It’s not what you know but who you know

After arriving in Korea with an E-2 visa (one designated specially for English teachers), it’s necessary to get an Alien Registration Card (ARC). The ARC is more or less my ID as a temporary resident in Korea and is necessary for things such as opening a bank account (which I actually did without an ARC thanks to the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education‘s sponsoring us at orientation) and acquiring a cell phone (which I actually did without an ARC thanks to the shadiness of Itaewon).

The process is somewhat tedious, but I finally got my ARC this week with the help of my Korean co-teachers. Here are the steps to apply for a Korean alien registration card:

  1. Get two passport-sized photos of yourself.
  2. Get a medical check at one of the public hospitals in Seoul. You’ll need one of your photos for this.
  3. Pick up medical check a few days later.
  4. Make an appointment at the Seoul Immigration Office or show up and wait forever (I’ve heard up to two hours) in line.
  5. Show up and turn in your ARC application with 10,000 KRW, your medical check, and your passport.
  6. Wait 1-2 weeks for your ARC.

Or you could have a co-teacher who knows someone who works in immigration in Incheon who makes a phone call to someone who works in immigration in Seoul and can shorten the whole process at the Seoul Immigration Office to a painless 20-minute wait and have you walk out the same day with your ARC in hand.

I went with the latter of the choices. It was fantastic. Also, in other fantastic news, I learned my school doesn’t require me to be at school during winter break when I’m not teaching the winter camp. The holidays lasts from December 24 to February 2 and then from February 14 to March 2. After taking out two weeks for the camp, I have about three weeks in January and two weeks in February to do whatever the hell I want — and still get paid for it.

I’m thinking a three-week backpacking excursion through southeast Asia in January and maybe a jaunt through the States in February, but as we all know, that could very suddenly change. Stay tuned.

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2 Comments

Filed under travel, Travel Tips

2 responses to “It’s not what you know but who you know

  1. A

    I hate you, I need my ARC so effing bad

  2. I recommend a trip to southeast asia. it is warm. come hang out in thailand!

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