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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
52 MINUTE READ
November 17, 2022

Appointments FAQ

Q: Do I have to make an appointment?

A: Yes, all routine services require an appointment. Please visit our website to make an appointment.

Q: Will I receive a reminder email after I have made an appointment online for a US passport/Consular Report of Birth Aboard/notary service?

A: Yes, you will receive a reminder email will be sent to you prior to your appointment.

Q: I made an appointment but I was not able to print out the confirmation page. Do I have to bring the appointment confirmation page with me when I visit the Embassy on my appointment date?

A: No, you do not need to bring your appointment confirmation page to enter the U.S. Embassy as long as you have scheduled an appointment online.

Q: I would like to cancel or reschedule my existing passport appointment but forgot my password.

A: As we explained on our appointment page, your passport appointment password is not retrievable. If you can’t show up on your appointment date, your appointment will be automatically cancelled without penalty. If you lost your password and are unable to change, confirm, reschedule your appointment, please try rescheduling an appointment after 1-2 days when the previous appointment is automatically cancelled in the system.

Q: Can I request an emergency notarial service at the Embassy?

A: No, notarial services are provided by appointment only. Notarial needs are not considered to be an emergency. If you arrive at the Embassy for a notarial service without an appointment, you will not be allowed to enter.

Passports FAQ

Q: I am traveling very soon. How can I get a passport in a hurry?

A: The U.S. Embassy is able to issue emergency (limited validity) passports to facilitate travel for genuine emergencies only. Bearers must apply again for a full validity passport upon completion of the emergency travel. Please schedule an appointment on the embassy’s appointment page and appear in person to explain your urgent need for travel. Bring a travel itinerary in addition to the online passport application and supporting documents and fee listed on our website. Normally, emergency passports can be printed on the same day.

Q: When should I renew my passport?

A: You may renew your passport at any time before or after it expires.

Q: I was issued a Social Security Number (SSN) but cannot remember it. Do I have to provide it on my passport application?

Providing a social security number (SSN) on the passport application is mandatory if the applicant has been issued a number. If you cannot remember the SSN assigned to you, please refer to the Federal Benefits Unit in U.S. Embassy Manila website. (https://ph.usembassy.gov/services/social-security) for information on obtaining a replacement Social Security number card. After receiving your card, you can then apply for a U.S. passport.

– If they reply saying no number exists, write 000-00-0000 on the application form and bring the email response with you when you apply for the passport as proof.

Q: Is an electronic signature valid for a passport application?

A: No, electronically signed applications will not be accepted

Q: Is it acceptable for my new born baby’s eyes to be closed in his or her passport photo?

A: It is acceptable if an infant’s eyes, particularly a newborn’s, are not, or are not entirely, open. All other children must have their eyes open and look straight ahead towards the camera.

Q: Do I submit my passport application directly to the United States?

A: No. You must apply for the passport at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you are currently present. If you are in Korea, you must submit your application to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea.

Q: Will I get my old passport back when I renew it?

A: Yes. In nearly all cases, your old passport will be cancelled and returned to you with the new one. Please keep all old passports in a safe place as they provide valuable information about your past travel; do not throw them away or otherwise dispose of them. If we are not able to return your old passport for any reason, we will discuss this with you at the time of application.

Q: I was not issued a Social Security Number. How do I complete the social security number field on the passport wizard?

A: If you do not have a Social Security number assigned yet, please enter 000-00-0000 on your passport application in lieu of your number. If you have entered zeros instead of an SSN, please do not submit your passport application via mail or courier. You must make an appointment to submit your application at the Embassy. In addition, please refer to the Federal Benefits Unit in U.S. Embassy Manila website. (https://ph.usembassy.gov/services/social-security) in order for you to receive an email confirming that you do not have a Social Security number assigned and submit the email response with your passport application. When sending your email request, you will need to include your full name, date of birth, place of birth, parents’ full names and current address.

Q: When I am filling out a U.S. passport application, can I select the “expedite fee” option by paying an additional fee?

A: No. All passports printed for citizens abroad are automatically expedited and additional options are not available when you apply from outside the United States. Please refer to the tip for using passport wizard. (PDF 1.5 MB)

Q: Can I apply to have additional pages added to my current passport?

