Exit Ban of Foreigners in Korea for Not Paying Taxes, Custom Duties or Violation of Law: Immigration Law Basics

The Korean Immigration Control Act and related acts allows the potential to permanently impose an exit ban on foreigners for nearly all acts that are determined by the Ministry of Justice as “harming the interest, public safety or order in the economy of the Republic of Korea” until the reason for the exit ban ceases to exist. (Immigration Control Act of Korea Article 4(1)5.) The Immigration Control Act of Korea, also, always Korean government agencies to request the imposition of an exit ban on foreigners.  Determination of the Ministry of Justice may be appealed within the Ministry and if turned down – may be appealed to the Administrative Court of Korea. Yes, this post is related to a matter we are presently handling.  The relevant provisions of Korean law includes: Immigration Control Act, Article 4 (Prohibition of Departure) Immigration Control Act, Article 4-2 (Extension of Period of Prohibition of Departure)

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Fleeing Korea while under Police/Prosecutor Investigation: International Hold in Korea

From changes a couple of years ago in the computer system and policy of the Korean Immigration Services, even if the Korean prosecution/police have not requested that an accused be placed on an International Hold, some records of police investigations, indictments and proposed fines and sentences by the prosecution/police are being reported to the Korean Immigration Service at airports and ports of departure. An International Hold, in Korea, is an official procedure that flags passports and fingerprints & prevents one, under this International Hold, from departing Korea prior to the lifting of the International Hold. Even if you are not under an official International Hold, Korea Immigration may refuse your departure or entry into Korea based on information from data being shared between the Police, Prosecution, National Tax Service and other Korean government agencies.  Please note that the Korea Immigration is a branch of the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry

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Korea Immigration Deportation, Departure/Exit Orders: Immigration Law Basics

The Korea Immigration Service, a branch of the Ministry of Justice, has in the past few years increased enforcement actions against foreigners committing crimes and even cases of foreigners having charges dismissed by the Korea Prosecution Service.  Korean Exit Orders, Deportation Orders or other actions by Korea Immigration Service are challengeable at the Administrative Court for abuse of discretion. In most cases, it is near impossible to succeed in these challenges without an experienced and proactive attorney.  Because of Korean legal realities, it is advisable to retain, for the administrative court case, a proactive retired Korean court judge that, actually, actively works on cases.  Much said in an article concerning criminal lawyers applies to the hiring of an Immigration Lawyer, thus, it is advisable to read: English-speaking Korean Defense Lawyers The majority of tools needed for criminal defense work are need in challenges of Immigration Orders. Abuse of Discretion by Korean Immigration

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English-speaking Korean lawyers and International Lawyers at International Law Firm in Korea discussing issues of Korean Law

IPG Legal is a leading client-focused international law firm with offices in Korea that is, often, selected over the ubiquitous Korean Law Firms when success is essential and success depends on nuanced street-smart advice, proactive  and unconflicted representation. Our attorneys are, intentionally. different from the crowd.  From our retired judge partners to our junior associates, we are all trained with an intense focus on client success, lawyer proactivity, and to understand the nexus between your commercial and legal needs. Our attorneys shall never push to you useless memos, non-nuanced legal advice or get you into litigation without an honest assessment of the merits and shortcomings of the matter. We are  – intentionally different from the crowd.  Globally Experienced – Locally Connected.  We are IPG.  Korean Legal Practices Korean Antitrust, Competition & FTC Arbitration, Int’l & Domestic Korean Civil Litigation Korean Criminal Defense Korean Corporate Law & Compliance Korean Employment, Labor &

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The Signs of a Great Criminal Lawyer in Korea | English-Speaking Criminal Defense Lawyers in Seoul

There are few great English-fluent criminal defense lawyers working in Korea, because of the nature of the Korean criminal justice system and other Korean realities.  It is even more difficult to find competent English-speaking criminal defense attorneys outside of Seoul. In Korea, in all cases, where you are accused of a crime and you fear that you may be sentenced to time in a Korean jail, may be deported from Korea or the Korean conviction may harm your future – hire, quickly, an experienced and proactive attorney in Korea with experience in Korean criminal law prior to any interrogations by the Korean police or prosecution. As I mentioned in a post entitled English-Speaking Criminal Defense Lawyers in Korea: Who to Hire – Who Not to Hire “Sadly, few lawyers, in Korea, are useful for criminal matters, since few lawyers are proactive when it comes to matters concerning the Korean government,

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Establishing Business with Korea via an Agent: Korean Agency Law Basics

For some companies wishing to establish business with Korea, the use of a commercial agency relationship may be an ideal way to establish your business presence in Korea. An agent relationship is often ideal when a company seeks to sell its products in Korea, but wishes to first evaluate and familiarize itself with the Korean market prior to establishing a distributorship relationship or establishing a legal presence in Korea via a subsidiary. In Korea, there is no one piece of enacted legislation dedicated solely to agency law.  Rather, provisions pertaining to agency are found interspersed in various pieces of legislation, mostly within the Korean Commercial Code (“KCC”) (also known as the Korean Commercial Act) and Civil Act (often referred to as the Civil Code). The Korean Commercial Code sets out certain provisions that apply to the relationship between a commercial agent and principal. The KCC defines a “commercial agent” as

