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Korea introduces new foreigner ID cards

March 28, 2023 - 13:53 By Son Ji-hyoung
Sample photos of new ID cards for foreigners living in South Korea. (Ministry of Justice)

The Ministry of Justice said Tuesday a new type of identification card will be issued to foreigners staying in South Korea for more than 90 days, starting on Saturday.

This is the first time in 12 years the ministry will introduce a new design for a Residence Card, formerly known as an Alien Registration Card.

A new Residence Card will feature a full-color photo of the holder that is 35 percent larger than the current version. The current design has a black-and-white photo of the holder. Also, the holder's photo will be moved from the left side to the right.

The new version will no longer show a holder's binary gender on the top right, marked as either "M" (male) or "F" (female). The seventh digit of a holder's registration number will instead indicate that those with either "5" or "7" is a man, and those with "6" or "8" is a woman.

Moreover, a QR code will be added to the bottom right of the card that so that the holder's information can be read through a digital scanner.

Those having their first Residence Card issued in an immigration office in Korea starting in April will have the new ID cards, as well as foreign residents who have lost their IDs or have their visa changed. Reissuance of a card is not mandatory for those who already have one, but those who wish can pay 30,000 won to get a new one.