A: No, additional passport pages are no longer available as of December 31, 2015. If you are running low on passport pages, we recommend you apply for a new passport. Please refer to our passport page for detailed information for passport renewal.

Q: I would like to change my name in my U.S. passport. How do I change my name on my passport?

A: If you wish to have your passport changed to reflect a name change, you must provide evidence to support your name change such as an original or certified true copy of a marriage certificate or court order. Non-English documents should be accompanied by English translations. Please see our website for more information.

Q: Can someone pick up my passport for me? What document will they need to provide?

A: If you would like to have a family member or trusted friend pick up your new passport at the embassy, please give him or her signed letter authorizing them to perform this service for you. They must bring this letter along with a valid government issued identification when picking up your passport.

Q: I am applying for my child’s passport. Your website says I need to bring evidence of my relationship with my child. My child is a dual citizen. May I bring my child’s Korean family relationship certificate as evidence of me and my child’s relationship?

A: No. For first time applications the following documents are acceptable only:

Certified U.S. birth certificate with both parents’ names or,
Consular Report of Birth Abroad with both parents’ names or,
Adoption decree with adopting parents’ names or,
Court order establishing custody or,
Court order establishing guardianship

Q: To renew a child’s passport, your website says I need to prepare photos of my child’s development since the issuance of the most recent passport. How many photos should I prepare? Can I bring it in an electronic form having it saved in an electronic device such as USB, mobile phone, or a laptop computer?

A: We recommend a minimum of one photograph per year to show a child’s age progression. The photographs must be sufficient to show the natural changes in the child’s appearance from the previous passport photograph to the child’s current picture. We cannot accept any digital media. Please print hardcopies of the photographs and bring them with you to the appointment.

Q: Can I come to the Busan Consulate and submit my passport applications?

A: Unfortunately, there are no consular services available at the Busan Consulate.

Pay.gov Pilot for DS-82 Payment  FAQ

The U.S. Department of State is conducting a pilot program allowing U.S. citizens resident in the Republic of Korea to pay for a DS-82 U.S. Passport Renewal Application online. Beginning May 23, 2021, adult passport renewal applicants wishing to pay the application fees online via electronic funds transfer from a U.S. based bank account, U.S. or international credit or debit card, Amazon Pay, or PayPal may do so. Paying online for a U.S. passport renewal through this mechanism allows you to courier your application to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul without the need to apply in person at the embassy or mail a money order. The process is also more convenient because you can apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Q: Who is eligible to pay online and renew their passport by mail?

A: You may be eligible to apply via online payment if you are an adult (16 years and older) who already has a 10-year U.S. passport book issued no more than 15 years ago. You must be resident in and have a mailing address in Korea.

Q: Can minors (younger than 16 years) pay fees online and renew by mail?

A: No. Online fee payment and mail-in review is only available for adults (16 and older) with a 10-year passport book that was issued 15 years ago or less. To apply for a minor’s passport, both parents/guardians must authorize in person the issuance of the child’s passport. For more information, click here. Children under age 16 cannot apply for a passport by themselves.

Q: What if I don’t have a passport book? Can I still participate?

A: No. To participate in the pilot, you must have in your possession a passport book that is valid for ten years. During the application process, you will be required to courier your current passport and your passport application to the U.S. Embassy.

If you do not have your passport book in your possession, you must apply for a new one in person using a DS-11 passport application form.

Q: What if I don’t have a passport book because it was lost or stolen? Can I still pay online and mail my application to the Embassy?

A: No. You will need to apply for a new passport in person at the U.S. Embassy. Instructions can be found here.

Q: What payment methods are available for use via Pay.gov?

A: You can pay the $130 fee by electronic check/transfer, credit/debit card, PayPal, or Amazon Pay on Pay.gov. This amount cannot be altered. You must pay the fee in U.S. dollars.

Q: Do I need special software or computer equipment to pay for my U.S. passport via Pay.gov?

A: No. All you need is a computer or mobile device with internet access and a web browser.

Q: Is the online process safe?

A: Yes. The payment form on Pay.gov will be encrypted to ensure your personal information is secure.

