Living in Korea: What if you lose your Alien Registration Card?

Just for you

What do you want to know to teach English in Japan

Teaching English in Japan is one of the most beautiful experiences you will have if given a job. You will gain more than a job.

No-nonsense guide to teaching English in China during COV-19

This no-nonsense guide to teaching English in China during cov-19 will help you navigate your way to getting a solid teaching job in the various cities in China.

I Ended Up Teaching in China

Met Mitch in Kotor, Montenegro and I spoke to him about what I do. I travel the world teaching English and he said, "no way, how can I do that?". Well, now he is in China doing the same. This is how it happened.
ESL Tate
I have been an ESL Teacher for more than 15 years and a Teacher trainer for the last three. Now I help new teachers start their journey traveling and teaching English abroad.
Do you like what I write?
Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

This article was updated 6-19-2018

So you’re living in Korea as an expat, and you lose your Alien Registration Card, what are you going to do?

Your Alien Registration Card (ARC) is your official registration with Korean immigration and proof that you belong and is living in Korea legally. But what happens if you lose this card?

There is a lot of controversial, compelling and even outright wrong stories about what to do if you lose your card.

I’ve been living in Korea for quite some time now

I am here to set the record straight being that I have had hands-on experience on the matter.

Some people say you will pay heavy fines. Others say you have to file a police report first before going to immigration so that they have proof that you lost it. As if you report it lost or stolen to them is not proof enough. Some even say it takes the same day to process or even the same week. Are these people right? Well, yes and no.

Setting the record straight

Do I pay a fine?

If you are wondering if you pay a heavy fine for losing the card here is your answer. You don’t pay a fine if you get the card replaced. The only time you will pay a fine is if you don’t go to get a new card and you try to leave Korea. Why? Because immigration collects the card on your leaving the country after your teaching or whatever visa you have that requires you to have the card. The fine is 100,000 won if you don’t have the card as you are leaving.

Do I need to file a police report?

Not really. You do not need to file a police report first before going to immigration. They will begin the process without you needing a police report. However, if you want to have proof just in case you are to leave Korea before the card arrives, it is a good idea to get a police report because that would be your proof they will need. If this is you then it would help to know this phrase: “waygookin indeuhng nawkjeuhng irrossawyaw” (I have lost my ARC card) to say it to the officer in case they do not speak English.

Good to Read: Teaching English in Korea: A Note to New Teachers

Otherwise, all you need to do is go to immigration with your passport, a passport size photo (not needed but just in case for some reason your information is not in their system. But I would call them first). However, if you still have the receipt that they gave you in order for you to open a bank account etc before the card arrived, that’s all you will really need.

For some offices, all you need is to show up and tell them you lost the card and they will look you up by your name and pull everything up and get the process started for you. But I would be naive for telling you to just show up and do it because since there is no set standard that all the offices follow, each office interprets the guidelines differently so it’s safe to just take your passport and whatever documentation to prove who you are.

How long does it take to get a new card?

This depends on which office you go to. Some are faster than others. It could be the same day or it could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. It just depends on how backed up the office is.

living in korea: immigration
The immigration office in Korea

What is the process in detail?

  1. Go to the immigration officer and tell them you lost your card or it was stolen.
  2. They will give you the right form to fill out depending on which situation fits your case. The form only asks for your name, ARC number, Nationality and why you lost it. That’s it.
  3. You will pay them 10,000 won for the processing etc and give them the information they request above
  4. They will tell you how long it will take and give you a date to come and pick it up
  5. You walk out the door less afraid and possibly with a smile on your face 🙂
  6. That’s it.

If you are staying/living in Korea for more than 90 days, it’s good to register with Korean immigration service so that you are up to date on changes.

Hopefully, this article brings a little clarity to the process. But I would like to know if any else out there has lost their card and what the process was like for them. So, leave a comment.

Cheers.

Was this aritcle useful to you? Maybe you could

Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

Follow us on

Subscribe to our newsletter

2,137FansLike
2,578FollowersFollow
15,387FollowersFollow
- Official partner -Accredited Online TEFL

11 COMMENTS

  1. Great article. I actually lost mine recently and was so confused about the process. Great information. It happened exactly the way you described it.
    I asked them if I get a new number, since i have lost my old one. But the ARC number stays the same.

  2. I lost my ARC last June 2014 and I just paid 40,000 won. I am worried that ipI might not be allowed to enter Korea again. The immigration officer was asking about me going back to Korea until September but could not really understand but I did not have time to clarify anymore since I was running late for my flight. Can someone please help me, will i still be able to go back? Thanks!

  3. I lost my ARC last June 2014 and I just paid 40,000 won. I am worried that I might not be allowed to enter Korea again. The immigration officer was asking about me going back to Korea until September but could not really understand but I did not have time to clarify anymore since I was running late for my flight. I really hope you can help me get an answer for this. Thanks!

  4. Can someone please help me?

    I have only been here 3 weeks so I do not Yet have an arc card.

    My father is dying and I need to get home asap. Will just my passport be OK to allow me to return home?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get updates on the latest news, offers and more. 15387 readers can't be wrong!

Follow us on

2,137FansLike
2,578FollowersFollow
71FollowersFollow
15,387FollowersFollow
678FollowersFollow
5SubscribersSubscribe

I need help with

Job Search

Teaching Tools

Making Money

Online Teaching

TESOL Programs

Wellbeing

Books by ESL Tate

First Time In Korea

The hilarious E-book and novella about the life of an ESL Teacher in South Korea. A small town, not many English speakers and the events that followed are shared in this book.

Make $$ Teaching English Online

Coming soon - July 30th. Pre-order now

- Advertisement -Leave the Grind Behind

Latest Articles

10 Exercises you can do at home to spark your teacher brain

Being a teacher is tough but what's worse, teachers often neglect themselves. Stop it. Get yourself back with these teacher brain activities.

7 reading comprehension strategies you must teach your students

For students to succeed in learning English they must know how to use these essential reading strategies for learning and reading faster.

What are the best webcams for teaching English online?

In this article we take a look at the best webcams for teaching English online. You want your students to see things as if they were there.

Ultimate Review of Gogokids versus Vipkids: which one should you work for?

In this ultimate review, we take a look at Gogokids versus Vipkids in a head to head comparison to see which one is better.

What do you want to know to teach English in Japan

Teaching English in Japan is one of the most beautiful experiences you will have if given a job. You will gain more than a job.
- Advertisement -

More Guides Like This

- TEFL partner -