A new immigration center is set to open in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, on Oct. 31, which will provide immigration services to foreigners living in Andong and six cities nearby.
The new center, operated by the Daegu Immigration Office, will be located on the Andong National University campus. The center will offer general immigration services, including foreigner registrations and extensions or changes to visa status, according to the Daegu Immigration Office on Monday. It will service foreigners residing in seven regions: Andong, Yeongju, Bonghwa, Yecheon, Uiseong, Yeongyang and Cheongsong.
The center, however, does not handle matters related to naturalization, refugees, and undocumented foreign residents.
Those wishing to receive services at the new center must reserve in advance through the Hi Korea website before visiting.
“With the opening of the Andong Immigration Center, foreigners living in northern Gyeongsang Province will no longer have to travel a long distance to Daegu to get immigration services," Kim Mi-hyang, a public relations official at the Daegu Immigration Office, told The Korea Herald.
Until now, foreigners living in those areas who were in need of immigration assistance had to visit the Daegu Immigration Office, around 120 kilometers away from downtown Andong. Otherwise, they had to wait for staff to visit from the Daegu office, whose schedules could change depending on the office's situation, the official explained.
There are around 4,800 foreigners living in the northern part of North Gyeongsang Province, according to the city of Andong, which has jointly worked with the immigration authority to establish the immigration center.
“Andong City will earnestly cooperate with the Andong Immigration Center to promote convenience for foreigners in Andong and nearby regions. This includes the successful settlement of foreigners as well as multicultural family members,” Andong Mayor Kwon Gi-chang said.