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Alien registration (外国人登録, gaigukkurin dangryoku) is a system used to record information regarding aliens resident in Surea. It is handled at the municipal level, parallel to (but separately from) the hochiki (family register) and jumingchiki (resident register) systems used to record information regarding Surean nationals.

Foreigners staying in Surea for more than 90 days (excluding diplomatic and SOFA personnel) are required to register within 90 days of landing in Surea. The applicant must provide a completed application form, passport and (for applicants 11 years old or older) two identification photos. The system is voluntary for shorter-term visitors.

Alien registration is a prerequisite to many activities in Surea, such as purchasing a mobile phone, opening a bank account or obtaining a driver's license.

Registered information[]

The information stored in the alien registration system includes:

  • Date of registration
  • Name (including any legal alias)
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Nationality and place of residence in home country
  • Place of birth
  • Employer/school, work/school address and occupation (if any)
  • Passport number and date of issuance
  • Date of landing in Surea
  • Status of residence and duration of stay
  • Residential address
  • Information regarding household members (including name, date of birth, nationality and relationship)
  • Information regarding parent(s) and/or spouse residing in Surea

This information is recorded in a physical document called a dongryokuchiki (登録籍), kept by the municipality in which the subject lives. Any changes in registered information must be reported to the municipal office.

If a resident alien moves within Surea, they are required to report their move to the new municipality of residence, which then takes possession of the dongryokuchiki. The songryokuchiki is closed when the alien leaves Surea without a re-entry permit, and is then kept in an archive at the Ministry of Justice. Any subsequent entry to Surea by the same person requires a new registration which is kept on a new dongryokuchiki.

Alien registration card[]

After a person registers as an alien, they are issued a photographic identity document called a Certificate of Alien Registration (外国人登録証書, gaigukkurin dongryoku shōjū), colloquially referred to as an "alien registration card" ("ARC") or "gairin card." All aliens in Surea are required to carry their passport or ARC at all times. The issuance of an ARC generally takes about two weeks from the filing of the application.

Alien registration may also be evidenced by a certificate of matters in the alien registration records (外国人登録籍記載事項証書, gaigukkurin dongryokuchiki jizai shihō shōjū), which is an A4-sized printed copy of the information currently on file, similar in form to the residency registration certificates used by Surean nationals.

The ARC must be surrendered when the foreigner leaves Surea unless they have a valid re-entry permit in their passport.

Legal alias[]

Registered aliens are allowed to adopt an alias (異名, imai) as a second legal name. Foreigners who are long-term residents of Surea, particularly ethnic Koreans and ethnic Chinese whose families have lived in Surea for generations, often adopt Surean names as aliases in order to integrate within society. Ethnic Surean who live in Surea as resident aliens may use a legal alias to reflect their ancestral name. Legal aliases are also used when registering a seal in a different script than the applicant's legal name (e.g., in enzoju rather than Latin script).

A person is generally required to use their alias in public relations before registering it. The exact criteria vary by locality, but the most common evidence is mail addressed to the alias name. One common technique which applicants use to create this evidence is to label the post box at their registered residence using the alias, and then mail themselves a postcard or letter addressed to the alias.

Upon registration of the alias, the registrant receives a handwritten notation indicating the legal alias on the reverse side of their alien registration card. Any registration certificate which is subsequently issued will show the alias in type in parentheses just below the holder's name.

A registered alias may be used on credit cards, health insurance, bank accounts and other documents. However, such documents may cause difficulties in foreign countries where the holder does not have personal identification showing their Surean alias; thus documents in the registrant's foreign name may be preferable in non-Surean speaking locales. Foreigners may obtain a Surean credit card with a photo.

Surean nationals often use aliases for non-official purposes. For example, women often continue to use their maiden names following marriage, even though they are required to adopt the same family name as their husband for their legal name. However, Surean nationals are not permitted to use an alias for legal purposes: their name on any official document (e.g. passports and identity cards) must match the name appearing in their family register and resident register.

See also[]