Renewing an American Passport in Seoul, South Korea

by Mike Still

After coming home from my winter vacation I realized I had a happy problem, my passport was out of pages!  I did a little research and found out that as of January 1st 2016 US passports can no longer have pages added.  Instead you must renew the whole passport so I made an appointment at the embassy to do just that.  It was a pretty easy process but I thought I’d share it with you in case your passport is up for renewal or you’ve run out of pages like I did.


What you need to know about Renewing your American Passport in Seoul

  • The fee is $110.  It can be paid on credit card, with USD or KRW
  • Appointments must be made in advance and typically fill up at least1 week ahead of time
  • Bring a 5×5 passport photo with you or get ready to pay another ₩10,000
  • No Phones allowed inside the embassy!
  • Expect delivery within 3 weeks for a cost of ₩6,000

How to Renew Your American Passport in Korea

Make an appointment online.

All passport renewals must go through the US Embassy in Seoul.  Appointments tend to be booked at least 1 week ahead of time so plan accordingly.  Go to the US Embassy Website to make an appointment to renew your passport!

US Embassy Office Hours

8:45-11:15 am, Monday to Friday
1:00-3:00 pm, Monday to Friday except Wednesday
Enter through the Embassy’s side entrance.

Print & Fill out the application.

You can find the forms for all US Passports here.  Be sure to fill it out ahead of time.  You’ll need to know your Social Security #, Current Passport #,  address and a bunch of other info.  You CANNOT BRING YOUR PHONE inside the embassy so if you are unsure of any of this information be sure to fill it in ahead of time.

Get a 5cm x 5cm Passport Photo.

Standard Korean passport photos won’t work since they are only 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm!  I brought one with me and needed to pay ₩10,000 to have new ones made.  There is a booth inside the embassy that will give you the right size photo but its much cheaper to get it done beforehand!

 

Go to the embassy for your appointment.

The embassy address is 188 Sejong-daero, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul.  The main entrance is on the southern side street just off the main road.  You will need to go through a metal detector and some pretty tight security.  PHONES ARE NOT ALLOWED INSIDE but they’ll keep it safe at the entrance.  I recommend bringing a book since I was waiting about 30 minutes before my number was called.

Fill out the Delivery Form.

While you wait its best to fill out the delivery form.  You’ll need to have it filled out and ready when your number is called.  Alternatively you can opt to pick it up in person but I was told it would “delay the process.”  Delivery fee is ₩6,000 paid to the courier when its delivered.

 


Getting to the US Embassy in Seoul

Subway line 3 Anguk or Gyeongbukgung Station + 10 minute walk

Subway line 5 Gwhangwhamun Station + 5 minute walk

Subway line 1 Jonggak Station + 10 minute walk

Use this Seoul Bus Guide to find the fastest bus route to the US Embassy in Seoul


Alternatively you can try to fill out the whole thing online.  You can find the Online Passport Application Here.   I didn’t try it so am not sure how it works.  If you try this please comment below and I’ll gladly update the post with the new information.

I was told it wouls take 3 weeks but got a phone call 2 weeks later from a courier and he dropped my new passport off at my door the next day.  He would have delivered it the same day if I’d been home so consider giving your work address for delivery.  I hope you found this guide useful!

 

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Mike Still
Mike is a travel enthusiast, photographer and teacher. He loves adventure travel, meeting the locals and exploring new culture. As an outdoor enthusiast you can often find him hiking mountains or exploring forests trying to capture the beauty of mother nature. In 2013 he founded www.LiveTravelTeach.com as he left his home in America and has been teaching or traveling around the world ever since!

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8 comments

ShiHuLee February 9, 2017 - 9:56 pm

Hello Mr. Still~! Im ShiHu~ I will miss you so much~ I think you are the best teacher in YH, and also for me!

Reply
Mike Still February 9, 2017 - 11:01 pm

Hi Shihu, I’m going to miss you too! It is so nice to hear that you think I’m the best teacher. You are a great student 🙂

Reply
Jihoon Kim February 10, 2017 - 11:15 pm

Hello! I am Jihoon and I will miss you a lot and Its sad that your leaving. Have a good trip.

Reply
Mike Still February 11, 2017 - 10:11 am

Jihoon, I will miss you too! Leaving Korea is bittersweet for me. I am sad to leave Younghoon but excited for my trip. Keep working hard next year in 5th grade!

Reply
Jihoon February 10, 2017 - 11:15 pm

Hello Mr.Still

Reply
Mike Still March 16, 2017 - 6:53 pm

Hi Jihoon! How is 5th grade?

Reply
ShiHuLee March 24, 2017 - 10:55 pm

*3* (Im ShiHu.. Alicia) *3*

Reply
Mike Still March 24, 2017 - 11:48 pm

Hi Alicia! How is 5th grade? I miss you and all my students from YHES. I am in India right now and looking at the stars. It is very beautiful here but the food has made me sick 🙁
Mr. Still

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