The Korea Immigration Service Foundation has provided a website for international students to register for their Foreigner Registration Card (FRC) online, and 14 universities including Ewha approved for online registration.
The Office of International Affairs (OIA) made an announcement accordingly to foreign students at Ewha to notify the registration process for FRC on Sept. 2. More commonly known as the Alien Registration Card (ARC), FRC is an identification card that foreign residents must have during their stay in Korea. Foreigners who wish to stay in Korea for more than 90 days are mandated to register for the card.
Yonsei University’s Office of International Affairs indicated that receiving the visa is not the final step to registration in Korea. Yonsei OIA specified that students with visas must receive an ARC to finalize their sojourn documentation. Yonsei also notified that those who stay in Korea for more than 90 days without an ARC will be regarded as staying illegally, regardless of their visa status.
Korvia Consulting, a recruiting company that places native English speakers to Korean schools and teaching programs, provided a separated web page that explains what an ARC is and why foreign people need one.
According to Korvia Consulting, having this card allows foreign teachers to be enrolled in the Korean national health and medical insurance and pension plan. Korvia Consulting also mentioned the applicants for ARC must complete a medical exam at a designated hospital in their district of residence. The medical exam checks for general health conditions, narcotics usage, and certain diseases of the applicants.
Jang Hye-Soo, a program manager at Ewha OIA, gave a detailed demonstration of why international students must register for the FRC. Jang explained that the FRC plays the role of a resident registration card for foreign students.
“Since foreign people are not issued a resident registration, an FRC is required instead when they register for essential services such as banking or a cell phone plan. The card is also less troublesome than a passport in case of loss,” Jang said.
The FRC application process can be conducted both in person and online. In order to register for the card in person, international students must visit their local immigration center within 90 days of their entry to Korea.
According to Jang, the OIA previously offered an on-campus FRC application service for students who wished to register in person. However, the office decided not to offer the on-campus service this semester due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and has advised the students to complete FRC applications online.
The online registration period was from Sept. 10 to 13. A total of 94 international students signed up for an FRC this semester, according to Jang. After registration, students had to transfer the registration fee by Sept. 15.
Students who do not have a Korean bank account can take their passports to the bank to submit their registration fee. They then have to set the name of the depositor as their passport number in order to finalize the card application.