When you’re staying in South Korea for a longer period of time, chances are that you need passport photos, also known as ID or Visa photos, at some point for either your ARC application or some other documents.
If you’re like me, you didn’t think of bringing any passport photos with you when you packed for your trip and now need just any passport photo quickly.
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The fastest and easiest way to quickly get passport photos in Seoul, Busan, or any other city in South Korea is to find a passport photo machine in a subway station. Most subway stations have them, and you can get your photos from them in just a couple of minutes for around 5,000 won.
There are also photography shops like Kodak that offer a quick service where you’ll get your photos in around 5-10 minutes, and you’ll likely get a better result from those if you care about the quality.
For those who are after the highest quality passport pictures, you need to go to photo studios, where they even photoshop your pictures for you before giving them to you. These services obviously take longer and are more expensive. You will likely also have to book the service online before you can go there.
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How to quickly get passport photos in South Korea
For those who are planning to stay in South Korea for more than 90 days in a row, you know that there are quite a few documents that you need to fill out for various things.
Some of the documents that you need to fill out and submit need to be given along with an ID photo of you. For example, the ARC application.
When I was in South Korea as an exchange student, I didn’t think of bringing passport photos when I packed for the trip, but I quickly found out that I needed one for my ARC application. Luckily, there were different ways to quickly get passport/ID photos.
Going to the nearest subway station and using a passport photo machine is the easiest way to get passport photos quickly in South Korea. The actual process in the passport machine takes only a few minutes, so you’re looking at the time it takes to get to your nearest subway station + a couple of minutes till you’ll have your passport photos with this method.
Almost all subway stations seem to have a passport photo machine, so if the one nearest you doesn’t have one, go to take the subway a stop or two and check another station, perhaps a more popular one.
Another way to quickly get passport pictures in South Korea is to visit a photography shop that offers a fast passport photo service like Kodak. The shops that offer these fast passport photo services usually advertise that it only takes around 5-10 minutes.
While it probably takes a bit longer to get to one of these shops compared to a subway station, you’re gonna get a better result from a photography shop. So if that’s important to you, this is a method something to consider.
Do note that there are also Kodak apparel shops that do not have anything to do with photography or passport photos, so check with the individual shop first.
If you want to best quality passport photos, then you should visit a dedicated photo studio, which offers a passport photo service. These places will even photoshop your passport photos before giving them to you to ensure they’re of the highest quality they can be.
Of course, going to a photo studio is far from as fast as going to the nearest subway station and will also cost a bit more. Many of these studios also require that you book a time online, so check with the individual studio. However, if you’re after quality, this is the method to go for.
I personally just wanted any passport photo quickly and therefore went with the passport photo machine at the nearest subway station.
Inside the passport machine, you’re given instructions on how to operate the machine and can see the photo on the screen before you confirm the final photo.
It took only a couple of minutes after stepping into the machine before I had my passport pictures in my hands. They weren’t great, but it was very convenient, and there were no problems with getting my Alien Registration Card with them.
That’s how to quickly get passport photos in South Korea!
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