with the signatures on it as well.
Try and go early. If you show up too late, even within the operation hours, they could be out of tickets for the rest of the day. That has also happened to me, trust me on what could go wrong here.
If you have less than two weeks left on your visa then you can go to the counter on the left and ask to get rushed through, but it is not a guarantee, so be nice. Try not to wait too long on your visa.
If you can get on the website and book an appointment, try that first, it will save you a lot of time and hassle. However it seems to be full often, so book early.
Phone number - 02.731.1799
Helpline - 1345
Address - 2nd fl. Seoul Global Center, 64-1 Seorindong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
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