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Deportation after Criminal Conviction in Korea: Korea Immigration Law Basics

Korea’s Immigration Services has increased enforcement/deportation actions against foreigners convicted of crimes.  Upon exit from Korea, the Immigration Service has been instructing individuals to report to Immigration with the written judgment and confirmation that the fine (if any) was paid in full.  These records may be obtained from the Prosecutor’s Office. We advise reporting to Immigration, only, after an attorney reviews the matter and, potentially, writes a legal opinion to the Immigration Services of Korea.  If you live in the majority of the areas of Seoul, you should report to the Enforcement Unit on the 6th Floor of the Mokdong Immigration Office. When choosing to plead guilty to a crime, please be aware that the choice may subject you to deportation.  Immigration has, frequently, deported for fines over KRW 2million and crimes that lead to suspended jail sentences or a greater sentence.  If you attorney advises you to plead guilty

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Famed South Korean Golfer Ordered to Complete Military Service

Bae Sangmoon, 29-year old two-time PGA Tour winner, has been ordered to serve in the South Korean military under Korea’s military conscription laws. Bae was, recently, granted American residency, however, a court in the South Korean city of Daegu has just determined that he had not stayed overseas a long enough period of time to qualify as an overseas resident, and is, thus, required by South Korean law to serve in the military. South Korea has universal conscription for men, and many South Koreans resent the fact that wealthy, high-profile, and politically-connected young men are granted exemptions from serving in the military seemingly because of these connections. While Bae would have been conscripted into the military had he not been a famous golfer, his status as one of South Korea’s “well-off” citizens likely, also, made him a target by the Military Manpower Administration (MMA). His fame, and the high-profile nature

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Weekly Korean Legal News From International Law Firm – IPG Legal for the Week of July 7, 2014

Weekly Korean Legal News From International Law Firm – IPG Legal For the Week of July 7, 2014Korean Legal News Reported by the Media on the Week of July 7, 2014 Science Ministry to Introduce Laws for Better Mobile Service Plans Validity of Financial Holding Firms in Question Bank of Korea Hints at Rate Cut Pantech Sinking into Deeper Liquidity Crisis Samsung Chief Marks 2 Months in Hospital Most Recent Posts from the Korean Law Blog Is Samsung Doomed? No Innovation Price Trap Is Korea’s “Copy Culture” the Largest Threat to the U.S.? On Fox Business Korean Immigration Law’s 20% Rule Challenged Material Breach of Contracts Under Korean Law: Primary Obligations vs. Secondary Obligations Samsung’s Shareholdings Explained by Wall Street Journal ___ Sean Hayes may be contacted at: [email protected] Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked

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Witholdings Taxes on Transactions between Korean & Hong Kong Companies

The Republic of Korea and Hong Kong signed a double taxation treaty on July of 2014.  The treaty will come into force, if ratified, by the respective assemblies.  Under Korea Tax Law, the, normal, withholding tax is 22%.  The main purpose of the treaty is to reduce this rate and, also, allow the governments to share information on potential tax evaders.  This double taxation treaty, among other things, includes provisions for: A 15% Withholding Tax on dividends and a 10% Withholding Tax if the company receiving the funds owns a minimum 25% interest in the company remitting the dividends;  A 10% Withholding Tax on most interest and royalties;  A cooperation mechanism to share tax information in order to apprehend Korean tax evaders; and  Taxation on capital gains, only, in the country where the income was earned.  ___Sean Hayes may be contacted at: [email protected] Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea

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Weekly Korean Legal News From International Law Firm – IPG Legal for the Week of June 30, 2014

Weekly Korean Legal News From International Law Firm – IPG Legal for the Week of June 30, 2014Korean Legal News Reported by the Media on the Week of June 30, 2014 FSS Chief Pledges to Back Foreign Firms Cho Steering Hanjin Shipping Out of Liquidity Crunch Park, Xi Boost Security, Business Ties Korea, China to Seal FTA by Year’s End Won Goes from Strength to Strength Most Recent Posts from the Korean Law Blog Is Samsung Doomed? No Innovation Price Trap Is Korea’s “Copy Culture” the Largest Threat to the U.S.? On Fox Business Korean Immigration Law’s 20% Rule Challenged Material Breach of Contracts Under Korean Law: Primary Obligations vs. Secondary Obligations Samsung’s Shareholdings Explained by Wall Street Journal ___ Sean Hayes may be contacted at: [email protected] Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked for the

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Weekly Korean Legal News From International Law Firm – IPG Legal for the Week of June 23, 2014

