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Living areas explanation

This information is drafted as of October 15, 2013.
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 Status of sojourn as overseas Koreans
Koreans with a foreign nationality who wish to engage themselves in activities in the Republic of Korea may apply for the status of sojourn as overseas Koreans and be granted such through examination. Free employment and other economic activities of Koreans with a foreign nationality who have obtained the status of sojourn as overseas Koreans shall be allowed within the scope that they do not impair social order or economic stability.
Status of sojourn as overseas Koreans
Status of sojourn as overseas Koreans
The Minister of Justice may, upon receipt of an application, grant the status of sojourn as overseas Koreans to Koreans with a foreign nationality who wish to engage themselves in activities in the Republic of Korea (Article 5.(1) of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」).
The ceiling in the length of stay under the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean shall be three years (Article 10.(1) of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」).
Free employment and other economic activities of Koreans with a foreign nationality who have obtained the status of sojourn as overseas Koreans shall be allowed within the scope that they do not impair social order or economic stability (Article 10.(5) of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」).
Requirements for obtaining the status of sojourn and scope of activities
The requirements for obtaining the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean and the scope of activities as such shall be as follows (Article 5.(4) of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」 and Article 4.(4) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」).
Requirements for obtaining the status of sojourn [Status as an overseas Korean (F-4), status of sojourn 28-2 in attached Table 1 of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」]
A person who has held the nationality of the Republic of Korea (including Koreans who had emigrated to a foreign country before the Government of the Republic of Korea was established. The same applies hereinafter) or his lineal descendant, who obtains the nationality of a foreign country and falls under any of the following (Subparagraph 2 of Article 2 of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」)(Provided that those intending to engage in employment activities under each subparagraph of Article 23.(3) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」 are excluded):
√ A person who has held the nationality of the Republic of Korea and has obtained the nationality of a foreign country (Subparagraph 1 of Article 3 of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」); and
√ A person whose parent or grandparent had Korean nationality and who has obtained a foreign nationality (Subparagraph 2 of Article 3 of the「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」)
When a Korean with a foreign nationality has a reason falling under anyone of the following, the Minister of Justice shall not grant him a status of sojourn as an overseas Korean: Provided that when a Korean with a foreign nationality corresponding to 1 or 2 below has become 38 years old, the same shall not apply (Article 5.(2) of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」).
1. When a male who was born by lineal ascendants in the status of sojourn without any purpose for permanent residency in a foreign country and who acquired a foreign nationality, became a multiple nationality holder, and became a foreign person for the purpose of evading the military service by renouncing the nationality of the Republic of Korea before January 1 of the year of becoming 18 years old under the previous provisions of Article 12 (multiple nationality holders' nationality selection obligation) before enforcement of Act No. 7499, the amended 「Nationality Act」;
2. When a male of the Republic of Korea became a foreign person by acquiring a foreign nationality for the purpose of evading the military service by losing the nationality of the Republic of Korea; and
3. When there exists any concern over damaging the interests of the Republic of Korea, such as security, maintenance of order, public welfare and diplomatic relations, etc. of the Republic of Korea.
Scope of activities
A person falling under the sojourn status as overseas Koreans shall be exempted from a restriction on his activities pursuant to the classification of the sojourn status in attached Table 1 of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」, except for the cases falling under any of the following: Provided that, even if he is permitted to engage in the employment activities, when the Korean Acts and subordinate statutes require him to acquire a specific qualification, he shall do so (Article 23.(3) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」):
√ Where he works in a simple labor activity;
√ Where he commits acts violating the good morals and other aspects of social order such as gambling; and
√ Where deemed necessary to restrict his relevant employment in order to maintain public interest and domestic employment order.

Legal term explanation

▷ A 'simple labor activity' refers to work that requires simple and usual physical labor, and the employment field of simple labor workers pursuant to the 「Korean Standard Occupation Classification」 [Article 23.(6) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」, Article 27-2.(1) of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Immigration Control Act」, and 「Notice on the scope of restriction on employment activities by Koreans with a foreign nationality」 (Ministry of Justice Notice No. 2010-297)].

▷ 'Where he commits acts violating the good morals and other aspects of social order such as gambling' refers to an activity that falls under any of the following [Article 23.(6) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」 and Article 27-2.(2) of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Immigration Control Act」, and 「Notice on the scope of restriction on employment activities by Koreans with a foreign nationality」 (Ministry of Justice Notice No. 2010-297)]:

 Obtaining employment at a speculation business prescribed in Article 2.(1).1 of the 「Act on Special Cases Concerning Regulation and Punishment of Speculative Acts, etc.」 and Article 1-2 of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Regulation and Punishment of Speculative Acts, etc.」

 Working as an entertainment employee at an entertainment pub or entertainment drinking facility, etc. prescribed in Article 36.(2) of the 「Food Sanitation Act」 and Items (c) and (d) of Subparagraph 8 of Article 21 of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Food Sanitation Act」.

