APPLYING FOR / SWITCHING TO F-4 VISA
Please read this entire page carefully before contacting us. Answers to most general questions can be found on this page.
For those with a Korean phone number, questions reagarding making an appointment on the HiKorea website, visa application status, visa eligibility (non F-4), etc. should be directed to the multi-lingual immigration helpline at < 1345 >.
In 1999, G.O.A.’L successfully petitioned the Korean government to include Korean adoptees in the Overseas Korean Act, allowing adoptees access to the F-4 visa. This visa was, and still is, preferable to all other short-term visas. The F-4 visa has many advantages including wider access to professional jobs without needing visa sponsorship, no Korean language requirement for eligibility (for adoptees only), and a longer sojourn period (3 years instead of 1 year).
NOTE: As of September 2019, immigration is now enforcing the requirement for a criminal background check for F-4 applicants. The background check must be completed in your adoptive country and apostilled*. This is not optional.
*Apostilles are only required for countries under the Hague Apostille Convention.
A. Valid passport (여권) - Passport must be valid for 3+ years* from the date of application. Immigration requires to see the original + a color copy.
*Ex) If you apply for the F-4 visa on 1 January 2019, your passport expiration date must be 1 January 2022 or later.
B. Two current 3.5 x 4.5 cm (1.4 x 1.8 in) photos
-Less than 6 months old
C. Adoption Certificate (입양인사실확인서)
-Submit copy that is less than 3 months old as of date of insuance*
-This document must be requested from the Korean adoption agency (if still in existence)
Eastern Social Welfare Society:
02-332-3941 (from overseas: +82-2-332-3941)
Korea Social Services:
02-908-9191 (from overseas: +82-2-908-9191)
Social Welfare Society:
In your request, please provide the following:
Note: G.O.A.'L cannot request the adoption certificate for you. You must contact your Korean agency directly to obtain your certificate. You can pick it up at the agency building during regular working hours, have it emailed, or have it mailed (for those in Korea).
*Ex) If you submit an application on 1 January 2019, the issue date on the adoption certificate must be between either 1 October 2018 ~ 1 January 2019 -or- 1 January ~ 1 April 2019
D. Korean Family Registry [가족관계증명서 (Family Relation Certificate) -and- 기본증명서 (Basic Certificate)]
-Copy dated less than 6 months from date of application*
Ask for the Family Relation Certificate and Basic Certificate first. If they cannot be found, ask for the 제적등본 (Removal Certificate)
*For Seoul Immigration and Seoul Southern Immigration applicants, there is a Jumin Center across from the immigration building
E. Certificate of Citizenship/Naturalization (외국국적 취득 관련 서류)
-Submit a copy only
-If the certificate is not in English, please translate from your language to English or Korean*
-If you do not have a Certificate of Citizenship/Naturalization, you will need to apply for either a replacement or a new certificate within your adoptive country. This document is not optional.
US citizens: You are required to present your original certficate for inspection as well as a color copy.
French citizens - For more information regarding this document, please refer to the following website -> https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F1051
*G.O.A.'L can assist with the translation of certain adoption-related documents as authorized by the Ministry of Justice-Immigration Service. Please contact us for more information.
F. KRW 130,000 application fee
-KRW 100,000 in cash (general application fee) exchanged for revenue stamps at the immigration building
*You must be able to sign for the delivery or have a locked mailbox. The post office is not allowed to leave the delivery in an unlocked box or on a doorstep.
NOTE: If you obtained your F-4 visa outside of Korea, you are still required to apply for the ARC (Alien Registration Card). The fee is KRW 30,000.
G. Copy of housing lease (rental agreement)
-If your name is not on the lease, you will need to complete the "Confirmation of Residence/Accommodation Form" + provide a copy of the ID of the person whose name is on the lease (house mate, friend, partner, etc) + a copy of their lease/contract
H. Criminal background check from adoptive country + apostille
-Must be a background check completed in adoptive country
NOTE: You can have your fingerprints taken in Korea by going to any of the district police stations
For those renewing (extending) their visa, if you have been living in Korea for more than 6 months as of 2 September 2019, you do not need to submit a background check during time of next renewal. If you have lived outside of Korea (while maintaining your F-4) for more than 6 months in another country, you will need to submit a criminal background check
1. Make sure you have your PASSPORT and CERTIFICATE OF NATURALIZATION or CITIZENSHIP. If your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship is not in English or Korean, it will need to be translated.
2. Once you obtain your ADOPTION CERTIFICATE from the adoption agency, you are ready to make an appointment at immigration. Go to the HiKorea immigration website to make an appointment for "Application for Sojourn".
3. On your appointment day, do not forget to bring the required documents + photos.
4. Pick up your Alien Registration Card (F-4 visa + ARC in one) at the immigration office on the date given by the immigration officer. (You can also have it delivered to your registered address for an added fee of KRW 3,000.)
IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ
1. The processing time for the F-4 visa is approximately 2-4 weeks. If you leave the country during the issuance period, your application will be canceled.
2. You may be required to renounce your Korean citizenship at the immigration office during your application appointment. This is ONLY an administrative step -- your Korean citizenship was already revoked 6 months after you acquired citizenship in your adoptive country.
3. Make sure to check with the immigration office about when and where you should pick up your ARC.
4. If you currently have a different visa and plan to switch to the F-4, you may be asked to present a copy of your current rental agreement. If you do not have a rental agreement and are living with a friend or family member, they will be required to provide the Confirmation of Residence/Accommodation form.
To download a PDF version of the required documents, please click the following link:
You are required to book your immigration visit online at www.hikorea.go.kr prior to visit. Walk-ins are not accepted.
Please contact the immigration helpline at 1345 if you need assitance making your appointment (multi-lingual support available).
If you read the page thoroughly but still need more information or if you would like to begin the application process, please contact the F-4 Visa & Dual Citizenship Mentor at [email protected]
F-4 visa application assistance is a paid member service. If you are not currently a member and would like help applying for the F-4 visa, please consider becoming a member. More information on membership can be found here.