The Korean Times, recently, reported that the Ministry of Justice is looking at changes to the Immigration System to allow single parents to remain in South Korea with their adult children.
The proposed changes are significant as it allows the provision for foreign residents to remain in the country provided they meet specific benchmarks for the resident F-2 visa. Migrants who were previously married to a Korean citizen will now be eligible for this visa, in the event of divorce or the death of a spouse. In the past, in most cases they were, only, allowed to maintain a resident visa if the divorce was adjudicated as being the fault of the husband. However, many lawyers never even realized this and often settled matters, thus, leading to the loss of visas for these migrants.
The visa allows for a migrant in Korea to retain their visa status and also maintain their employment in Korea once the children reaches adult age. The previous regulations stipulated that a single migrant parent would be forced to switch to an F-1 visa in the event they didn’t have permanent residency once they children reached an adult age. This visa does not allow the recipient to legally work in Korea.
In a statement to local media, the Justice Ministry stated that migrants would be eligible for the new visa provided that they could prove that they raised the children in Korea for a period of five years, a duty of care was fulfilled, and their Korean language skills were up to a specific level.
F-2 visa holders would then need to renew this visa every three years.
In the event that an international couple faces difficulties in their marriage, we recommend talking to an English-speaking lawyer who is familiar with the nuances of the Korean legal system.
Migrants and international couple have the right to file for a divorce in the Korean legal system if one of the parties resides in South Korea and are under the jurisdiction of the Korean Family Court. The Korean court system doesn’t place restrictions on non-permanent residents from filing in South Korea.
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