 Obtaining employment at a business etc. which might be prejudicial to the good public morals, among entertainment businesses affecting public morals prescribed in Article 2 of the 「Act on the Regulation of Amusement Businesses Affecting Public Morals」 and Article 2 of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Regulation of Amusement Businesses Affecting Public Morals」, etc.

Granting the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean
In granting the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean under Article 5.(1) and (2) of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」, the Minister of Justice shall consult with the Minister of Foreign Affairs as follows (Article 5.(3) of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」):
To determine whether a Korean with a foreign nationality requesting the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean falls under any of the subparagraphs of Article 5.(2) of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」, the Minister of Justice may request the head of an appropriate agency to conduct a background check or criminal record check on the applicant or to render his opinion about other necessary matters. In this case, the head of the appropriate agency shall provide check findings or his opinion within 30 days of receiving such request (Article 4.(1) of the「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」 ).
When there is a reason to suspect that a Korean with a foreign nationality who requested the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean may damage the interests of the Republic of Korea, such as security, maintenance of order, public welfare, and diplomatic relations, etc., the Minister of Justice may request consultation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs as stipulated under Article 5.(3) of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」. In this case, the Minister of Foreign Affairs shall provide the requested opinion within 30 days of receiving such request: Provided that when the Minister of Foreign Affairs provides such opinion according to Article 4.(3) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」 in advance, this shall not apply (Article 4.(2) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」).
When a Korean with a foreign nationality applies for the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean at a diplomatic mission, the Minister of Foreign Affairs may offer an opinion on granting the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean to the Minister of Justice even without prior request therefor by the Minister of Justice under Article 4.(2) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」(Article 4.(3) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」).
Request for the status of sojourn as an Overseas Korean, etc.
Request for the status of sojourn as an Overseas Korean
A person wishing to have a visa issued shall attach the following documents to a visa application (Form no. 17 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Immigration Control Act」) and submit all the documentation to the head of a diplomatic mission (Article 7.(1) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」 ).
※ Online visa issuance
An application for issuance of a visa or written recognition of visa issuance may be made online. User registration shall be done prior to doing so (Article 7-2 of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」).
Documents to attach (Article 76.(1).1 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Immigration Control Act」 and attached Table 5 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Immigration Control Act」)
A person who has held the nationality of the Republic of Korea and has obtained the nationality of a foreign country
√ Family relations certificate, certified copy of document about removal from the register, or other documents certifying the concerned person was a Korean national;
√ Document that certifies the reason for acquiring a foreign nationality and date of such acquisition;
√ Annual tax payment certificate, income certificate, or other such documents as certifying he will not engage in any of the following employment activities during the sojourn period (This condition applies only to Koreans with a foreign nationality from countries notified by the Minister of Justice as those from which many illegal sojourners come):
Where he works in a simple labor activity;
Where he commits acts violating the good morals and other aspects of social order such as gambling; and
Where deemed necessary to restrict his relevant employment in order to maintain public interest and domestic employment order.
√ Other documents deemed necessary by the Minister of Justice
A person whose parent or grandparent had Korean nationality and who has obtained a foreign nationality
√ Document that certifies his lineal ascendant was a Korean national;
√ Document that certifies the reason for him and his lineal ascendant acquiring a foreign nationality and date of such acquisition;
√ Document that certifies relations with lineal ascendants and descendants (birth certificate, etc.);
√ Annual tax payment certificate, income certificate, or other such documents as certifying he will not engage in any of the following employment activities during the sojourn period (This condition applies only to Koreans with a foreign nationality from countries notified by the Minister of Justice as those from which many illegal sojourners come):
Where he works in a simple labor activity;
Where he commits acts violating the good morals and other aspects of social order such as gambling; and
Where deemed necessary to restrict his relevant employment in order to maintain public interest and domestic employment order.
√ Other documents deemed necessary by the Minister of Justice
▷ “Countries from which many illegal sojourners come” are as follows [Notice on ’Visa Issuance Application and Other Documents to Attach, attached Table 5 of the Enforcement Rule of the Immigration Control Act」(Ministry of Justice Notice No. 2007-150; Proclaimed and enforced on December 28, 2007)]:
Ghana, Nigeria, Nepal, Russia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Iran, Egypt, India, Indonesia, China, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Peru, Pakistan, and the Philippines (Total 22 countries)
Permission for change of the status of sojourn as overseas Koreans for Koreans with a foreign nationality in China and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (Refer to the ’Change of the status of sojourn as overseas Koreans’ section on the e-Government for Foreigners Web site):