Q: How do I know that my payment information is secure?

A: Pay.gov is a secure portal used by more 40 U.S. government agencies to collect forms and payments. Pay.gov uses 128-bit SSL encryption to protect your transaction.

Q: Can I pay for more than one passport at a time in a single transaction on pay.gov?

A: No. You must complete a new payment form for each passport application.

Q: After a successful payment is made via Pay.gov for my passport renewal, where should I mail the email confirmation and completed DS-82 application?

A: Please courier your electronic payment confirmation, current passport, passport photo, and signed DS-82 application to the embassy using Ilyang courier. Please see more details here.

Q: What are the steps for paying online for my U.S. passport renewal via Pay.gov?

A: 1. Acknowledge the disclaimers and notices;

2. Verify your eligibility;

3. Visit the Pay.gov link;

4. Pay for the U.S. passport;

5. Await email confirmation for passport payment;

6. Print email confirmation of passport payment;

7. Fill out DS-82 Application including signature and photo; and

8. Mail email confirmation for passport payment, signed DS-82 application, prior passport, and photo via courier to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.

Q: What if I want to pay in person or I already have an international money order?

A: In person appointments are reserved for those who must apply with a DS-11 except in extraordinary circumstances. International money orders are still accepted. Please see instructions here.

Q: How long will it take to receive my passport in the mail?

A: You should receive your passport by courier within four-six weeks, the Department’s current processing time for routine service. If you have a need for immediate international travel, we may be able to issue you a limited validity emergency passport that will be valid for one year. Please make an appointment and come to the Embassy in person. We are unable to process requests for expedited service through the pilot online payment process via Pay.gov.

Q: How do I check the status of my DS-82 application?

A: Please refer to our DS-82 status check website.

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and Birth Certificates FAQ

Q: My child was born outside of the United States and I am a U.S. Citizen, what do I need to do?

A: As U.S. citizen parent(s), you should report your child’s birth abroad as soon as possible to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for an official record called Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). A Consular Report of Birth can only be prepared at a U.S. embassy or consulate. It cannot be prepared if the child is 18 years of age or older at the time the application is made. This document establishes your child’s claim to U.S. citizenship at birth. Please refer to our CRBA page for detailed information.

If at least one parent is a Korean national and your child can obtain a Korean citizenship, you have up to 30 days to report the child’s birth to your local district ward office. If your child is not a dual citizen of Korea and USA, you have up to 90 days to report the birth to the Korean Immigration Office for visa purposes. Please note that these rules are subject to change without notice; please check with the relevant office directly for the most up-to-date information.

Q: I am a U.S. citizen and recently had a baby. When do I need to register my child’s birth with the Embassy?

A: Although applications for a report of birth (CRBA) must be made before the child’s 18th birthday, we strongly recommend that parents apply for CRBA as soon as possible after the birth of the child. If neither parents are Korean citizens, Korean Immigration requires to register your child as a U.S. citizen within 90 days of his/her birth. If at least one biological parent is a Korean citizen, the child needs to be reported to the Korean government within 30 days of birth. Please visit the local gu-chong (ward office) for more information.

Q: Could you please check our documents to see if these are sufficient to apply for the CRBA/passport? We live down South and we certainly do not want to take another trip to the embassy.

A: Unfortunately, we cannot preview your documents or provide you with an answer before the actual interview. As individual circumstances differ, please bring all of the necessary documents requested on our website and that you have available to the interview. The interviewing officer will determine whether the submitted documents are sufficient or not. If the interviewing officer requests additional documents, you will be able to send them in via email or the Ilyang courier service, depending on the case.

Q: I was issued a Consular Report of Birth Abroad at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, but I misplaced it. How do I obtain a new one?

A: The embassy office does not keep Consular Report of Birth Abroad records and forwards all documentation to the Department of State. Please refer to the Department of State website for information about how to replace a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

Q: How to obtain an amended Consular Report of Birth Abroad?

A: The embassy office does not keep Consular Report of Birth Abroad records and forwards all documentation to the Department of State. Please refer to the Department of State website for information about how to replace a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

Social Security FAQ

Q: Where do I contact to inquire about social security related questions or concerns? Is there a Social Security Administration office at the U.S. Embassy in Korea?

