Multi-cultural Families

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Laws for Immigrants Married to Korean Nationals

Requirements and necessary documents for acquiring Korean nationality
Support Institutions

The National Basic Life Security Law
Article 5-2 (Exemption Law for Foreigners): Among international residents in Korea, those married to Korean citizens whose spouses are pregnant, those raising under-aged children with Korean nationality, and also staying or residing with linear ascendants with Korean nationality, shall become beneficiaries pursuant to the presidential decree regarding a range of benefits.
One Parent Family Support Law
Article 10 (Special provisions for foreigners): One Parent Family Support Law (Hereinafter referred to as “Law”). In accordance with the 3rd paragraph of Clause 2 of Article 5, those who are subject to special support are foreigners who are married to a Korean national, reside in Korea, has children with Korean nationality and are registered as a foreigner according to Article 31 of the 「Immigration Law」
Emergency Livelihood Support Law
This law is intended to swiftly support those in need or who are facing dangerous situations and to help them stay out of danger and lead meaningful and healthy lives.
Article 5 (Those requiring urgent aid) Those eligible for application under this law are people under in dangerous situations and thus need of urgent aid (hereinafter referred to as "those in need of urgent aid").
Item 2 in Article 5 (Special law for foreigners) Foreigners staying in Korea that are determined by the president and also fall under Article 5 become those eligible for applications of urgent aid.
National Health Insurance Act
This law is intended to improve national health and social security by providing insurance benefits for prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of diseases or injuries as well as birth, death and health promotions.
Article 109 (Exemption Law for Foreigners)
① The government can separately determine the health insurance of laborers at the work place that governments in foreign countries are users according to negotiations with foreign governments.
② Overseas Koreans or foreigners staying in Korea (hereinafter referred to as "foreigners, etc. staying in Korea") who are either laborers of relevant work places, public officials or school staff, without pertaining to Paragraph 2 of Article 6, shall become work place members despite Article 5, when they fall into any category listed in the following subparagraphs.
Insurance for Married Immigrants
1. Job-related Insurance
If the immigrant’s husband already holds job-related insurance, the immigrant can be added as a dependent family member to the husband’s national health insurance. The required documents are to be submitted by the husband to the National Health Insurance Corporation.
If the immigrant woman is the only member in her family to hold job-related insurance, she will automatically be enlisted if her workplace provides health insurances for its employees. She is required to submit her Alien Registration Card to her workplace.
2. Local Insurance
If neither the immigrant woman nor her husband hold any job-related insurance, the immigrant woman may apply for local insurance.
The applicant must apply at the local National Health Insurance Corporation office with her Alien Registration Card.
Contact: Gwangju Branch of the Bureau of National Health Insurance

Civil Affairs Office: 1577-1000

Criteria and Required Documents for Acquiring Korean Citizenship

Criteria for acquiring cohabitation/marriage-based Korean citizenship
General eligibility requirements
The applicant must be of the legal age defined by the civil law of the Republic of Korea.
The applicant must maintain a presentable appearance and suitable behavior.
The applicant's living in Korea must be supported, either by the applicant's own wealth or capacities or by the family members in Korea on whom he or she is dependent.
The applicant must have basic knowledge, skills and virtues required of Korean citizens, including proficiency in the Korean language and an adequate understanding of Korean culture and customs
Additional Clauses (Section 6, Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the Nationality & Citizenship Act)

Those married to foreigners holding Korean citizenship may apply, provided that they meet one of the following criteria :

The applicant has been married to their spouse and living at a permanent domicile in the Republic of Korea for 2 years or longer;
- The applicant has filed a marriage certificate in an overseas jurisdiction and has been living in Korea for 2 consecutive years or longer since the last date of entry.
The applicant has been married to their spouse for 3 years or longer and has maintained a permanent domicile for 1 year or longer in the Republic of Korea.
Criteria for Residency

Section 5 of the Enforcement Regulations for the Nationality & Citizenship Act provides the following criteria for the applicant’s residency in the Republic of Korea:

The period of legal residency of an applicant shall include the entire period of time he/she has resided in Korea since entering the country and obtaining alien registration in a legitimate manner. Applicants who meet one of the following criteria shall be regarded as having resided in Korea without any interruptions or absences, and their period of legal residency shall include the entire period of time dating from their points of entry (except the periods of time they spent overseas after leaving Korea):
Those who were granted permission to re-enter Korea during their stay in this country, exited Korea and re-entered within the valid period of time specified by the permission:
Those who temporarily exited Korea because they could not provide legitimate reasons for extending their stay in this country, and who re-entered Korea within one month of leaving by obtaining permission for re-entry.
Place of Application:Nationality Division at the Border Control Office.
Keep in mind when applying

While it is required of the applicant to prove to the authorities the legitimacy of his or her marital relationship status by appearing with his or her spouse, if his or her spouse cannot be present, the applicant may apply by submitting a piece of official I.D. of his or her spouse.
※ The applicant must provide a written statement detailing the reasons why his or her spouse is absent (e.g., a doctor’s note if the spouse is hospitalized at the time of application).

Required Documents for Naturalization

※ Additional documents may be required, or some of the required documents may be omitted, as is deemed necessary in the process of review.

