From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."

Just How Important Is Your Alien Registration Card (ARC)?


My husband has been telling me since day one how important my alien registration card is, but I didn’t pay attention to him. He told me to bring it all the time, which I did, and to memorize my number, just in case I forget or lose my card. Since I kept it in my purse, and I never forget my purse when I leave the house, I didn’t care about the number… and so it happened… I forgot my alien registration number and now I don’t have my ARC. I surrendered it to the immigration for the processing of my Permanent Residence. I couldn’t use my health insurance without my alien registration number. I couldn’t even escape being asked for that number every time I made an appointment in the hospital, and when I told the nurses that I don’t remember it, they looked at me as if I were really an ALIEN who doesn’t know a thing about life on Earth.

Well, my husband and I were able to solve this dilemma by getting a certificate of alien registration from the city office, a document that bears my alien registration number, not another ID.

I have learned my lesson to never ever forget my alien registration number as long as I live in Korea. (Damn, I hate numbers!)

Your alien registration number is made up of 13 digits. The first 6 digits are the date of your birth (year/month/day); the 7th digit displays the sex and the century in which you were born. Check the code below:

  • 1: male Korean citizens (born 1900 – 1999)
  • 2: female Korean citizens (born 1900 – 1999)
  • 3: male Korean citizens (born 2000 – 2099)
  • 4: female Korean citizens (born 2000 – 2099)
  • 5: male foreign citizens residing in Korea (born 1900 – 1999)
  • 6: female foreign citizens residing in Korea (born 1900 – 1999)
  • 7: male foreign citizens residing in Korea (born 2000 – 2099)
  • 8: female foreign citizens residing in Korea (born 2000 – 2099)

The next 4 digits (8th to 11th) indicate a code for your place of birth; the 12th digit is a sequential number used to distinguish individuals of the same sex born on the same day in the same district; the 13th digit  is a check digit that validates the accuracy of the code.

Let’s say I was born on July 5, 1985… the first 6 digits of my alien registration number would be 850705.

I am a female foreign citizen residing in Korea born in 1985, so the 7th digit in my alien registration number is 6. My visa status in my alien registration card is F-2-1. The sample below shows all the other information that are indicated in an alien registration card: name (family name, given name, middle name), country or place of birth and complete adress in Korea written in Korean. Of course, there is also my photo on the right, not the real one though. ^^

Below the picture is the date when the alien registration card was issued and the date when the card expires.

Also, at the back of the card, you will see the date of your visa extension, and other pertinent information regarding your stay in Korea.

Just how important is your ALIEN REGISTRATION CARD/NUMBER?

Your alien registration card is proof that you are LEGALLY allowed to live (or work) in Korea. It serves as your national identification card, (almost) similar to a Korean identification card, which is issued to every Korean citizen when he reaches the legal age of 19. You will need your ARC in every transaction you make in Korea, from opening a bank account to making an appointment in the hospital. At times, you may even need it, at least the number, to purchase something on-line; however, not all on-line shopping sites accept registration and purchases from foreigners. When I order something on-line, I usually use my husband’s card. We register under his name and national ID number. It is easier that way.

For more information on ALIEN REGISTRATION, you may refer to:

If you have lost your ARC, this site may help you:


22 thoughts on “Just How Important Is Your Alien Registration Card (ARC)?

  1. Pingback: How to Obtain a Working Holiday (H-1) Visa for South Korea

  2. Hi good eve po mam Chris..ask q lang po anu po b dapat kuhanin na visa para sa pagtatrabaho sa Korea?makakakuha po b ng working permit kahit wala pa work n papasukan sa Korea?


  3. hi..good day po. ask lang po sana ko ng question.. nagpakasal po aq dito na sa korea kase dito ko nkilala ung nhing husband ko.. after nun na release po ung f6 visa or ung alien registration card ko na f6 ung nkalagay..ang kaso po is ,di ko pa po natry umuwi ng pinas since kinasal aq dito..kase 5mos plang po kmi kasal.. ang pinoproblema ko po ngaun eh xmpre dito ko natanggap un visa meaning wala sticker na inattach sa passport ko..pano po un kung uuwi ako ng pinas tapos babalik nako ng korea.?hndi po ba ako mgkakaroon ng problema sa airport immigration ng pinas pag babalik nako dito sa korea?..salamat po in advance.


  4. Hi, Amber! ^^ Sorry for late reply. Ang alien registration card ang magsisilbing identification card mo sa Korea. Para itong citizenship ID ng mga Koreans. Madalas itong hinihingi sa mga personal transactions mo sa Korea, kaya napakahalaga na meron ka nito. Pagdating mo sa Korea, kailangan ka magpunta (with your husband) sa immigration office para mag-apply for your ARC. I think we better communicate via FB para masagot ko lahat ng katanungan mo through chat. Message me on FROM KOREA WITH LOVE (Facebook home page) I am OL most of the time.


  5. HI”ate cris
    Paano proseso Para magkaroon ng alien card?
    At ano po’ ibig sabihin nito at bakit kailangan pA it0?
    Anyway ate cris Tnx for this information i like it..


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  8. hi cris,

    I want to ask about the alien card. I have been in Korea in 2011 for working attachment with DSME in Geoje-do. When I returned home, I didn’t know that I was supposed to hand in the alien card at the custom.

    Now I’m going back to Korea for work again. Will there be any problem because of this? Any penalty that I need to pay?


  9. Hi, Henry! ^^ There is a visa called “gyopo” visa or F4 visa for Koreans who have acquired foreign nationality. This is a five-year valid multiple entry visa and can be extended at the local immigration office. Here’s more info about the F4 visa:

    I think you can also find the right info for your visa from that site I gave you. Most of the American citizens I know who are staying here in Korea are either on an E2 visa (visa given to foreign language instructors) or F6 (spouse visa for those married to Koreans).

    Sorry, but I don’t have any info on the tax for shipping vehicles here.


  10. What is the tax if you ship your own car or truck to Korea do you have any idea what all of this cost when your car or truck arrives in Korea.When my wife and I are ready to go we will be married 40 years do we have to go through interviews to move over there and would she also need a visa since she is Korean and got her US citizenship since we have been married We are moving back to retire and be with her family since we have been away from them all these years.


  11. What about my wife she is now a us citizen would she have to give up her us citizenship.If we did not want to be a resident allien what kind of visa do we need to stayfor 2 to 5 years.


  12. Hello, Henry. ^^ Your wife is Korean, so you can apply for the spouse visa, and after 2 years, have that changed to a permanent residence visa. If you want, you can also get Korean citizenship after 2 years, but then you have to pass the Korean Language test.


  13. What do you need if you want to retire in korea with your wife who is korean and is also a us citizen, we would be living with a family member in korea is this possible.


  14. Hi, Jacque. As much as I would like to answer your enquiry, I am not aware of the rules for obtaining a visa going to Japan. Here is the website of the embassy of Japan in South Korea. You’d better contact them. ^^


  15. Hi! I stumbled upon your blog while looking for info about ARC. I am currently a Filipina student in South Korea. I will soon get my ARC. I would like to travel to Japan from South Korea during winter break. Do I need to apply for a visa to Japan here in South Korea (because Filipinos need Japanese visa when traveling to Japan from the Phils.)? Or can I just use my ARC to travel to Japan without Japanese visa? Thank you very much!


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  18. Pingback: F-5: Permanent Residence Visa in South Korea « From Korea with Love

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  20. Ha ha ha! That’s my best shot, Deym. =)


  21. Oh… Ganun pala yun^_^ anyway I like your pic on. Your ID card above. It shows your good side lol.:P


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