As a foreigner in Korea, there are times when you will seek services from the Korean immigration such as extension of stay, getting or renewing your alien registration card, checking your visa status and others. Below, we have put together a complete guide on how to use the HiKorea website to conveniently get access to the Korean immigration services for foreigners living in Korea.
What is the HiKorea website? What can I do through Korea immigration’s HiKorea website?
The HiKorea Korean Immigration Service website is a portal for foreign immigration services in Korea. HiKorea is a government website established by the Korean Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Knowledge Economy, and Ministry of Labor to provide online services and important information for foreigners (visiting and residing) in Korea. On the HiKorea website, you will find relevant information and services for foreign immigration and sojourn, naturalization, investment, employment, residence, social integration programs, and the most recent news on visas and visa adjustments.
If you are planning to come to South Korea, or if you are here and plan to stay longer than the required tourist visa period, you cannot stay without a visit to the Korean Immigration Offices. You will have to apply for an Alien Registration Card (ARC) to notify the Korea Government of your extended stay in Korea and purpose for your stay. Your ARC serves as a government identification card in Korea and gives you access to important services, such as creating a bank account, applying for medical insurance, obtaining a driver’s license, etc.
To validate your period of stay and to obtain an ARC, you will have to make an online reservation and trip to the Korean Immigration Offices through the HiKorea website portal. The Korean Immigration Offices do not normally take walk-in appointments (and if they do it is usually only for emergencies or visas expiring on the same day).
The HiKorea website can be a bit tricky to navigate as only three language options are available (Korean, Chinese, and English) and most links on the site will take you to a page available only in Korean (including the guide on how to use the online application portal). In this article, we will break down the steps required to make an appointment with the Korean Immigration Offices and help you answer frequently asked questions related to HiKorea’s website.
Tip: It is important to note that for the best experience in using the HiKorea website, it is recommended to use internet explorer to access the website. Google Chrome is NOT compatible with the HiKorea website and neither are most browsers.
The HiKorea Mobile Website
In October, 2017, HiKorea began offering mobile services for anyone wishing to make an appointment at the Korean Immigration Offices via cellphone. The HiKorea mobile website is essentially the same as the desktop website, but a bit more easy to navigate for many as your phone browser usually won’t experience the same complications as your desktop browser. If you are having trouble creating an appointment with Korean Immigration through the HiKorea desktop website, we recommend using the HiKorea mobile website on desktop.
The HiKorea mobile website is also only available in three languages (Korean, English, and Chinese). You can select which language you want to use in the top right corner of the website. From here, the process of creating an appointment with the Korean immigration service is the same as below.
How do I make an appointment with the Korean immigration service?
The Korean Immigration Offices now only offer services to those who make an appointment in advance. You will have to make an online reservation for services such as extending/transferring your visa, applying for an ARC, etc. You must currently be in Korea to create an appointment through HiKorea. This can all be done through the HiKorea online website and is a fairly simple process to follow. Follow these steps to reserve your appointment for the Korean Immigration Offices.
Go to the HiKorea website and click on the “Reserve Visit” button.
Choose the correct button at the bottom of the next web page to make a reservation as a HiKorea member (left) or non-member (right). If this is your first time visiting the immigration office, or you do not have a HiKorea account, you can make an appointment as a non-member using your ARC or passport information. If this is your first time applying for an ARC in Korea, you will have to use your passport information.
If you choose to use your ARC information, click on the tab that says “Identity Verification of Registered Foreigner”. You will just need to type in your ARC number and issue date and click confirm. If you choose to use your passport information, click on the tab that says “Identity Verification Using Passport Number”. You will then have to enter your passport number, country of citizenship, and date of birth. Click confirm once you are finished.
Next, you will have to fill out your appointment application form. You will first have to choose which immigration office you would like to create your reservation for next to the “Competent Authority” tab. If you are unsure of which immigration office you should visit, click on the “detailed search” button. A pop-up window will appear where you can input the region and then the city, county, and/or district (si, gun, gu) in which you live to find the correct immigration office to visit.* If you live in Seoul you can just enter your district name (gu).
*Note that results from the detailed search for immigration offices will only appear in Korean.
Choose which booth category you are visiting. Foreigners coming from most countries should choose the “Foreign Residence Control (non-Chinese)” option. If you are a citizen of China, you should choose the “Foreign Residence Control (Chinese) option. These are the two most common options.