Permission shall be given through a separate examination;
Persons subjects to change of the status of sojourn and additional documents to submit;
① Person who has stayed for no less than six months in the Republic of Korea in the status of artist (D-1); journalist (D-5); religion (D-6); business supervisor (D-7); corporate investor (D-8); international trade (D-9); professor (E-1); foreign language instructor (E-2); researcher (E-3); technology transfer (E-4); professional employment (E-5); artistic performer (E-6); or designated activities (E-7):
√ Certificate of holding office, individual’s tax payment certificate and income amount certificate, census recordor resident ID (Chinese compatriots), or birth certificate (compatriots from the CIS)
② Person who completed a master’s or a higher degree program at an accredited domestic university(enrollment for no less than two semesters) or graduated from such with a master’s or higher degree, and scholarship students invited by government agencies such as the National Institute for International Education:
√ Certificate of studentship or graduation certificate; and
√ For scholarship students invited by the State, a document certifying the fact
③ Person who holds permanent residency in an OECD nation:
√ Document produced by the competent agency in each country to certify the person is a permanent resident card holder
④ Person serving as the representative of an organization of overseas Koreans in the residing country or a third country:
√ Document proving the person is the representative of an overseas Korean organization
⑤ Person who has a professional vocation and knowledge in the residing country or a third country:
Representative and registered executive of an incorporated business
√ An official document that is equivalent to a certified copy of a corporate register in the corresponding country, etc.
Private company with sales of no less than USD 100,000 in the previous year (Representative of an independent business)
√ Document proving sales and a certificate corresponding to a business certificate
Employee of a multinational company; executive or reporter of a media company; lawyer; accountant; doctor; university professor (including an associate professor); artist who is at the official first grade (corresponding to a university professor) or second grade (associate professor) in the residing country; principal (representative) of a school providing education for Koreans; and researcher engaged in industrial technology research and development
√ Certificate of holding office, a copy of the business certificate of the organization where he belongs, or a certificate of qualification for different occupations
Representative and vice representative of a culture and art organization or association recognized by the government of the residing country
√ Copy of the business certificate of the organization where he belongs and a certificate of holding office
Former or incumbent parliamentary member or public official who served in such capacity for no less than five years
√ Certificate of holding office
Administrative official who worked at a diplomatic mission for no less than two years
√ Certificate of holding office
⑥ Parent, spouse, and child of a person who has the following professional occupation and knowledge:
Parent, spouse, and child of a compatriot businessman with annual sales of no less than USD 300,000
√ Documents proving sales and family relations (census record, birth certificate, etc.)
Parent, spouse, and child of a university professor (including an associate professor)
√ Certificate of holding office and document proving family relations (census record, birth certificate, etc.)
-Spouse and child of a representative (including a vice representative) of a culture and art organization recognized by the government of the residing country
√ Copy of the business certificate of the organization where he belongs, certificate of holding office, and document proving family relations (census record, birth certificate, etc.)
Spouse and lineal ascendants or descendants of a person who graduated with a master’s or higher degree from an accredited domestic university
√ Graduation certificate and document proving family relations (census record, birth certificate, etc.)
⑦ A person who entered into and departed from the Republic of Korea no less than three times during the last 12 months or no less than four times during the last 24 months with a short-term visa (C-2 ~ C-4) without illegally sojourning (each domestic sojourn was 90 days or less):
√ Census record or resident ID (Chinese compatriots), birth certificate (compatriots from the CIS), China’s business certificate, certificate of holding office or another certificate to prove employment in a professional job
Any person under ③ through ⑥ above may enter the country with a visa issued by a diplomatic mission.
Extension of the length of sojourn
Permission to extend the length of sojourn
The Minister of Justice may grant permission to extend the length of sojourn to a Korean with a foreign nationality who wishes to continue his sojourn in the Republic of Korea exceeding the ceiling of length of sojourn as the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean (Main sentence of Article 10.(2) of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」).
Nevertheless, in the event of any of the following, he may not receive permission to extend the length of sojourn (Proviso of Article 10.(2) of the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」 and Article 16.(1) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」):
When a male who was born by lineal ascendants in the status of sojourn without any purpose for permanent residency in a foreign country and who acquired a foreign nationality, became a multiple nationality holder, and became a foreign person for the purpose of evading the military service by renouncing nationality of the Republic of Korea before January 1 of the year of becoming 18 years old under the previous provisions of Article 12 (multiple nationality holders' nationality selection obligation) before enforcement of Act No. 7499, the amended 「Nationality Act」;
When a male of the Republic of Korea became a foreign person by acquiring a foreign nationality for the purpose of evading the military service by losing nationality of the Republic of Korea;
When there exists any concern over damaging the interests of the Republic of Korea, such as security, maintenance of order, public welfare and diplomatic relations, etc. of the Republic of Korea;
When the 「Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」or the 「Immigration Control Act」 is violated;