A: The U.S. Embassy in Seoul is not a Social Security claims-processing post. The Social Security Administration’s regional office is located in Manila, Philippines. For any inquiries regarding social security such as social security benefits, status of your social security card application, required documentation, social security claims, etc., please contact:

Website: https://ph.usembassy.gov/services/social-security
Phone Number: +63-2-5301-2000 option 9 (open from 8:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M., Tuesdays and Thursdays, except on Philippines and U.S. holidays)
Fax Number: +63-2-8708-9723

Social Security Administration
1201 Roxas Boulevard
Ermita, 0930 Manila
Philippines

You will need to provide your full name, date of birth, place of birth, parents’ full names and current address.

Notarials, Apostille & Authentication FAQ

Q: Can I request an emergency notarial service at the Embassy?

A : No, notarial services are provided by appointment only. Notarial needs are not considered to be an emergency. If you arrive at the Embassy for a notarial service without an appointment, you will not be allowed to enter.

Q: Where can I get the notary forms? I would like to fill it out in advance.

A: Forms are normally brought to the interview by the applicants. For specific requests, we will provide you with the forms when you visit our office, with an appointment

Q: What is the processing time for getting my documents notarized?

A: As long as you have the documents in good order, the notary seal will be provided at the end of the interview.

Q: Can I get fingerprints and FBI background check apostille service at the U.S. Embassy?

A: Unfortunately, the embassy cannot assist with obtaining criminal background checks. You can get a copy of your FBI record by submitting a written request to the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) website.

The Korean National Police Agency informed the U.S. Embassy that the civil service center at district-level police stations in Korea should be able to provide fingerprint services without charge.  Please call your local district-level police station to verify hours and procedures.  You may have to go to another police station if your local police station does not have the necessary equipment or staffing.  Please visit the Korean National Police Agency’s official website to find a local police station closest to your residence.

Please refer to the CJIS website for information on how to obtain an apostille on your FBI background check.

Q: Can the embassy help me to get an apostille or authentication of my academic records?

A: No. Effective January 1, 1983, the U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad ceased to authenticate or apostille academic credentials, transcripts or degrees.

Q: I need to get my Korean document apostilled, how do I get an apostille for my Korean document?

A: Korean documents can be apostilled at the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Korean Apostille Issuing Authority. Please contact the Korean Apostille Issuing Authority directly for guidance.

Q: What do I need to bring in order to get documents notarized?

A: Please bring a valid photo ID along with the documents after you make an appointment with us.

Q: Can I get a certificate or proof of residency at the Embassy?

A: There is no such document to prove one’s residency but there is an affidavit form you can fill out when you visit our office. Please note however, that the U.S. Embassy is not in a position to verify the statement you make or the information in any attached document. Only the identity of the individual making the statement is being confirmed. The cost is $50 per notary service. Please visit our website to make an appointment and for further information.

Q: I changed my name. Can I get a certificate or proof that my two names belong to the same person?

A: There is no such document to prove that one’s name has changed and that they are the same person, but there is an affidavit form you can fill out when you visit our office. Please note however, that the U.S. Embassy is not in a position to verify the statement you make or the information in any attached document. Only the identity of the individual making the statement is being confirmed. The cost is $50 per notary. Please visit our website to make an appointment and for further information.

Q: I am trying to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for my foreign-born spouse so we can file our taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS form states that I need a certified copy of my spouse’s foreign passport. Can the U.S. Embassy do this for me?

A: Yes, the U.S. Embassy can certify copies of foreign passports for the purpose of obtaining an ITIN. Please make an appointment for notarial services on our website. You should bring the IRS form, passport and any other supporting documents to the appointment.

Marriage/Divorce FAQ

Q: I got married in Korea and registered my marriage here. Do I need to register my marriage with the U.S. government?

A: Marriages in Korea are not reported to the United States since the U.S. does not have a central marriage registry, and the U.S. Embassy does not keep a record of marriages performed in Korea. In general, marriages that are legally performed and valid abroad are also legally valid in the United States. Although marriage statutes in the U.S. differ from state to state, a marriage performed in Korea under the Korean law is recognized in all states. Please visit the Department of State’s website for more information about Marriage Abroad.

