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I spent 2 very happy years in South Korea from 2011 to 2013 at a hagwon. I made the mistake of leaving for a 'better' job at a public school and it going very wrong . All the bad you hear about Korean management rolled up in one nasty experience. After 6 months, I boarded a plane, sent an email telling my boss I quit and returned home with my tail between my legs. I didn't hand in my ARC as I departed because I didn't know I had to.

I decided to give teaching another go, based on my first 2 years in Korea, and ended up spending 4 years in China. But, in my opinion, life in Korea was simply better and decided I would try to return. I applied for a few jobs and was offered a university position. My visa was denied. And, I just thought that was that. Didn't question it and continued working in China.

Later, I got speaking to a colleague and he said that after 5 years I should be able to return because I probably had a mark against my name but it expires after 5 years. When my visa was denied, it was less than 5 years after I did the midnight run....So it sounds plausible.

Is there any truth to this 5 year black mark expiration?
Would I be able to phone up immigration to check if there was a black mark against my name?
I would be willing to pay damages. I left my apartment clean but it is possible my old school complained about unpaid bills or something like that, I don't know.


Anyway, I hope someone can offer some insight into this.
Thanks in advance!


  • AvecPommesFrites
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1022

    • September 04, 2017, 02:19:33 pm
    • Incheon International Airport Immigration Office Detention Facility
Re: Did a midnight run long ago. Would like to return. Any info appreciated.
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 09:01:03 am »
You're the reason why my phone bill costs w3k more per month than a Korean national would pay.  >:(
Soggy undergarments


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2027

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Did a midnight run long ago. Would like to return. Any info appreciated.
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 11:57:27 am »
So, you never bothered to find out why your VISA was denied?  Did you leave behind outstanding bills?  Also, you never turned in your ARC.  That would sum it up.  Try again and find out.  Or come in as a tourist and visit a local immigration office and inquire.  You can email, but English emails seem never to get replied to here in my experience. 


  • yolopopo
  • Explorer

    • 8

    • June 01, 2018, 10:25:05 am
    • South Korea
Re: Did a midnight run long ago. Would like to return. Any info appreciated.
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 12:05:12 pm »
May I ask, who is your network provider Avec? Did they state this to you, and if so, why would you accept that increase?

OP, I've also heard the 5 year thing, but friend of a friend kind of chatter.


  • Liechtenstein
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1033

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Did a midnight run long ago. Would like to return. Any info appreciated.
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 01:36:38 pm »
Ironic, I did 5 great years in Korea with EPIK at a middle school and did a runner outta China (sort of).


  • OnNut81
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1313

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Did a midnight run long ago. Would like to return. Any info appreciated.
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 01:44:22 pm »
May I ask, who is your network provider Avec? Did they state this to you, and if so, why would you accept that increase?

OP, I've also heard the 5 year thing, but friend of a friend kind of chatter.

I have the same network provider as Avec and they also told me the 3k monthly increase was due to the OP doing a midnight run.  I tried to fight it but they were quite stern over the phone. He better not come back here!


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2027

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Did a midnight run long ago. Would like to return. Any info appreciated.
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 02:31:13 pm »
I have the same network provider as Avec and they also told me the 3k monthly increase was due to the OP doing a midnight run.  I tried to fight it but they were quite stern over the phone. He better not come back here!

Is this sarcasm?  Not sure what a good price should be.

I pay 43K I think?  per month.  Unlimited data calling and text 4G.  From KT.  But I bought my own phone over 3 years ago and have cable and internet with them too.  So, discounts, I guess. 


  • OnNut81
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1313

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Did a midnight run long ago. Would like to return. Any info appreciated.
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 03:02:50 pm »
Is this sarcasm?  Not sure what a good price should be.

I pay 43K I think?  per month.  Unlimited data calling and text 4G.  From KT.  But I bought my own phone over 3 years ago and have cable and internet with them too.  So, discounts, I guess. 

I think the bundle package is the way to go, but I don't have a TV so never took them up on it.  I've been told even without the TV since I own the phone I should switch over to a bundle deal. 


  • AvecPommesFrites
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1022

    • September 04, 2017, 02:19:33 pm
    • Incheon International Airport Immigration Office Detention Facility
Re: Did a midnight run long ago. Would like to return. Any info appreciated.
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2020, 03:25:52 pm »
If you think the additional charge for foreigners is sarcasm you have a lot to learn about credit and life.
Soggy undergarments


Re: Did a midnight run long ago. Would like to return. Any info appreciated.
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2020, 10:47:19 pm »
You're the reason why my phone bill costs w3k more per month than a Korean national would pay.  >:(

Ha, I'm sorry but the runners before me had the same impact on my phone bill!

So, you never bothered to find out why your VISA was denied?  Did you leave behind outstanding bills?  Also, you never turned in your ARC.  That would sum it up.  Try again and find out.  Or come in as a tourist and visit a local immigration office and inquire.  You can email, but English emails seem never to get replied to here in my experience.

1. At the time, I didnt want to dwell on it, the job was gone anyway. I had also heard that immigration will not tell you why.
2. I had paid my  bills up to leaving  but I didnt cancel any. I had decided to do the midnight run about 3 days before doing it after a "straw that broke the camel's back" situation.
3. The ARC thing, I heard about it only when I landed and spoke to my friends in Korea. It seemed everyone knew about it except me.
4. Thanks for the advice, I will try and find out.
5. I believe that in normal circumstances I can enter Korea for up to 90 days without a visa but I was worried that I would be denied entry on arrival.

As for the other responses, thanks for the info (and the laughs, kinda!). I know I f**Ked up but it was at a time when I didn't know how to deal with it and couldn't understand how things had gone so wrong so quickly.


  • yolopopo
  • Explorer

    • 8

    • June 01, 2018, 10:25:05 am
    • South Korea
Re: Did a midnight run long ago. Would like to return. Any info appreciated.
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2020, 10:44:32 am »
I have the same network provider as Avec and they also told me the 3k monthly increase was due to the OP doing a midnight run.  I tried to fight it but they were quite stern over the phone. He better not come back here!

I'm sorry that you guys have had that experience. I've never heard of a phone contract, be it in Korea, or any other country for that matter, where they add a charge on after the contract has been signed (unless agreed upon beforehand i.e. discount period). That's why I was very interested to know who the network provider was/is, so I do not consider them in the future.

On the credit side of things,  it is understandable why any business would not be willing to provide credit/loans to a a person/persons who are assessed as short-term residents. It is a risk many businesses are unwilling to take. Unfortunately, many of us who have decided to extend our time in Korea have experienced the frustration this can lead to by being denied 'simple' things such as a cc just because they are non-Korean. However, I do think there has been a noticeable change (if looking) over the last 2-3 years in businesses/banks offering credit/loans to non-koreans.