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Renewing your Visa – because a MasterCard won’t keep you in the country

Recently, I had the joy of heading down to the local Immigration office and renewing my E-2 Visa. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to renew your Visa in 2014, you are totally missing out! <insert snarky laughter here>

I don’t know about anyone else, but as it came time for me to renew my Visa, I headed straight over to the Korea Immigration Service website for the most current information as to pricing and required documents. That was NOT the right thing to do. The website – though there is an English site – is extremely confusing and not really all that informative. After a LOT of searching through the various websites and waygookin forums, I discovered the information after which I so desperately sought.

The day came for me to head down to Immigration. I gathered up my documents and got the OK to leave work a little early so that I could make the 68 minute trek from Seokchon to Omokgyo before the office closed. I climbed aboard the subway and started my journey across town.

I arrived at the office and found the application form I needed pretty easily – thanks to the trilingual Japanese lady who was volunteering to help out fellow waygookin. She helped me get my form filled out, get my payment stamps for my Visa and get my ATM payment receipt for me new ARC (I had lost my old one at the airport on New Year’s Day). After I completed all of that and waited my turn in queue, I finally made it to the immigration officer. I sat with her for all of maybe 2 minutes before she turned me away. 

As you might imagine, I was not a happy camper; the officer had informed me that the rules changed as of October 2013. I had to go back to my school and get two more documents before they would even take my application – which meant a SECOND 68 minute subway ride across town. :-/

Considering that I still cannot find the information anywhere, I figured I’d do a public service by posting this information on the Interwebz. 

If you are renewing your E-2 Visa you need to bring:

 

  • Alien Registration Card
  • Passport
  • 60,000 KRW

from your school

  • signed employment contract
  • school certificate 
  • teaching timetable
  • housing contract

You also need to submit an application for Extension of Sojourn which you can pick up at the Immigration office. You’re supposed to also be able to file e-applications and reserve your place in line from the Hi Korea website, but I couldn’t navigate it without getting a headache.

I scanned in a copy of the form and you can access it here.

If you are looking for your local Immigration Office, the Korea4Expats site has a great list here.

If you’re in Seoul, the Immigration office is just off the purple line, Line 5, between Omokgyo and Mokdong stations. If you get off at Omokgyo, leave the station at Exit 7 and go as straight as possible for about 10 minutes. You’ll see the building, and when you do, you’ll need to turn left, cross over the street and then cross over the street again. Look for the signs – It’ll be on your right. Sogang University has a handy dandy little map here.

Its hours of operation are 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Monday – Friday and closed on holidays.

I hope this is helpful! 😀 Happy Immigrating!

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