Online Immigration Visit Reservation System to be Implemented in All Immigration Offices starting April 1, 2021

On March 8, 2021, Minister Park Beom Kye of the Ministry of Justice made an announcement that the online visit reservation system shall be implemented in all Immigration Offices starting April 1, 2021. We believe this system shall expedite the visa processing system. According to the Ministry of Justice, this system shall not, only, reduce long lines and waiting time of visitors, it will also ensure proper social distancing in compliance with COVID-19 regulations. The online visit reservation system shall

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Minimum Wage Increased in South Korea for 2021: Employment Law Update

The Ministry of Employment and Labor of South Korea has increased the minimum hourly wage by 1.5% for 2021 to KRW 8,720.00 compared to the 2020 minimum hourly wage of KRW 8,590.00. This new minimum hourly wage took effect on January 01, 2021. Moreover, in accordance with the hourly wage increase, the new minimum monthly wage, based on 209 working hours per month, will now be KRW 1,822,480.00 per month. The new minimum hourly wage also applies to both local

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Uncontested Divorce vs Contested Divorce in South Korea

Divorce in South Korea is governed by Korea’s Civil Code and it is divided into two types. The first one is uncontested divorces which are also known as a “divorce by agreement.” This type of divorce, as the name implies, requires agreement of the husband and wife that they wish to divorce. The second type of divorce is the contested divorce also called as “judicial divorce.” This type of divorce is resorted to by spouses when one spouse asserts the

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Wrongful Termination in South Korea

South Korea is not an “at-will” employment country which means that employer may not dismiss an employee for any reason nor without warning or notice. And under the Labor Standard Act, an employer who has five or more employees may not dismiss or suspend from work any of its employee without justifiable cause. And even with the presence of justifiable cause for dismissal, the employer is still required to give a minimum of 30 days advance notice to the employee

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What Do You Need To Know About Severance Pay in South Korea?

Severance pay (retirement pay) is the compensation that an employee is entitled to receive from his employer once the employment has ended. And under Employee Retirement Benefit Security Act, a regular full-time employee in South Korea shall receive a severance pay within 14 days from termination of employment. The amount of severance pay is equal to employee’s one month salary for every year of consecutive service. For similar articles, you may read: Statutory Severance Obligations in Korea after Acquisition of

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Whistleblower Protections and Laws in South Korea

South Korea has various legislations that protect and give rewards to whistleblowers: Act on the Prevention of Corruption, Tax Whistleblower Reward Program, and Act on the Protection of Public Interest Whistleblowers. But for this article, we are going to focus on Act on the Protection of Public Interest Whistleblowers (“Act”) which took effect on September 30, 2011. The main purpose of this Act is to make sure that whistleblowers who are reporting public interest violations either in private sector or

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New Korean Corruption Investigative Unit Established to Investigate High-Ranking Public Officials in Korea

Korean established a new investigative unit with the independent power to investigate High-Ranking Public Officials, family members of High-Ranking Public Officials and those associated in alleged crimes with High-Ranking Public Officials. This office shall be called the Corruption Investigation Office (“CIO”) for High-Ranking Public Officials. This independent investigative agency’s scope of power includes the investigation of the President of Korea, members of the Korean National Assembly, prosecutors, judges, senior public officials (Rank of Grade III or higher) and some senior

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South Korea to Impose Taxes on Cryptocurrency in 2022

The Ministry of Economy and Finance confirmed that on the 1st of January 2022, profit from cryptocurrencies shall be subject to a 20% tax. And gifts and inheritance in the form of cryptocurrencies shall be taxed by the same rate of 20%. Exempted from Cryptocurrency Tax Any profit, gift and/or inheritance worth 2.5 million won and below will be exempted from the cryptocurrency tax. And only the profit, gift or inheritance in excess of 2.5 million won will be covered

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Korean Corporate Tax Law Amendments for FY 2021

Korean Tax Law

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Adhesion Contract in South Korea: Regulating Unfair Terms and Conditions

Adhesion Contract is a contract drafted by a party with stronger bargaining power and signed by a party with lesser bargaining power. The party that has weaker bargaining power does not have the capacity to negotiate the terms and conditions of the contract and they just adhere completely to what the party with the upper hand has to offer. In South Korea, in order to avoid such unfair one-way contract and prevent business persons from imposing unfair terms and conditions

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Tips for Start-up Success in Korea: Korean Business Basics

