What is the change? Appointment scheduling for immigration processes must now be done online with the pre-reservation visit system. 

What does the change mean? Individuals who do not have a pre-booked appointment may not be able to process their application by walk-in.

  • Implementation time frame: The online appointment system was launched in February with full implementation May 2.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals registering their residence or who have F-4 status.
  • Impact on processing times: Foreign employees will not have to wait in line and processing of immigration applications will be more efficient.

Background: Korean immigration authorities recently started implementing the online appointment system at certain high-volume locations in the Seoul metropolitan area (the main Seoul Immigration Office, as well as the Ansan, Incheon, Sejongro, Seoul Southern and Suwon Immigration Office and Ansan Immigration Offices). The purpose of the online reservation system is to eliminate long wait times and reduce confusion that results from large crowds waiting in line at the immigration offices. March and September are particularly busy as they are peak months for foreign exchange student applications, and employers and foreign employees should book appointments accordingly.

BAL Analysis: Applicants are encouraged to fully utilize the online appointment system to book reservations in advance so that they may quickly file applications at the Immigration Office without waiting in long lines for visas, alien registration cards and other applications that require their presence. Applicants who have made reservations will have priority, so walk-ins should expect long wait times or having to return at a later date with a reservation.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in South Korea. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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