When he was sentenced to imprisonment without prison labor or a heavier punishment; and
Other cases notified by the Minister of Justice through consultation with appropriate ministries and offices or appropriate organizations.
Application for permission to extend the length of sojourn
A person who intends to obtain permission for extension of the sojourn period shall submit the following documents to the head of the competent Immigration Control Office (hereinafter the 'head of the office') or the head of the competent branch office of the Immigration Control Office (hereinafter the 'head of the branch office') before the sojourn period expires (Article 16.(3) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans」, Article 31.(1) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」, and attached Table 5-2 of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」):
√ A written application for permission for extension of the sojourn period;
√ Passport, foreigner registration card (foreigner registration card only for those who made foreigner registration);
√ Family relations certificate or certified copy of document about removal from the register recording loss or renouncement of nationality (only those applying for permission to extend the length of sojourn for the first time); and
√ Where a person applies for permission to extend the length of sojourn for the first time since December 29, 2005 and is a male aged between 18 and 38, he shall submit an additional document that proves he did not renounce or lose Korean nationality to evade military service (excluding males who completed or were exempted from military service or those enlisted in the second military service).
The head of the office or branch office shall, when the Minister of Justice grants a permit to the application, imprint a stamp for permitting extension of the sojourn period (Form no. 42 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Immigration Control Act」) on the passport and enter the sojourn period thereon or affix a slip permitting extension of the sojourn period on the passport: Provided that, when extension of the sojourn period is permitted for a person who has completed foreigner registration, it shall be substituted with an entry of the permitted period on the foreigner registration card (Article 31.(3) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」).
Fee
The fee for permission to extend the length of sojourn is KRW 30,000 (Article 87.(1) of the 「Immigration Control Act」 and Subparagraph 6 of Article 72 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Immigration Control Act」).
The fee shall be paid according to one of the following methods (Article 73 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Immigration Control Act」):
√ When making payments to the office or branch office: Revenue stamp corresponding to the fee amount or electronic currency or settlement using the information telecommunications network:Provided that the fee for issuance or reissuance of the certificate of foreigner registration shall be paid by cash or voucher certifying its cash payment.
√ When paying to Si·Gun·Gu or Eup·Myeon·Dong: Revenue stamp corresponding to the amount of fee or electronic money or settlement using the information telecommunications network
√ When paid at a diplomatic mission: Revenue stamp corresponding to the amount of fee, cash, or voucher certifying its payment.
Reduction and exemption of the fee
·If it is deemed necessary in light of international cooperation, diplomacy, business investments, other national interests, humanitarian reasons, etc.,the Minister of Justice may grant the applicant exemption from or reduction of the fee (Article 87.(2) of the Immigration Control Actand Article 74 of the Enforcement Rule of the Immigration Control Act).
Departure notice when permission to extend the length of sojourn is not granted
The Minister of Justice shall, when he disapproves any application by a foreigner for extension of the sojourn period, issue and deliver to the applicant a notice regarding disapproval of such application for extension of the sojourn period, etc.("disapproval notice") (Form no. 43 of the Enforcement Rule of the Immigration Control Act). In this case, when no permission for change of the sojourn status has been granted (Article 30 of the Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act), the applicantmay be allowed to sojourn with the permitted sojourn status(Article 33.(1) of the Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act).
The disapproval notice shall specify the deadline for departure, to the extent of not exceeding 14 days from the issue date thereof; provided, however, that, if it is deemed necessary, the expiration date of the permitted sojourn period may be the deadline for departure and further provided that such deadline for departure may not be specified should the applicant be allowed to sojourn with the permitted sojournstatus(Article 33.(2) of the Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act).

Useful legal information  4

《 Granting of the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean》

 

Q 1. My son is 25 years old and has U.S. nationality. He is preparing to get a job at a company in the Republic of Korea. I and my spouse (currently residing in the U.S. with U.S. nationality) have permanent residency, and our son was born in the U.S. We did not make a birth report in the Republic of Korea since we did not know the report procedure. In this case, can my son be granted the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean?

A 1. In this case, as there is no document that proves the past possession of a The nationality of the Republic of Korea, documentary evidence that proves the parents’ past The nationality of the Republic of Korea and current possession of a foreign nationality should be submitted for their son to be granted the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean.

 

Q 2. I was adopted in a foreign country when I was a child and currently have a foreign nationality. Can a person who was adopted overseas, enters the ROK, and both studies and gets a job be granted the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean?

A 2. A person who was adopted overseas can acquire the status of sojourn as an overseas Korean by proving he had ROK nationality at birth with an adoption record issued by an official adoption agency or a domestic certified copy of a document about removal from the register.

                                                             

《 Source: e-Government for Foreigners

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