This is going to be a lot shorter than part one, because getting to the Suwon Immigration Offices was the hardest part of the entire ordeal (thanks, Super).
Had I been given all the information I needed about the application process before going to the office, this would have been a walk in the park. Despite not knowing really what to expect, it was still really easy.
I rock into the building, and say “alien registration card-uh” to the information lady sat in the lobby and she pointed me in the right direction.
It seems like a lot of Korean words end in a vowel sound, and so if you add “uh” to the end of an English word, you instantly make it sound more Korean. As does breaking a word up into syllables that could be said in Korean. This trick doesn’t always work (I’m sure “card-uh” isn’t one) but sometimes (i.e. “English-ee handpone” for “English hand phone”) it does.
I hate to side note a side note… but when I was here last time mobile phones were called “hand phones”. They aren’t anymore. They are either smart phones or cell phones. And it was “pone” because the F sound doesn’t exist in Korean. That’s why “coffee” in Korean is “ko-pay”. Or was. They seem to be just saying it in English now. And mostly drinking cappucinnos, lattes and (strangely) caramel macchiatos.
::END SIDE NOTE::
The first thing I did was grab a number – I was about 20 or so behind the currently served number. There was another “information” table, so I went up and asked about a form for the ARC (Alien Registration Card). She pointed at another person. I went to her, she pointed back to the first table I had been at. Fortunately, she also spoke English, so when I told her that they said to come to her, she went back over with me and found the form.
I filled out the form, glued my picture to it, and sat down to wait. I was expecting to be there for hours, but I probably only waited about 25 minutes. Well done, Suwon.
The government guy who helped me had some English and was very helpful. He partially processed my form, but I had to go to an ATM to pay the fee (which was, to my dismay, 30,000 won, not 10,000 won as the internet had told me).
There was an ATM lady (so helpful!) that took my cash and helped me pay the right fee. I took that receipt and then went to another table to get delivery of my card arranged. That was another 4,000won, and it had to be paid in cash. I was really happy I had cash on me at this point! I was also happy that I had a business card for the school (where I wanted the card to be delivered to), as it had the address in Korean.
If you are in Korea doing… stuff… whatever it is you are doing: Having a business card for the school (or your employer, whoever it may be) is a grand idea. It’s been helpful to me a few times now.
::END SIDE NOTE::
I got the receipt for that and rocked back up to the same window where my helpful government guy was sat. He had to do a couple more things and… finished.
A couple weeks later I had my ARC. Other than dealing with Super and actually trying to find the offices, the process was quick and relatively painless.
Now with my ARC in hand, the next stop on the Bureaucracy Train will be to get myself a bank account…