Please note that the marriage certificates issued by the Korean ward office are official Korean government documents and may be generally acknowledged in the United States. However, we recommend having your Korean marriage certificate authenticated with the attachment of an apostille. You may have your Korean marriage certificate authenticated by contacting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Republic of Korea at 02-2002-0251/0252.

Q: I am a US citizen and need to provide proof that I am not married so that I can marry in Korea. How do I prove I am not married?

A: Please schedule an appointment under a notarial service. We will provide the necessary affidavit form required in Korea when you arrive. The fee is $50 dollars for each affidavit.

Q: I got married in Korea several years ago and I need to obtain my Korean marriage certificate. How and where can I get a copy?

A: Most civil marriages in Korea take place at a local ward office. The embassy assists with marriages of U.S. citizens in Korea by notarizing Affidavits of Eligibility to Marry, a document required by the Korean government; however, no marriage records are kept by our office.

For marriages registered after January 31, 1995, a copy of the marriage certificate may be obtained from the Korean ward office where the marriage was registered.

If you registered your marriage before January 31, 1995, you may obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate by calling the Civil Service Division, Seoul City Hall at +82-2-2133-7903. Additional information may be available by telephone through the Dasan Call Center at +82-2-731-2120, a service offering English-speaking support available by pressing the appropriate prompts when dialing in.

Alternatively, you may wish to contact the Seoul Global Center (SGC) in Korea, which is run by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and is a comprehensive support center for foreigners and offers assistance in foreign languages including English. SGC offers assistance by phone at +82-2-2075-4180 or by email at hotline@seoul.go.kr. You may also visit their website at http://global.seoul.go.kr/.

Q: I am considering a divorce while I am in Korea. Can the U. S. Embassy assist me filing a divorce?

A: No, the embassy cannot assist filing a divorce, nor is there a need to report your divorce to the embassy. If you would like to process your divorce in Korea, please contact the Seoul Global Center at 02)2075-4130 for detailed information or refer to the list of the attorneys in Korea. You may also wish to refer to the Department of State website regarding divorce abroad.

Q: Can I get married to a same-sex spouse in Korea?

A: The Republic of Korea (ROK) government does not recognize same-sex marriages, even if those marriages are legally-recognized and performed in other countries, such as the United States.

Q: What can be submitted as proof of termination of a previous marriage? Would you accept a photocopy?

A: Only an original or official certified copy of legal documents such as a divorce decree, annulment or death certificate for your previous spouse(s) can be submitted as proof of termination of previous marriage(s). Copies must be certified as being true copies of the original document by the issuing court or agency and bear an original stamp or signature. Scanned, photocopied or faxed documents are not acceptable.

Dual Citizens FAQ

Q: I am a U.S. citizen/dual citizen(Korea/U.S.) and have been living in Korea. Have I lost my U.S. citizenship by staying away so long?

A: Unless a person voluntarily renounces their U.S. citizenship in person at the Embassy after the age of 18, one does not lose their U.S. citizenship. However, there are certain situations that a U.S. citizen may lose U.S. nationality and please refer to the Department of State website for more information.

Q: My son is a dual citizen and his U.S. passport has already expired. Can my child use his Korean passport to enter the U.S.?

A: Per Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 22, Section 53.1, “It is unlawful for a citizen of the United States, unless excepted under 22 CFR 53.2, to enter or depart, or attempt to enter or depart, the United States, without a valid U.S. passport.” Please apply for a renewal passport as soon as possible. If you have urgent travel plans, the embassy may be able to provide you with an emergency limited validity passport. Please make an appointment, bring all necessary forms and documents, and request an emergency (generally three-month validity) passport during the interview. You will need to bring a flight itinerary to prove the urgency of your travel. Normally, emergency passports can be printed on the same day.

Q: I am a dual citizen. My Korean name in my Korean passport is not the same in my U.S. passport. I will purchase a flight ticket to the U.S. soon. Which name do I have to use when I purchase a ticket?

