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ARC for F-4 Visa holders now require cert. of citizenship?

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Joined: 20 Aug 2012

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:20 pm    Post subject: ARC for F-4 Visa holders now require cert. of citizenship? Reply with quote

Hello everyone. I'm a F-4 visa holder. I just came back to Korea 6 months after my last ARC expired. So I went to the office to reapply for a new ARC.

It looks like they added a rule that a certificate of citizenship is required? They are under the assumption that it is easy to get, and I should just have it faxed over. When we told them how difficult is is to get one ($600, 5 months of waiting, in person interview), they gave me a "sorry not my problem" stare and shrug. This happened at the Seoul Immigration Office.

They told me to call 1345, and they confirmed this over the phone.

My girlfriend confirmed that the Korean website says that this certificate is required. The English website however does not state that this is required.

Could I write information on a form stating the day I got my citizenship, my name isn't changed, I am the person on the family tree, and that I got the citizenship when I was a minor and do not have a certificate of citizenship, and that the US passport is proof of my citizenship, get this notarized at the US embassy? Would they accept that? That isn't what they were asking for, but that is how I got the F-4 Visa in the first place.

I also have my father's US naturalization certificate. I also have my family tree, and Korean birth certificate, and a form that states I, and all my family members, have denounced my Korean citizenship before I got the F-4 visa.

This seems to be a new requirement. I'm wondering if anyone got through it without the actual certificate of citizenship, and what was required to get that done. I am totally bummed! So is my gf who's been patiently waiting for me for a year for me to return to Korea. I really don't want to have to fly back to get a form that doesn't seem necessary. All this was already verified when I got the F-4 in the first place, and I followed and prepared all the documents on the still current English website, just not the new requirements on the Korean website (Hi Seoul).
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Joined: 20 Aug 2012

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:23 pm    Post subject: update Reply with quote

So I just wanted to do an update on the situation.

When I went to the Seoul Immigration Office originally, I was told that I needed to go to Suwon Immigration Office because the place that I had moved to now fell under that jurisdiction. They were willing to just process the paperwork, however, they asked for a certificate of citizenship. And when I told them I didn't have one, they were unwilling to accept my forms.

I don't have a cert of citizenship, so I went to the US Embassy today to get a statement notarized stating that I was a US citizen but without a cert. and I had a passport. I paid $50 to get this notarized. US Embassy also said it is inconceivable that Korea doesn't recognize passports as proof of citizenship, but that's what Korea does.

When I went to the Suwon office, they didn't request the certificate of citizenship. And everything was processed without any hiccups. I had wasted $50 and my time at the US Embassy, but now that the hassle is over, I guess I can get over trying to get a document that was unnecessary, and would have ended up unused.

But beware, Seoul Immigration Office is currently requiring a certificate of citizenship. At least for US citizens with a F-4 visa, the cert is totally unnecessary because the passport and the visa already provides proof of citizenship and that everything already has been verified through the Korean government. I hope they change that process for people soon.
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Joined: 02 Jun 2011

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If true, this is quite possibly the silliest thing I have ever heard of Korean immigration doing, and I've heard plenty of strange immigration stories over the years.

A passport is proof of citizenship, end of story. That's recognized the world over.

I'm glad to hear that you got it sorted out in Suwon.
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Joined: 20 Aug 2012

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a notice all over the office, I think in Korean, about the certificate of citizenship as one of the items on the list of requirements.

There's a chance even a birth certificate will probably not suffice. I would like to hear from people who have just gone through the Seoul Immigration Office, for the initial Alien Registration, and hear if they have problems without a certificate, or if they instead were able to use a birth certificate.
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Joined: 24 May 2012

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The immigration works in mysterious ways. Rolling Eyes

That said, you need the cert to get an F4 visa. Once you get the visa, ARC (or in your F4 case, domestic residency report card) should not require any documents as it is only a proof that you are registered alien here. Things must have gone wrong somewhere there between.

Edit: The Korean webpages indeed say so, but not the English one.
About birth certificate, I doubt they would accept it. Even if they know US gives out citizenship based on this, other countries don't (incl Korea) and birth certificates in general are therefore not really internationally useful for proving citizenships.
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Joined: 23 May 2008

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got mine renewed in February of this year, after it was expired for about 1.5 years. Submitted a copy of my passport, copy of my dad's Canadian and old Korean passport, copy of my mom's Canadian citizenship certificate and passport, two hojuk-deungbon things (mom's & dad's), copy of my Canadian birth cert, my old F-4 card and a photo of my handsome self.

No citizenship cert required, closet thing was my birth cert. Took about 3 weeks. Actually left the country without the F-4 and re-entered and the guy at immigration told me I should carry my F-4 when travelling. But I may be a lot older than you. Possibly being young could have been a factor, as rules have changed for those born in the late-80's and after.
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Joined: 27 Sep 2007

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:25 pm    Post subject: F4 Renewal Reply with quote

I just renewed my F4 at Mokdong immigration office in late September for 3 years. The document is easy to obtain. Go to your local 동사무서/주민 center and ask for a 기본증명서. If there was no activity after 2008 in regards to your citizenship, it is okay to just get your 제적 and resubmit it. This is your korean family tree which should say you have renounced your korean citizenship. Was a piece of cake.
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