Getting Korean documents notarized and Authenticated at APP

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mattvsmith
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Joined: 03/03/2011 - 22:43
Getting Korean documents notarized and Authenticated at APP

I have heavily edited this because I offended some people's sensibilities.

Here's the short version of the backgroun to this post:

In May I went to the APP Busan to get a Korean document authenticated. The Embassy website says that you must have the document translated and notarized by a Korean notary before it can be authenticated by State Department staff. Fair enough. The website also states that you must have the notarization performed by a lawyer-notary on the approved list. The problem is that here in Busan, the APP did not have a list of approved notaries--making it very hard to follow through with the instructions. 

I found a lawyer that the APP Busan was able to verify is approved. This is not an advertisement for the particular law firm, but rather a tip so that you do not have to suffer the indignity that I did. There may be other lawyer-notaries out there who are also approved by the State Department, but the APP (at least of May) does not readily have the list available.

So, anyway, here it is:

Go to Jungang Dong KEB building. On the 5th floor there is a notary office, part of the Samyang Law Firm (Pusan International Law Firm). The gal at the counter speaks English well enough to accomplish the task. There may be more than one lawyer at the firm who may notarize, but I am going to specify one lawyer because only that one lawyer was verified to me by the APP Busan. He is Choi Eun-Gon. Try to ask the gal at the counter to choose him, although I think she already knows that Americans must use him. For me it was a crapshoot that happened to work out.

If you need a Korean doument notarized so that it can be authenticated by the Vice Consul on his or her monthly visits to the APP Busan

wilshirewaygook
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Joined: 05/25/2011 - 16:10
Re: Getting Korean documents notarized and Authenticated at APP

thanks for sharing your experience...wonderful insight into the craziness of beauracracy in korea.

otherwise, is there a way you could be constructive with your criticism?  is there an agency that you could go to and give feedback so others don't have to go through the same experience?  

mattvsmith
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Joined: 03/03/2011 - 22:43
Re: Getting Korean documents notarized and Authenticated at APP

Hi Wilshirewaygook,

Sorry, the pertinent info got buried in my prolonged rant.

If you need to get a Korean document/translation authenticated, take it to the 5th floor of the KEB building in Jungang-dong. As you get out of the elevator, turn left, the notary clerks are through double doors on the right. At least one of the gals speaks enough English to be very helpful and get you taken care of right away. I think the law firm is called "Samyang" and the approved notary is Choi Eun-Gong. I don't have a phone number because I just dropped in.

I think the folks at the APP will suggest this notary to people in the future. The woman at the APP seemed pretty relieved when the person in Seoul verified that I found a person on The List.

The problem (and in hindsight the lady was in a little bit of a bind) is that the infamous "list" is held up in Seoul, and no one from the Embassy had bothered to update the Busan information. Perhaps this little run-in has led someone to take the necessary steps to double-check The List.

woodsman
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Joined: 06/24/2010 - 10:07
Re: Getting Korean documents notarized and Authenticated at APP

You're wrong about both points 1 and 2. 1, you need to register your marriage if you ever want to go back to the US and get a spouse visa for your wife so you should thank your wife's friends. 2, there is a US wedding certificate: it's called a marriage license and is usually provided by the state or municipality where you get married in the US. Since you don't have a marriage license, I assume you were married in Korea. That means you need to register your marriage and get a verification of marriage from the US (the APP or consulate).

The fact is, I and many hundreds of other Americans have gotten married in Busan and never had any of the troubles that you have. Could it be you and your hostile, non-critical thinking that had you in so much of a mess? Or do you think that every other one of us has had the same trouble as you? I've found filing forms with both US and Korean bureaucracies in Busan to be overwhelmingly simple if you apply a little common sense. That includes business licenses, marriage licenses, tax forms (Korean versions are much simpler and easier than American), change of visa status, renewal of passports and visas, etc. I'd be willing to bet most other folks feel the same. Perhaps you should learn to control your hostility.

mattvsmith
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Joined: 03/03/2011 - 22:43
Re: Getting Korean documents notarized and Authenticated at APP

Woodman,

I did not have any problem getting married in Korea. It took us about five minutes to fill out the form at the gu-cheong. That is not what my ranting and raving was about. I was ranting about the authentication process at the Busan APP.

Check out the US Embassy website. Registration is no longer necessary, as the US government accepts the gu-cheong document. The US Embassy has no marriage registration, all they can do it authenticate an English translation of the gu-cheong "Verification of Wedding Registration". No need to quote. Here's the Embassy website

http://seoul.usembassy.gov/acs_getting_married.html#get

Look at "Optional Step." I went to the APP and asked for a notary on the list of approved notaries. At first she said there was no list. You can't ask someone to find a person from a list and not provide a list. That's when I started to get a little miffed. After a few mintues she came up with a law firm, but the information was very out-of-date, causing me to miss a day at work to do it correctly (i.e. not the way she told me). That's when I got really steamed.

It was not too much to ask, nor is it hostile or non-critical-thinking of me, to think that if an agency is going to insist that you do things their way (which is perfectly their right) that they should at least tell you the correct information. In this case, the woman gave me flat-out wrong information that caused me to miss a day at work. I think in that case, I have some right to be a little angry. Now maybe a public rant may have been a little out of order, but I think that one public rant since July 1995 is acceptable.

According to the Embassy staff, several Americans had problems with Koren Immigration when applying for F-3 visas for their non-Korean/non-American spouses due to the change in US regulation (i.e. the no-longer-required wedding registration). KIS and local gu cheongs hadn't spoken with each other about this. There was a flurry of problems. Once the KIS in Seoul and the Seoul gu offices talked it over, the problems in Seoul disappeared. At least as of a few weeks ago, this had not trickled down to Busan KIS. Maybe it will next time I go back.

If you can find another webpage from the US Embassy or State Department where it has instructions on how to register a marriage, by all means please show me. Because it if is necessary and the Embassy has that service, I'd like to do it. So please show me the webpage. It would really help, and I'm not afraid to admit that I am wrong--and even a spastic jerk-- if that is the case.