The New Immigration Office

The new immigration office sits in bureaucratic hiding towards the Free Trade Area of Masan. The short move: 300 yards down the street, seems to have invigorated the staff and instilled some efficiency.

To get there, taking a bus is only around 5 minutes longer than a taxi, although a few taxi drivers regardless of instruction I’m sure would make a beeline for immigration upon arrival of a foreigner in the back seat. A quick search for 마산출입국관리사무소 in Daum Maps pops up with three locations, but A is the one we are heading for. The closest bus stop that serves the rest of the triumvirate of cities is 경동메르빌(Gyeongdong Meleubil), although the 703, 704, 705, 800 and 801 serve the prior stop at 마산합포구청 (Happo Gu-cheong) which is roughly equidistant anyway. The 102, 103, 109, 122, 163 and 164 all will take you to either stop. *Editors note: For those already in the Masan area, the 250, 255 and 265 will drop you off at the 정부합동청사 in front of HiMart. If you are coming from south of the office, the 1000 will drop you off across the street.

 When you depart the bus, remembering to thank the courteous driver, presuming you are heading from Changwon( duh), cross the street and head down the nearest side road. Keep going past the railway tracks until you arrive at an 8-lane road. Cross this, either by using the crossing or just Frogger across, depending on your penchant for danger. If you arrived at the 마산합포구청 Happo Gu-cheong stop, you may be at eMart. This is okay. Get some milk, and cross the big street, then take a right and turn left before the Audi dealership. If you chose to get off at 경동메르빌 Gyeongdong Meleubil then you’re probably at the Audi dealership already. Congratulations. Get some milk.

Take a sip of milk and keep heading towards the sea. You should see this at some point:


 If you do, take a sip of milk. Keep going until you see this :pic2

 This is the new immigration building.[1] Go inside.

Once inside, suppress that feeling of panic and just turn right, one hundred and eighty degrees. Take a ticket near the ‘Resident Services’ desk — for the majority of foreigner needs, this is the required area of immigration. It’s best to print the forms online first and fill them out, as perspiration may be in your eyes from the walk and you might not be able to see straight. If you can’t see straight, take a swig of milk.

When your number’s up, your number’s up, so head to the desk. Take a sneaky photo of the man processing your application.


Before you know it, receive ARC card.


It took, more than two minutes but less than four to receive my completed ARC card, stamped with another year’s precious, sexy E2 Visa. Take a sip of milk, because a- milk is great and b- you deserve congratulations.

[1] N.B.: I was a little confused by all of the signs seemingly welcoming either foreigners or imported trade or something in big pink above a shipping warehouse on the right as you approach the immigration office. I was nearly lured in, but I figured immigration wouldn’t be welcoming foreigners with pink banners. Had I entered that warehouse, we’d probably have a much better story, but I doubt I would be around to tell it.

View Changwon Immigration (창원출입국관리사무소) in a larger map

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