Despite the economic challenges presented by the COVID pandemic, there are still plenty of opportunities for start-up companies in South Korea. Many of the long-term foreign attorneys in Korea shall advise that South Korea remains a perfect testbed for foreign companies in the East Asian marketplace. Local and national governments remain committed to fostering long-term partnerships with foreign start-ups within Korea. The attorneys at IPG Legal have put together a list of their top tips to help your start-up succeed

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Child Support Basics in South Korea

As we’ve mentioned in our previous post “Obtaining Child Support from a Deadbeat Korean Father (Mother)”, for the past few years we noticed a huge increase in children born out-of-wedlock from foreign national mothers and Korean fathers. And because of this incident Korean court also witnesses rising lawsuits seeking child support against Korean fathers. Under Act on Enforcing and Supporting Child Support Payment or Act No. 12532 as amended by Act No. 13216, the term child support is defined as

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Korea’s Class Action Law Proposed by Moon Administration

Class action lawsuits in South Korea are currently available in two types of civil cases: (1) under the Securities-Related Class Action Act of Korea (derivative/shareholder suits); and (2) in certain limited product liability matters under the Consumer Act of Korea. A bill that seeks to expand the scope of class actions into other areas, aside from the two instances above, has languished for years in the Korean National Assembly. However, in a statement made by the Ministry of Justice last

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Japan is Ordered to Pay Damages to former “Comfort Women”

In a historic ruling made by a South Korean court on January 8, 2021, it awarded 100 million won or around US$90,000 damages to each 12 plaintiffs. The plaintiffs are a group of former 12 Korean “comfort women” who were employed as sex workers in brothels during the Japanese occupation that spans from 1910 until 1945. The Seoul Central District Court also issued the compensation order accompanied by a provisional execution which means that any assets of the Japanese government

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Filing for a Patent in Korea: Basics of Korean Patent Law

Over the next couple of months, lawyers here at IPG Legal shall provide detailed insight and analysis of the Patent Laws of Korea. The following post details the basics of filing for a patent in South Korea. Individuals or companies can register for patents through the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). The application and registration of patents is governed by the Korean Patent Act (“the Act”). In most cases, patents may be filed in English, but extra specific measures should

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Can Foreigners buy Real Property in Korea? Korean Real Estate Law for Non-Korean Residents and Non-Residents

Unlike some Asian countries that do not allow or strictly limit foreign ownership of real properties, South Korea has a buoyant market that permits foreigners to purchase real estate and even land in Korea.  The major restrictions on ownership of real estate for non-Koreans was lifted during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis based on the advice of the IMF.  The lifting of these restrictions, led, in part, to a commercial and residential real estate boom.  The major benefit to Korea

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Calculation of Korean Hourly Wage Rate under the Minimum Wage Act of Korea

Korea’s minimum wage as per the Korean Minimum Wage Act in 2019 is determined by the Minister of Employment & Labor as KRW 8,350 per hour. The latest decisions of the Supreme Court developed a calculation standard/method for determining an hourly wage rate that is not in line with the opinion of the Ministry of Employment & Labor. In many such cases, a Ministry, simply, pushes to amend the law. This matter is important, since the standard hourly wage rate

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Korean Intestate Succession Law: Inheriting Property from your Korean-National Parents

We assist numerous clients concerning intestate succession issues in Korea. Many of these clients are foreigners who are children of a Korean decedent who passed away without a will. Typically, the clients are in need of an asset scrub and assistance in the transfer of the assets to the name of the client and forwarding of the funds overseas. Please note this present article deals, solely, with Interstate Succession under Korean Law. If your parent was, solely, a national of

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Finding a Korean Lawyer/Law Firm for your Business in Korea

We obtain numerous emails and calls from potential clients in search of a great Korean lawyer for companies doing business in Korea.  The majority of these intakes come from referrals from present clients, referrals from other lawyers and a couple trickle in via this blog. From our contacts, we believe that many businesses in Korea are having a difficult finding attorneys in Korea that have business savvy, the ability to efficiently work for the client and/or an inability to handle

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Korea Due Diligence for Joint Ventures, Licensing, OEMs and Buying a Korean Company

Intending to execute a joint venture agreement with a Korean company? Buying a Korean company? Licensing technology to a Korean company? OEM with a Korean supplier? Selling to a Korean company?Before going to bed with a Korean company (or individual) do a little due diligence.  The motivation for this article is an article by my friends over at the China Law Blog. Due diligence in Korea is not much different than due diligence in China.  However, don’t forget what is

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