A: Per Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 22, Section 53.1, “It is unlawful for a citizen of the United States, unless excepted under 22 CFR 53.2, to enter or depart, or attempt to enter or depart, the United States, without a valid U.S. passport.” Please contact the airlines regarding their regulations on this issue. Please also note that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (DHS/CBP) is responsible for U.S. entry and exit regulations. Please contact the DHS/CBP office at the port of entry where you will be landing for more information.

Q: Information on Military Service Obligations for Dual Nationals

A: All male citizens of the Republic of Korea (ROK), including dual nationals, have military service responsibilities in accordance with the Korean Constitution and the Military Service Law.

Korea’s Military Manpower Administration is responsible for implementation and enforcement of regulations related to military service responsibilities. The following details related to military service have been provided by Korean officials:

Males with multiple citizenships must choose their nationality by March 31 of the year they turn 18. Those who fail to do so are subject to military service obligations.

Male ROK nationals who were born in the ROK but later acquire a foreign citizenship automatically lose their ROK citizenship and are no longer subject to Korean military service, whether or not they notify their loss of nationality to the relevant Korean authorities. However, if these individuals did not abide by military service procedures prior to naturalizing, such as obtaining the necessary overseas travel permits, they may be subject to fines, penalties, and/or incarceration upon return to the ROK.

All male ROK nationals between the ages 25-37, including dual nationals, must obtain overseas travel permits from the MMA if they have not completed their military service and wish to travel overseas. These permits allow applicants to postpone their military service duty up until the age of 37. Those who lived overseas before age 25, must apply for these permits by January 15 of the year they turn 25. Applications may be made through a Korean embassy or consulate.

There are different categories under which dual nationals qualify for an overseas travel permit, with classification determined by factors including parents’ citizenship or residency status, time spent abroad, and time spent in Korea.

In cases where an applicant obtained a travel permit based on their parents’ overseas residency status and the parents have now returned to the ROK, the permit can be cancelled and the applicant subject to military service.

An overseas travel permit can be cancelled and an applicant subject to military service if an applicant lives in the ROK for at least six months in a period of one year, or has engaged in for-profit activities in the ROK for a total of 60 days or more during a one year period.

For more complete information, please refer to the Military Manpower Administration website www.mma.go.kr (English available).  The MMA Overseas Travel Procedure Guidebook may also provide useful information for male dual nationals.

Service Fees/Other FAQ

Q: Fees for Consular Services

A: Please refer to our website for detailed information.

Q: How do I obtain a FBI criminal background check/ Identity History Summary Check?

A: U.S. Embassy Seoul cannot provide background checks or fingerprinting services, nor can the Embassy authenticate background checks or health certificates.  Korean Immigration informed the Embassy on July 17, 2008, that they will no longer accept criminal records checks provided by an on-line service as some states and private companies are able to do. Korean Immigration will only accept an FBI criminal records check.

Local Police Check:  Contact your local police department where you reside or last resided in the United States, request that the police conduct a criminal records search and provide you with a document reflecting that there is no history of a criminal record. Local police departments may require your personal appearance in order to conduct the search.

FBI Records Check:  The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) centralizes criminal justice information and provides accurate and timely information and services to local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies, the private sector, academia, and other government agencies. For more detailed information on how to submit your criminal background check, please review the FBI website.
Fingerprints

The Korean National Police Agency informed the U.S. Embassy that the civil service center at district-level police stations in Korea should be able to provide fingerprint services without charge.  Please call your local district-level police station to verify hours and procedures.  You may have to go to another police station if your local police station does not have the necessary equipment or staffing.  Please visit the Korean National Police Agency’s official website to find a local police station closest to your residence.

The U.S. Embassy cannot offer any apostille services. An apostille is a certification that a document has been “legalized” or “authenticated” by the issuing agency through a process in which various seals are placed on the document.

The CJIS Division will authenticate U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 fingerprint search results for international requests by placing the FBI seal and the signature of a division official on the results if requested at the time of submission. Documents prepared in this way may then be sent to The U.S. Department of State, Office of Authentications by the requester to obtain an apostille if necessary. This procedure became effective on January 25, 2010 and will apply only to documents finalized after that date. Requests to authenticate previously processed results will not be accepted. This procedure replaces the letter formerly provided by the CJIS Division that indicated the service was not provided.

