F3 status finally!

Written by admin on May 10, 2008 – 6:00 am -

It’s official! I received my family’s passports from immigration last Friday and I’m pleased to say that they indeed issued my family F3 visas in Korea, Could we have been lucky or have the rules changed allowing for a change of status in South Korea. Whatever it is… I’m glad we did get them here. Included with the passports were their Certificates of Alien Registration.


Just to recap, my family arrived on tourist visa’s and changed their status in country by filling out a visa application form with photos, marriage certificate, birth certificate (for children), a copy of work visa and alien registration card plus W110,000 for each applicant. Next stop, renewal of my wife’s driver’s license.


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Posted in South Korea | 3 Comments »

F3 (Dependents) visa update

Written by admin on April 22, 2008 – 11:07 pm -

You’ve probably noticed a decrease in my blogging activities. No, I have not run out of things to write about, It is because have been pretty busy with work and also due to my family’s arrival last week.

In my previous post I’ve been venting about how confusing and inefficient the procedure is for getting the F3 visa. A few days ago I accompanied my family to the Immigration Office at Mokdong to apply for a dependents visa. Everything went very smoothly as I had made an appointment the week before online.

First of all I’d like to comment on how polite the immigration officer was, he was very patient and helpful in answering all of our queries. I was pleasantly surprised that he was going to issue the F3 visa and the Alien Registration cards. The process would take 10 days and all the documents would be couriered to my office. 

So I guess how you get your F3 visa varies on a case by case basis, others get it on the spot from the Korean Embassy, others get it by coming to Korea as a tourist and applying for it in Korea but have to leave the country to get their passports stamped and return, and in our case, coming to Korea as a tourist and be issued an F3 and alien registration cards on the spot.

Documents submitted to the Korean Immigration Service :

1. Marriage Certificate

2. Birth Certificate of children

3. Employment Certificate 

4. Photocopy of the principal’s Alien Registration Card

5. Passport size photos attached to the application forms

6. And of course, the passports.

Oh and don’t forget to bring cash to buy revenue stamps. I paid W110,000 (US$110) for each application, this includes a 1 year multiple entry visa, the Alien Registration card and courier fee.


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Posted in South Korea | 4 Comments »

The elusive F3 visa

Written by admin on April 2, 2008 – 11:00 pm -

There were no bookings for me today so last night I decided to finally stop procrastinating to apply for my family’s dependents (F3) visa. I woke up early that morning to head to the immigration office in Mokdong.Traffic was heavy on the Olympic (88) expressway and the heavy rain was making it worse. Despite the gridlock I was lucky enough to find a parking spot when I arrived. I grabbed my documents and went to the information counter and inquired which forms I needed to apply for a dependents visa. The person at the counter was very polite and told me that I had to go to a different office which was only a few blocks away. 

Upon arriving at the general vicinity of the Immigration office I had to circle the block a couple of times as there was so signage until I found a small one which indicated that the office was 50m away. I decided to park and find the place on foot which would be easier. When I finally found the place, I filled up all the appropriate forms and got my cue number, the wait wasn’t that long and I was soon being serviced by an officer. After looking through my documents, the officer said that my family would have to apply for the F3 visa. I explained to the officer that my wife had already been to the consulate and was told that I would have to apply in Korea for them, but she politely insisted that there was nothing she could do about it, unless they were already in Korea. 

While driving back I was so frustrated and trying to rationalize why it was so difficult to arrange for a dependents visa while all the other countries I’ve worked in practically give them away once the principal’s work visa is approved.

That day I sent an notarized invitation letter, work contract, photocopies of my passport, work visa and alien registration card. My wife received the documents the next day and went back to the consulate. This time she was told that she also needed to provide an my employment certificate, an invitation from my office. So I that’s what I did and sent her documents the very next day… Now its wait and see if more paperwork is required.

Here come my comments..  Don’t they already have all of my information, the fact that I have an alien registration card, visa and re-entry permit should be proof enough that I’m a legal resident alien. So what’s with all the invitation letters? 

Getting a visa while in the country is different from other wherein you cannot change your status while in the country, you have to leave and get your visa from your country of origin thats the reason why I was counting on being able to process the visa from overseas so as to avoid all the expenses of coming and leaving. Why won’t they process dependent’s visas in overseas? 



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Posted in South Korea | 3 Comments »