Lola O.
For those who haven't been informed there are new visa regulations that are coming into play. Please read the following for detailed and very helpul information that lessens the confusion of these new rules. If you are planning to renew or are coming for the first time this applies to you.

KMK: New E-2 Visa Regulations
CISK: New E-2 Visa Regulations
FJ: Fingerprinting

So onto my adventure...

I decided to stop being a lazy couch potato and go and take care of this fingerprinting business before time runs out. I hear it takes like 2 months to get it back so I need to send this out of soon as possible because I don't want to have a problem renewing. Yes, I am officially planning to stay for another year!!!

I left school about an hour early to head to the police station. I knew of one in my area, and it happened to be the one my co-teacher found for me to go to. I head there, and once I walk in the  tiny room goes silent. Yes, they all stare and I probably look like a deer caught in headlights. One of the police officers gruffly asks me why am I here. I tell him I need to get fingerprints done, and show him the name my co wrote down in Korean, the Science Investigation Unit. Grumpy started murmuring in Korean, and I had a feeling I wasn't in the right place. I call my co to talk to Grumpy, but  the kinder police officer takes it and talks to my co teacher as Grumpy sits there being grumpy.

Well it turns out I am not in the right place. I am feeling a little stressed at this point because today is the best day to get this done for me this week, and I don't want anything to screw it up. I ask them where do I need to go, and if they can show me. I'm thinking that it must be around here, so I can either walk or take the bus to get there. The problem was that this was just a police center not station, so they didn't have the fingerprinting technician. The kind police officer tells me he will take me there. I'm thinking still we are walking there, until he grabs his keys and we head off in his police car. Haha...I have this love of police cars. I've always wanted to drive one, but it has yet to happen. Anyways I laugh inside thinking this better be the only time I am in a police car in Korea.

We head off to the place, making small talk. I have no idea where we are going, but I place my trust in the kind officer and just go with it. He drives a little crazy. It probably takes 30 minutes to get there, but we got there in 20 because he drove in the bus lanes skipping traffic. Ahh...to be a cop. There turned out to be Gumcheon Police Station. He took me up to the Foreign Affairs office, where a kind staffer who later I find out is Jin Hee helps me out. I was lucky because she spoke English. We walked down the stairs, out the station to another part called CSI. CSI Gumcheon:)! My favorite CSI is Miami!

She reaches to open the CSI door, and it doesn't .My face falls. The CSI team are out in Gasan because of a fire, so I have to wait an hour. I decide to wait, because I made up my mind to get this done today. The kind police officer is waiting for me, and I tell him he should go because I have to wait an hour. He gives me his seat, says goodbye to everyone, and heads off. He was a really nice person!!! I'm thinking what am I going to do for an hour, and Jin Hee brings me a guide to Korea..muhahaha. I had told her before that I have been here for 9 months, but hey I learned some new things from that guide. She offers me coffee, I decline, and just settle in to the hour. Then after a bit another staffer comes in, a really sweet adjusshi. He offers me coffee again, tries to talk to me in Korean, checks that I'm comfortable, and tells me only 10 more minutes left.

After 10 minutes, Jin Hee and I head out after saying our goodbyes, and my thank you to everyone. The fingerprint technician has me sit down in his seat while he gets everything ready, next he exams my fingers a few times, then has me wash them, and finally we begin the fingerprinting. It was an easy process for me, because he did all the work. He folded the cards over a ruler, rolled my fingers for me, and just did everything. I just sat there. We ended up doing all five cards. I felt bad for him, and said we could only do three, but he ended up doing them all. He had a bit of a hard time, because in Korea they fingerprint starting with the index finger, so he would forget about my thumb and I'd gently remind him. It became quite comical.

He wanted a sample to show in the future to the other CSI members, so I showed him the FBI website, and gave him the completed sample I printed off of Foreigner Joy's blog. Another CSI guy came in, and greeted me in English. Pretty much everyone knew a little English, which made things a lot smoother for me. We talked a bit about the new visa process, and fingerprinting. He kept on complimenting me on my voice, that it was easy to understand me, unlike other foreigners. Haha, I get that a lot from people here. He went on to show me the person who came the day before a Mr.Sheppard and how he wasn't very easy to understand. Jin Hee stayed with me the whole time, and translated when needed.

I thanked them for their hard work and left. Jin Hee walked me to the bus stop, we chatted for a bit, exchanged numbers, and said goodbye. I almost missed the bus 500 to get home, but the driver saw me running and stoppped for me. Seriously, today has been filled with the kindness of Koreans. Everyone went out of their way to help me get this finished, and in the end I made a new Korean aquaintance.

I didn't get a chance to mail it out because the post office closes at 6 so I will have to wait till Wednesday to mail it out since I have no time tomorrow. I need to get the diploma part done too, which seems tedious as well. I don't really like the new regulations, it's a lot more work than the first time around, and it isn't easy to get things done out of the country but I'm going to count on my friends and family to help me out.

Not that being lazy is a good thing, but I'm glad I waited till today to get it done because it ended up being a really good experience with kind people each step of the way. If you are planning to renew or come in March you should get this done ASAP.

Be Blessed,
~Lola O.~
2 Responses
  1. Oh man this makes me realize how busy the FBI is going to be. Mine should be arriving there this week.

    It was fun huh? :) Certainly a great experience. I can see that many foreigners are making their way into the police stations to get this done. Looks like the best way is to go to a station that has CSI unit. The one I went to (Seocho) had one so I was good.

    Glad to hear my blog was of help to you and hears to hoping your prints come out okay.

    *MAKE sure you request the FBI seal on it when sending it to the FBI...really essential!


  2. Lola O. Says:

    It was pretty fun, because everyone was really wonderful. Yes, it should be a station and not a center because they don't have the equipment or technician.

    I wrote up a note about the seal. I just hope everything goes fine and it gets back to me as soon as possible. Now for my diploma...