  • Application form for the Naturalization Permit, a photocopy of the passport, Criminal Records Certificate from his or her country of origin (See Q&A guidelines regarding the Nationality Law)
  • Letters of recommendation from more than one person (including the recommenders' proof of employment)
    - Those deemed eligible pursuant to Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of Enforcement Regulation of the Nationality Law (National Assembly members, head of local governments, assemblymen, educational members and superintendent of education, principles and vice principals of elementary, middle and high schools, judges, prosecutors and lawyers, professors, associate professors and full-time lecturers, public officials of Grade 5 and above, financial institutes, department heads or above of TV stations and daily newspapers, department heads or above of companies listed in the stock exchange, doctors, oriental medical doctors, pharmacists, oriental herbalists, heads of social integration program-running organizations designated by the Minister of Justice)
  • Financial proof (guaranteeing the applicant's or his/her family members' ability to support the applicant's living in Korea), which may include one of the following:
    - A certificate of income exceeding the Gross National Income (GNI) of the previous year notified issued by Bank of Korea
    - A proof of financial property worth 60 million won or more (savings, installment savings, stocks, etc.)
    - A proof of real estate register entries with the appraised value of land over 60 million won or a security deposit worth 60 million won or more
  • A copy of each explanatory material showing the applicant's personal information including parents, spouse, children, marital status (single or married) and adoption
    (Chinese applicants are required to submit copies of their family census registry and the Certificates of Family Relationship Status certified by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • If the applicant is Korean Chinese, he or she is required to write their name using Korean-style pronunciation and not the local pronunciation. They are also required to submit official certificates issued by the authorities of the People's Republic of China attesting to their Korean descent.
  • If the applicant has changed his/her official date of birth, he/she must submit a certificate issued by the embassy or consulate of his/her country of origin.
  • A copy of the Report on Family Relationship Status (a letter of notification handwritten by the applicant to be submitted to the Supreme Court)
  • Application processing fee: 300,000 won

※ All documents written in languages other than Korean must be translated into Korean and notarized. In these cases the name and contact information of the translator must be provided.

Refer to the Hi Korea website, an electronic government website for foreigners

Local Administrative Agencies Providing Assistance to Multicultural Households

Local administrative agencies support various programs, including Korean language, Korean culture, counseling, employment and counseling for start-ups, to help multicultural families quickly adapt to living in Korea.

  • Social Welfare Division in Gwangju (+82-62-613-3242)
  • Women and Children Welfare Division at Seo-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-360-7153)
  • Women and Children Welfare Division at Nam-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-607-3541)
  • Women and Family Division at Buk-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-410-6422)
  • Women and Childcare Division at Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju (+82-960-8469)

Urgent Support and Counseling Institutions

Woman Migrant Human Rights Center
  • A Non-Governmental Organization established to enhance human rights and welfare of migrant women in Korea
  • 4th Floor 178-68 Sungin-dong Jongno-gu Seoul City TEL +82-2-3672-8988, +82-2-3672-7559 (Telephone number for counseling)
Migrant Women Emergency Support Center

TEL : +82-62-367-1577

  • Provides counseling and emergency support services to migrant women (In 5 languages)
  • Provide services in connection with relevant institutions (1577-1366) (In 8 languages)
Counseling Services for Multicultural Families

+82-62-380-4500 (09:00~18:00)

  • Seminars and workshops on multicultural education.
  • Provides educational support programs (classes in the Korean language, informatization and cultural experiences).
  • Develops textbooks and educational materials in preparation for a multicultural society.
  • Participates in research activities regarding multicultural society.
Multicultural Family Support Center
  • Multicultural Family Support Center at Seo-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-369-0073) 18, 1224 beon-gil, Sangmudae-ro, Seo-gu, Gwangju City
  • Multicultural Family Support Center at Nam-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-351-5432) 2F, Chodang Building, 155, Gunbun-ro, Nam-gu, Gwangju City
  • Multicultural Family Support Center at Buk-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-363-2963) 195, Haseo-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju City
  • Multicultural Family Support Center at Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-954-8004) 57-1, Gwangsan-ro, Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju City
  • Family Health Support Center at Dong-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-234-5790) 14, 693 beon-gil, Nammun-ro, Dong-gu, Gwnagju City

NGOs and Other Civil Organizations for Multicultural Family Support in Gwangju:

  • Rainbow Multicultural Family (Inc.) (+82-62-224-8279)
  • Multicultural Family Sarang Center (Inc) (+82-62-514-5184)
  • Multicultural Family Welfare Center (Inc) (+82-62-234-1232)
  • Hope Tree (Inc) (+82-62-675-7118)
  • Multicultural Family Welfare Society (Inc) (+82-62-528-4279)
  • Dahari (Inc.) (+82-62-224-5020)
  • Eoulim (Inc.) (+82-62-676-8877)
  • Hanul (Inc.) (+82-62-236-3536)
  • Gruteogi (Inc.) (+82-62-682-0191)
  • Gwangju Multicultural Support Network Council (070-7516-6683)
  • Hatteuneun Multicultural Family Welfare Center (+82-62-222-4446)
  • Gwangju Immigrant Women Support Center (+82-70-7502-6797)
  • Deobureo Sup (+82-62-383-7466)
  • Special Joint Public-Private Sector Support Taskforce for Multicultural Families (+82-62-263-2252)
  • The World’s Most Beautiful Tree (070-8807-8216)
  • Yeolbang Damunhwa (+82-70-7533-5591)

Division in Charge : Social Welfare Division

Contact : +82-62-613-3242