You will then be required to select the reason why you are reserving an appointment from the list of available options. You will have the option to enter your mobile phone number (Korean) for reservation messages right after this section (we advise you to do this to receive an update on your reservation date and number).
Create a 4-digit password in order to create changes to your reservation or make a correction later.
Lastly, choose the date you would like to visit the immigration office. Click on the calendar button and you will see a list of dates available by month. If you are applying for an ARC or extending your visa, be mindful of the expiration date of your visa to avoid unnecessary fines. Try to choose a reservation date that allows for the soonest visit possible as reservations for the immigration offices can fill up fast.
You have the option to describe the purpose of your visit if you may need a bit more help on your appointment day. Choose the apply button and your visit will then be confirmed.
You will be directed to a new page with your reservation receipt. Make sure to save and print this receipt for your visit. You must bring your reservation receipt with you on the day of your appointment.
How do I edit or cancel an appointment on the HiKorea Korean Immigration Services website?
After reserving an appointment with the Korean immigration service, cancellation of appointment on the appointment due date is not allowed. However, if you wish to cancel prior to the reserved date, follow these steps to cancel or edit your appointment.
Log in to the HiKorea website and click on the “My Page” button at the top right of the webpage.
Click on the “Reserve Visit Status” button on the left side of the page and you will be redirected to a page with a list of your reserved appointments.
Click on the appointment date to be redirected to a page that shows detailed information of your appointment. You can choose to edit your appointment information if you wish to change your appointment details or cancel the appointment if you don’t need it anymore.
To cancel your appointment, click on the “Cancel” button at the bottom of the page.
How can I check my HiKorea visa status for Korea?
On the HiKorea website you can quickly and easily check and print your visa application status. Keep in mind that after you submit your visa application, your visa could take some time to be approved by the Korean Immigration depending on the type of visa you are applying for. The online application status of your visa will depend on updates from the Korean Immigration and the status may not be updated as often as you may hope. Nevertheless, if you need to check the status of your visa application or would like to print the confirmation of your visa issuance, you can follow these easy steps to do so:
This new webpage will allow you to enter your personal information registered with the Korean Immigration to check and print different application statuses. Here, you can check the application status for diplomatic offices, e-visa (Individual or Group), confirmation of visa issuance, visa application center, and no visa.
Depending on the option you choose, you will need to enter your application number, receipt number, or passport number along with your full name on your passport and date of birth. Click search and you will be given your results.
Can I extend my stay in Korea?
Foreigners whose period of stay will expire soon can apply to extend their stay in South Korea depending on the status and purpose of stay. Application for an extension of stay can be done four months prior to the expiration date of the current period of stay. However, in case of applying for an extension of stay after the expiration date, he/she must pay a penalty.
To apply for an extension of stay in South Korea through the HiKorea website, follow the steps below.
Log in to the HiKorea website and click on the “Apply” button under the “Petition Application” box.
Select the option that applies to your application for detailed information on required documents, fee, related laws and regulations, etc. There are different options when extending stay in Korea such as extension of stay for foreigners, extension of sojourn for overseas Korean (F-4), permission for extension of stay for short-term visitors and extension of stay for registered foreigners.
Click on the “I agree” box at the bottom of the page and click on the “Next” button.
Fill out your information and attach the required documents.
Pay the fee for the application. The fee is KRW 50,000 and non-refundable if the application is normally processed. Note that the fee can change, so always check before you apply.
Submit your application and wait for it to be processed.
It takes within three business days for your application to be processed. To check the result of your application,
Log in to the HiKorea website.
Click on the “My Page” button at the top right of the page.
Click on the “e-application status” button at the left side of the page and you will be redirected to a page with a list of your applications.
Click on your application for details of the application process. In the details, you will be informed if your application was accepted or rejected or if the immigration requests for more documents to be submitted. There is usually a deadline for submitting additional documents so make sure to provide the needed documents as soon as possible.
Also, note that foreigners without machine readable passports need to reserve an appointment in advance to visit the immigration office to apply for the extension of stay, as it cannot be processed through electronic application.
What happens if you overstay your visa in Korea?
Overstaying your Korean visa is never a good idea, but it obviously happens, especially during a pandemic. When force majeure events occur, Korean Immigration authorities will do their best to accommodate you and extend your visa, but don’t wait, check their website or with your local district office if you’re in danger of overstaying.
If you do overstay, expect to be fined, the amount of which accrues on a daily basis. Every few years, local authorities also offer amnesty for overstays, but you’ll likely be blacklisted if you go take advantage of this option.