You can visit Korea for up to 90 days at a time without a Visa. I, however, came to Korea on a Visa. I came on the F4 visa which allows me to stay in Korea for up to 2 years at a time, and can be renewed. And you get multiple entries. So if you decide to travel to other countries, your visa is still valid.
What is an F4 visa? With an F4 visa you have the same rights and privileges as Korean citizens. So that means you can get employment within any business or organization.
In order to be eligible for an F4 visa, you have to be of Korean decent. You must have been born and have citizenship in the U.S. Your parent(s) have had to have been Korean citizens at one time, and now must be U.S. citizens (I think it works for canadian, australian or whatever english speaking country).
A lot of people have been asking me how I got my F4 visa. So I’m going to explain it. Because for me, it has taken me multiple trips to the Korean Embassy, and to Immigration, and the Family Registrar office to get everything. So hopefully this post will help for those who want to get an F4 Visa and Alien Registration Card (ARC) with only 4 trips total 🙂 (Family Registry, Korean Embassy, Immigration x2)
I’m going to list what you need for your Visa. And then let you know what you need for your ARC. And then to make it easier what you need altogether because you have to make multiple copies.
So here are the documents that you need to get your Visa and ARC. I got my Visa in the U.S. so it might be different if you get it done in Korea. It may just be for 1 parent, or it might be for both. I’m not positive, but I brought papers for my parents.
What you need for your Visa.
-Visa application form- you can get it here
-U.S. Passport- you need to bring your passport and 2 copies of your passport picture page.
-Birth certificate- you need the original and 2 copies.
-Parent’s U.S. Naturalization papers- you need the original and 2 copies. Once you turn it in with your Visa, you will get a type of reciept that you will need to save for you ARC.
-Family Registry- there are 2 different types that you need. You need to get 2 of each. They cannot be copies but the original with the official Korean Stamp on it. They cost 1,000 won each. (equivalent to 1 USD). I think one of the registries is called a ho jeuk dong bon.
-2 Passport Photos.
-$$ I dont remember how much it exactly cost. But you need to pay Cash or Money order. No checks or credit cards. I think was around $60. Bring $100 just to make sure.
-2 self addressed stamped envelopes.
Once everything is there, they will hold onto your passport. And then they will tell you when you can pick your passport up. They told me it would only take 2 days. But the lady was being nice to me since she knew I wasn’t living near the embassy so she told me to come back in 3 hours.
What you need for the ARC
-ARC application (you get it at immigration)
-Family Registry- the 2 different types. Original. Cannot be a copy.
-a copy of your parent’s naturalization papers receipt given to you when you were applying for your Visa.
-Copy of your birth certificate.
-U.S. passport- bring your passport and a copy.
-2 ID photos (get it done in Korea, because the dimensions are different).
-A 10,000 won stamp. (equivalent to 10 dollars) (you can get this at the immigration office)
They will hold onto your passport and then you go back in 10 days to pick up your passport and your ARC.
What you need altogether.
-Visa Application Form (Visa)
-ARC Application (ARC)
-U.S. Passport- original and 3 copies. (Visa- original +2 copies. ARC-original +1 copy)
-Birth Certificate- Original and 3 copies. (Visa-original + 2 copies. ARC-1 copy)
-Parent’s U.S. Naturalization documents- Original and 2 copies. (Visa)
-U.S. Naturalization paper – 1 copy (ARC- 1 copy)
-Family Registry- the 2 different types and 3 originals of each. (Visa- 2 copies. ARC- 1 copy)
-Photos – 4 total (Visa- 2. ARC-2)
-10,000 won stamp
And that’s it. Oh yeah, and a reminder. When you go to get your Family Registries, you need to bring your Family Stamp so that they know you are part of that family (especially since you will not be on the family registry if you were born in the U.S.).
Hopefully, this post will help those of you guys who want to get an F4 visa. Because I know for me I was searching all around the internet for the papers that I needed, and even on the embassy website it’s not very specific. You don’t really know what you need until you get there trying to get your Visa and they tell you you’re missing a whole bunch of stuff.
Hope this helps!