Hi! This is Amy Moncure and today’s episode is all about what to do if you need to go to the U.S. Embassy. First you have to find the Embassy. Directly behind us we have the statue of King Sejong, and on the other side you have the US Embassy. So that’s a great marker to help you orient yourself. If you’re taking the metro take line five to Gwanghwamun Square and exit gate two. So just a little background, King Sejong is most famous for inventing the Hangul which is the Korean alphabet. And Hangul Day is celebrated on October 9th. If you’re in need of a photo for your passport you can take a photo inside the embassy at the photo booth. The cost is 10,000 Korean WON. The photo booth does not make change. Now, it’s important to note that U.S. passport photos are not the same size as Korean passport photos. Also, when you arrive you’re going to be asked to check in your cell phone and if you have it, your electronic keys. This is very important. You are only allowed to bring one cell phone and one electronic key. It’s well posted on their website and their confirmation emails and all over the outside of the embassy. Backpacks and purses are allowed. They’ll scan them as soon as you enter the embassy and you can keep them on your body. Once you enter the embassy, they will give you an ID card that matches the same ID card that they will put with your cell phone. And when you exit they will use that card to return your cell phone to you. So, let me share my experience. I had a 10:15 A.M. appointment. I arrived at the Embassy at 9:15. I showed my printout of my appointment confirmation and my passport. and entered the Embassy. By 10:00 A.M., I was completely through with all of the services I needed. This is really important to know. There are 15 U.S. bases in South Korea. Because of this the Embassy has to really help a large population of Americans. This is probably why they do not accept walk-in appointments. So, if you show up to the Embassy and you try to get passport services, at the outside gate they will ask for your appointment. No appointment. They’ll give you a business card. They will say call this number. This number will give you an option if you’re having an emergency, and you can get additional help. If you’re not having an emergency and you just need normal services, you’re going to have to make an appointment. You can schedule and cancel your
appointments easily online. Make sure you print a copy of your appointment confirmation because you’re going to need to show that when you arrive at the Embassy in order to enter. Inside, cash is accepted and also credit cards. If you bring cash, you need to bring an exact amount. Now a little bit of background, we’re in Gwanghwamun Square. Gwanghwamun Gate literally means the gate that illuminates the world. Now one of the questions I had especially with the 2018 Winter Olympics coming up is: What is the processing time for applications? For routine services right now they’re looking at two to three weeks. The woman at the Embassy said as we get closer to the Olympics in February of 2018, that time could extend. Now I’ll share with you, when I’m travelling I like to make
two copies of my passport and keep them in separate bags with me. I also like to keep a copy of my passport at home so if I need to I can call a family member and they would be able to fax it to me. All right. Thank you and please subscribe. Until next time! Cheers!