Another milestone in immigrating to Korea! I’m successfully put in my application to be registered as an alien. The process moves pretty slow here, but I can’t complain too much since I know it’ll move many times slower once we try to do the reverse process in Canada. Maybe I’ve become too accustomed to the Korean frenetic need for convenience.
In any case, it took about 2 weeks to get an appointment scheduled at the immigration office. The immigration is a very confusing place, where you don’t know exactly which floor you should be on, you don’t know exactly what you need to pay for, and you don’t pay for things on the same floor that you get them at. But we got it done.
It’ll take another 3 weeks before I get my beautiful Alien Registration Card and can start living a more normal life.
In other news, we’re going to be getting an officetel soon to be starting up our own language business. The philosophy is going to be starting it slow and keeping our expectations down, but it’s hard to be down when things are moving so quickly. We’re in talks with an advertiser already!
We finally got my visa! The process actually went quite smoothly. We booked a trip to Osaka for 8 days. We’d been told beforehand that the visa would take at least 4 days to complete. It ended up taking 6 full days, possibly a little longer than usual due to the fact that there was a holiday last week in Japan (Keirō no Hi).
The consulate in Osaka does not make appointments and was only open from 9:00 to 11:30 each morning. We were a little panicked and made sure to get to the consulate right at 9:00am the morning after we arrived in Osaka, but actually it was not very busy and we were able to get everything submitted and checked over quickly by 9:45am. They kindly do a sanity check (looking over your application for about 10 minutes or so) when you hand in your application, which was good, as I’d forgotten to write my address in a couple spots.
Thankfully no delays or anything. I will keep the visa application page on the wiki up to date, but actually it was a relatively smooth process. Next step now that we’re back in Korea: registering as an alien!
My dream of obtaining an F-6 (spousal) visa in Korea has taken a little setback. It’s going take quite a bit more time than expected to get all of my documentation sorted, which is unfortunate because I want to start working as soon as possible.
The big surprise for me is the physical examination. It’s always been a lower priority than the other documents for the visa because I just stupidly assumed it would be relatively quick to get: just go to a doctor and get some paper some days later. I know understand it’s going to take possibly a couple weeks just to schedule the physical exam, let alone the time it’ll take afterwards to get the documentation and get everything notarized.
We still haven’t picked a location for me to get my visa at, either. We need to apply at an embassy outside of Korea and there’s a wide variety amongst Korean embassies in terms of their willingness and efficiency in processing that sort of visa application. Tokyo seems a good choice to me due to its close proximity, cheap (and frequent) flights and speedy embassy, but Sinea is wary of the radiation effects of Fukushima….