Q: I am a U.S. citizen who holds a valid U.S. passport. Who do I need to contact regarding regulations related to entry to, exit from the U.S. or U.S. Customs?

A: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States for all U.S. citizens as well as foreign travelers. They are also responsible for Customs. To learn about admissions and entry requirements, as well as restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, please review the U.S. CBP website. You can also contact the U.S. CBP office in Korea by email at SeoulCBP@state.gov

Q: How do I bring/send prescription drugs or medicine to Korea?

A: Drugs brought into the Republic of Korea are subject to the regulations established by the Korean Food and Drug Administration and the Korean Customs Service. We recommend that you plan in advance and confirm the procedures with the relevant Korean authorities before bringing any drugs into the Republic of Korea.

Please direct specific inquiries to:
Narcotics Policy Division
Pharmaceutical Safety Bureau
MFDS [Ministry of Food and Drug Safety]
Tel. +82 43 719 2801~16
Fax. +82 43 719 2800
E-Mail. Narcotics@korea.kr

Additional details may be found at the KFDA website: https://www.mfds.go.kr/index.do 

Q: Should I register with the Embassy/Department of State while I am in Korea as a U.S. citizen?

A: We recommend that you register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so that we can better assist you in case of an emergency while you are abroad. We encourage you to enroll whether you are visiting Korea or residing here.

Q: I’m leaving Korea. How do I remove myself from registration/enrollment?

A: If you enrolled online (STEP), visit their website to cancel or update your enrollment. If you previously submitted a registration request through the Embassy website ,which is no longer valid, you may unregister by sending an email request to seoulinfoACS@state.gov with your full name and the e-mail address you used to register.

Q: Can the U.S. Embassy act as my legal representative regarding my dispute?

A: No, the U.S. Embassy is not able to act as a legal representative or give legal advice. All legal disputes in Korea must be resolved through the Korean legal system. We have compiled a list of attorneys who speak English who may be able to assist you. But please note that the embassy is not able to attest to their competence or reliability outside of their English speaking ability and willingness to work with U.S. citizens.

Q: Entering/exiting Korea or Korean visa matters: I am traveling to Korea, do I need a visa? How long can I stay in Korea? I have a layover in Korea, do I need a visa? I need to change my E-2 visa to F-5 spouse visa after getting married in Korea, how do I go about it? or My Korean visa will expire soon, how do I extend it?

A: Please be aware that the U.S. Embassy has no authority over matters related to your admission into or duration of stay, or visa status in Korea. Korean visas for U.S. citizens fall under the jurisdiction of the Korean government. For questions or concerns, please contact the Korean Immigration Service directly by phone at 1345, or online at www.immigration.go.kr If you are in the U.S., you may wish to consult with the Korean Embassy in the United States.

Q: Can I use my U.S. driver’s license in Korea? How can I get a Korean driver’s license?

A: Please note that you must take a written exam before you can obtain a Korean driver’s license except for those who hold driver’s licenses that were issued by a U.S. state with a reciprocity agreement with Korea. This written exam can be provided in English. Most Americans will need to get an International Driver’s Permit or a Korean driver’s license before driving in Korea. For more information, please visit our website.

Q: I am a U.S. citizen living in Korea and would like to travel a country other than the U.S. What are the requirements for entering other country? Where can I find this information?

A: For information on visas to visit other countries, please contact the country’s embassy. Contact information for all diplomatic missions in Korea can be found at www.mofa.go.kr. Also, please check the Department of State’s website for the country specific information, travel alerts and travel warnings for the country that you wish to travel.

Q: How do I mail in documents to the Embassy?

A: If the Consular Officer has requested that you mail in original documents, please use the courier service listed in our website only.

Q: I lost my certificate of naturalization. How do I obtain certified true copies of a certificate of naturalization?

A: Please contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to receive copies of your Naturalization Certificate.

Q: I need information on when I became a US citizen. Can you provide proof that I am a US citizen?

A: Our office does not have such information. You can however contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for more information on when/how your U.S. citizenship was obtained.