During Orientation Day (Monday), everyone becomes informed that having the D-2 Student Visa isn’t enough, but we also have to pay an extra $30-33 IN CASH for an alien registration ID. So here’s a list of how to survive the Seoul Immigration Office. Dun Dun DUNNnn~
First of all:
Have ALL your crap!!! You’ll be informed in your packet you receive from Orientation, as well as in their slide show, of the necessary documents: 1) passport, 2) copy of passport & visa (you can get done for 400
W at the place; just wait in an awkward line that overlaps the line of people waiting to pay for their specified application), 3) Certificate of Acceptance (will be given in your packet of things during Orientation), 4) 1 (NOT 2 WE WERE LIED TO!!!) color photo (which can be done and paid for at the place for 7,000 W vs. the 9,000 W rip-off amount at the Student Union at school), and 5) the CORRECT application form (which will be completed at the place). For the love of Buddha PLEASE fill out the correct form, unlike the stooges that mis amigas and I were!!! The paperwork you fill-out is titled: “APPLICATION FORM (REPORT FORM)” comprende? Just check the “Alien Registration” box.
Second of all:
Find out where and HOW to get to Seoul Immigration Office! If you’re gonna go by taxi (which is what 4 of us girls did), it’ll cost around 12,000-15,000
W one-way (so about 3,000-4,000 W per person one-way). As for public transportation, I heard that it took people about 1hr 30min due to multiple transfers on the subway. It didn’t help either that Information at the dorms had no knowledge of even how to get there by any kind of public transport, and so we opted for the faster/lazier route of taxi. Just have the address, which can be easily googled or written down by Information if you’re handicapped from learning reading, writing, and/or speaking Korean (like me)…
Third of all:
GO EARLY!!! I mean it. Go early and grab a ticket where the person in a bright yellow vest is manning at, telling them your presence hither is for Alien Registration. The place opens at 9a.m., so getting there as early as 8a.m. will save you a LOT of wait time. We got there at 9a.m. and were the 72nd-75th persons in line, specifically for Alien Registration (which had only ONE Korean manning the station at the time). After you grab your number should you proceed to finding the CORRECT application form and filling that out, getting photos or copies of passports and visas if you haven’t done so, paying for the alien registration appliciation (which usually has an obvious line of peasants waiting in), and just waiting with your friends (if you went with them) around (because there really wasn’t a line since there was a number system). Another note, PLEASE BUY THE 33,000
W vs. the 30,000 W alien registration fee IN CASH if you do not want to return to this hellish land to pick up your alien registration card. They will mail it to you for only 3,000 W so let’s NOT be stupid (like mis amigas and I) and take this golden opportunity ok?! (Just know your Yonsei dorm address and room # to have it delivered; oh AND to fill-out the paperwork for the alien registration application form.)
Fourth of all:
JUST PLAIN WAIT UNTIL YOUR NUMBER IS CALLED! I’m super duper SERIO! More serio than Mona Lisa right now! More serio than Gandalf when he said “You shall not pass!” And more serio than Egret will ever be whenever she said “You know nothing Jon Snow.” JUST PLEASE WAIT YOUR KNICKERS AND PANTIES BEFORE LEAVING PLEASE!!! We were the fools who did not wait, thinking “Hey only 17 humans passed after a tad under an hour. We have 40 more people before us so guess we can leave for 1hr 30min right?” WRONG. WRONG. WE WERE SO WRONG. We came back and the number had jumped 20ish persons ahead of us by then and a new lady in a yellow vest made us get new numbers. We of course went around that roadblock by talking directly to a new window that opened for alien registration, asking to help us out this once, which she did thank Buddha. BUT NEVER AGAIN! THOU SHALT ALWAYS WAIT LIKE THE LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.
Summary for Lazy Hoes:
- Have all your crap:
- Copy of passport&visa (can be done at Seoul Immigration Office, which is where alien registration is performed, for 400
- Certificate of Acceptance (part of the paperwork/packet given at Orientation)
- 1 photo (can be done at Seoul Immigration Office)
- CORRECT Application form titled: “APPLICATION FORM (REPORT FORM)” (to be completed at Seoul Immigration Office)
- Knowledge of: name, address in Korea, passport #, port of entry (where you landed in; i.e. Incheon), phone number (if you have a Korean number by now), etc.
- CASH to pay for the alien registration (min. 30,000
W; or 33,000 Wfor shipping)
- Decide on mode of transport (recommended: TAXI with 3 friends; and the address written down on paper/phone)
- Go early to your destination and as fast as you can like someone just had a baby (recommended: arrive between 8-9a.m. even though place opens at 9a.m.)
- Grab a number at the machine (manned by someone in a yellow vest) faster than Pinocchio can lie about being a real boy
- Fill-out the rest of the necessary forms, complete payments, copy passport/visa, get photo, etc.
- AND WAIT FOR YOUR BLOODY NUMBER TO BE CALLED BEFORE LEAVING! I’m serious! WAIT! If there’s a fire, WAIT. If you see someone offering free food outside, WAIT!! And even if your friends say, “Hey let’s go out and find Wi-fi at a cafe, eat some gelato, and then come back” JUST WAIT!!!
So yes people. This place makes people who complain about the DMV a COMPLETE JOKE!!! This was expert level DMV in making you CRY. You’d think a place like this that needs to deal with foreigners, and even have a specific line for Chinese citizens would be helpful enough to have signs in the mentioned languages, but NO! Everything is still in Korean, and everybody is bumping around like headless chickens trying to figure out where to go, who to talk to, and what to do. Be prepared, have convenience store kimbap with you, and cry a little. No shame at the wonderful world of the Seoul Immigration Office.
UPDATE: I WAS LIED TO BY THE FRONT DESK LADY AT I-HOUSE!!! SHE IS A LIAR!!! So remember how I took the taxi and split it among 4 other peasants? Well it looks like public transportation was NOT that difficult or long to take at all. Well maybe it took about an hour to get to the Seoul Immigration Office by subway. But that includes walking to the Sinchon station and also walking from the station to the Immigration Office. I shall tell how to get there by Subway in another “Tip” post. It’ll be short. I promise.