How to Apply for Your ARC in Korea

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How to Apply for Your ARC in Korea

The following guide is for individuals that are trying to apply for their ARC in Korea. This process should be done as soon as possible once you have arrived in Korea.

What is an ARC ?

An ARC (Alien Registration Card) is a Korean national identification card. It is equivalent to a social security and ID card all in one. An ARC is needed to register and sign up for essential services such as a cell phone plan, internet, banking, as well as a credit card. Having an ARC also allows you to be enrolled in the Korean national health/medical insurance and pension plan.

You must register for an ARC card within 90 days of your arrival.

How to Apply

Follow these steps to successfully register for your ARC:

STEP 1: Find and schedule a mutually agreeable time for you, your school, and your co-teacher that will enable you enough time to visit your local immigration office.

STEP 2: Make an appointment to visit the immigration office that is in charge of your district at

STEP 3: Visit the immigration office at your scheduled time.

STEP 4: Submit to the immigration office clerk the required documents listed below. Opt to have your ARC mailed back to your address. There will be an extra small shipping fee added.

STEP 5: Wait for your ARC to be processed and sent back to you by mail. The results will be mailed to you within 3~5 weeks

Required Documents
Req. Documents
Alien Registration Application Form
1 Photocopy of School Registration License
1 Passport-sized Photo
1 Sealed Medical Test Results (that includes TBPE & HIV test)
1 Photocopy of Accommodation Contract
1 Signed Confirmation Letter of Accommodation Residency
30,000 KRW Cash
Your Original Passport + 1 Photocopy of passort
Medical Exam

In order to apply for an ARC card, all applicants must complete a full medical exam at a designated E2 visa hospital in their city. It is best to make an appointment in advance with your hospital. For a list of participating E2 medical exam hospitals please click here.

Please request 2 copies of the results before taking the test. One copy will be for your ARC application and the other will be for submitting to your school.

Required Documents for Medical Exam
1. 2-3 Passport size photos
2. Valid Passport
3. Testing fee: 60,000~150,000 (extra copies are about 1000~5000 KRW)

*May vary from hospital to hospital. Please call ahead to verify.

What Does the Medical Exam Include?

The medical exam will check for general health conditions, narcotics usage, as well as certain diseases. The check will consist of an x-ray, blood test, as well as various physical tests.

Please click here for a sample medical exam results page


Featured image courtesy of Republic of Korea with light image modifications done

By |2018-04-19T19:59:46+00:00March 24th, 2017|Featured Articles, Guides, Process Guides|18 Comments

About the Author:

Korvia Consulting
Started in 2006, Korvia Consulting is one of the premiere recruiting agencies in South Korea. Korvia works directly with the Korean government to places native English teachers into ESL positions at public schools in Korea.


  1. […] I applied for my ARC in Korea a few days ago and I thought I’d let you guys know how it went. Now, I came to Korea on an F4 visa so for those with an E2, read this post. […]

  2. Sean Lim November 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Hi, is ARC and the medical exam need to renew yearly if I will there for work for 2 years?

    Looking forward for your reply.

    Thanks so much.

    • Korvia Consulting
      Korvia Consulting November 8, 2017 at 6:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Sean,

      You need to review your ARC every year if you will sign a one year contract. The two-year contract will issue an ARC with 24M. Every time you will renew the contract employer can request a medical test.

      • sean lim November 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm - Reply


        Thank you for your reply.

        Meaning to say that I need to pay 30,000 KRW every year for the ARC renewal?

        Hence, I need to redo the medical test every year which in order for me to proceed with the ARC renewal?

        Appreciate your prompt reply.

        Sean Lim

  3. Samtun January 27, 2018 at 2:12 am - Reply

    Hi, do I need an HIV or TB medical exam as an E-9 visa holder when applying or renewing my ARC??

  4. Amanda March 13, 2018 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    What is a School Registration License?

    • Korvia Consulting
      Korvia Consulting March 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      It is a business registration (license). Your employer should have it and provide you a copy of it.

  5. Scott March 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    National criminal background check is not on the list. Should it be?

    • Korvia Consulting
      Korvia Consulting March 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Scott,

      This is for ARC application. National Criminal Background check is a required document for a visa issuance number application.

  6. Rick April 12, 2018 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    So I’ve been in SK for 2 years, have ARC and D-7 Visa ( Spouse F-1) how do go about getting Korean National Health coverage or card.
    Per info on this site ‘Having an ARC also allows you to be enrolled in the Korean national health/medical insurance and pension plan.’
    Please advise!!

  7. olenka April 14, 2018 at 7:42 am - Reply

    I have a question about the ARC, you can go to school and work? what are the benefits of having one?

  8. rettasbajrai May 19, 2018 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Hi , anneongsayo!

    How about people who under age 18teen.
    Still can apply the ARC.

    Please explain

  9. James June 6, 2018 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Hello. According hikorea and an other official sites I checked, they say all foreigners intending to stay more than 90 days must register and apply for a ARC. That means you can apply for it with a B-1 Visa? I can stay up to 90 days on B-1 (Visa waiver agreement), but I would like to stay 6 months and if I can avoid visa run, that would my best option. Besides with a ARC I can have a korean phone number and my own internet.

  10. Aimee July 24, 2018 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    When filling out the application form what if I don’t have a korean phone number? What number do I put down? Or what if I buy a pre paid sim and then once I’ve got my arc card upgrade to a contract sim, so I then need to change the sim number on the application?

  11. 21minute July 27, 2018 at 4:44 am - Reply

    What’s the validity period of an ARC?

  12. Danielle September 13, 2018 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Hi, once receiving my medical results, how long do I have for them to be valid? I cannot get an appointment with immigration for another 3 weeks and have already had them one week.

  13. Mercy November 28, 2018 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    I have 3 weeks to apply for ARC but I’m not registered with any school. I arrived on tourist visa . Pls guide me on how I can apply for ARC. I want to stay here for 3 years to work and earn money to further my education. I’m a female pls help.

  14. Asia December 31, 2018 at 3:02 am - Reply

    well im planning to study in korea and stay first i will have the student visa then when i will have a alien card it allow me to live in the country like forever but i need to renew it every year ? thats is it? or if not how can i stay in korea like for really long (forever)?
    hope to see my question!

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