Weekly Korean Legal News From International Law Firm – IPG Legal for the Week of June 23, 2014Korean Legal News Reported by the Media on the Week of June 23, 2014 Samsung, LG at War over Android Wearables Hyundai Motor to Be Fined for Overstated Fuel Economy Korea Recognized for Combating Money Laundering Asiana Accepts Responsibility for Crash Penalties Likely for Woori Bank Most Recent Posts from the Korean Law Blog Is Korea’s “Copy Culture” the Largest Threat to the U.S.? On Fox Business Korean Immigration Law’s 20% Rule Challenged Material Breach of Contracts Under Korean Law: Primary Obligation vs. Secondary Obligations Samsung’s Shareholdings Explained by Wall Street Journal Finding a Distributor Agent to Sell/Market Your Products in the South Korean Market ___ Sean Hayes may be contacted at: [email protected] Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the first non-Korean attorney to have

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Korean Immigration Law’s 20% Rule Challenged

Increased direct foreign investment to Korea is, facially, Park Gun Hye’s Administration’s top priority. However, according to the Korea Herald, it seems like the Korean bureaucracy is not following the Park Administration. The Korea Herald reported that foreign companies have increased complainants about the current Korean immigration law as exemplified in at a government-organized forum in Seoul last week.   The complaints have come, in part, because “[u]nder Korean immigration regulations, companies are allowed to employ a workforce with up to 20 percent of their employees being foreign semi-professionals or skilled laborers on an E-7 visa.” Some participants argued that under the current regulations, foreign companies have to employee more local workers in order to increase their foreign workforce, which “adds to the financial pressure to many small and medium-sized foreign companies.” We see this and other issues with Immigration that we have seen, first hand, is causing many foreign

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Korean Start-up Visa: First Visa Issued to Korean American Entrepreneur

A Korean government news portal announced that the first “Start-up Visa” has been issued to Jason Lee of J.J. Lee Company.  Ignoring the fact that he, most likely, qualified, for an Ethnic-Korean visa (F-4), the entrepreneur obtained the visa, apparently, with few issues.  We are unsure how difficult it will be for other entrepreneurs to obtain this visa.  The major requirements for the visa are:1.  Intellectual Property registered in Korea (yes registered in Korea-overseas is not good enough);2.  A Korean company; and a3.  University degree. We suggest, also, having a business plan.  We are not sure how this visa is more beneficial than the D-8 Investment visa.  We assume the, only, advantage (since little information exists) is that you do not need the KRW 100,000,000 capitalization ((Foreign-capital invested company).  The visa is new and we and seemingly, also, Korean Immigration is not sure of how this visa will assist in

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Korean Visa Rules Still not Strict Enough for Some in the Korean Government

According to a new article in the Korea Herald based on government data, nearly 3 out of 10 short-term foreign visitors to South Korea stay here illegally.  The story didn’t specify exactly what an “illegal stay” meant, but it did take the time to classify the nationalities of the offending foreigners – 43.7% of them were Chinese, with the next-biggest group of offenders being Thais at 19.4%. What we found most interesting about the article is that it attributes the uptick of offending foreigners to “the government’s streamlining of visa issuance procedures to attract more tourists.” The article seems to imply that visas to South Korea should be much more difficult to obtain. Public outcry, in every country, is often a precursor to government action.  In January, 2011, South Korea began mandating that foreign English teachers seeking work on an E2 visa would require federal (national) criminal background checks –

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Visa Benefits for Korean Homosexuals in America: Defense of Marriage Act Held Unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 holding that was split on the typical ideological camps, declared unconstitutional the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act.  The Defense of Marriage Act denied federal benefits to same-sex spouses.  In declaring the law unconstitutional the majority opinion by Justice Kennedy opined that the law simply; “writes inequality into the entire United States code.”   Justice Kennedy went on to opine that the law, in of itself, is “demeaning” and “humiliating” to gays and lesbians.  Justice Scalia, in dissent, noted that: “Favoring man-woman marriage no more ‘demeans’ and ‘humiliates’ other sexual relationships than favoring our Constitution demeans and humiliates  the governmental systems of other countries.” The largest affect for non-Americans will be the benefit of a U.S. spousal visa and permanent residency.  Thus, for example, a Korean man that marries an American man will be eligible for a K-1 Fiance visa and permanent residency. _________Sean Hayes may

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10 Top Cities in Asia for FDI in 2012- One Korean City on the List

The Financial Times, yearly,  posts on its Financial Intelligence site a ranking of the top 10 destinations in Asia for Foreign Direct Investment.  One Korean city appears on the list, three Chinese cities and four Australian cities along with the usual characters.   1.   Singapore2.   Melbourne3.   Hong Kong4.   Brisbane5.   Sydney6.   Busan7.   Auckland8.   Perth9.   Guangzhou10. Chengdu ________Sean Hayes may be contacted at: [email protected] Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team for an international law firm. He is the only non-Korean to have worked as an attorney for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty. (c) Sean Hayes – SJ IPG. All Rights reserved.  Do not duplicate any content on this blog without the express written permission of the author. [email protected]

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Korean Lawyers and Law Firms: One of the Most Comprehensive Lists of Attorneys in South Korea Capable of Handling the Needs of Expat Clients

I find the best list of major Korean law firms/attorneys can be found at HG.  Not all law firms on the list are advised to be utilized, additionally,  I suggest, always, hiring an experienced foreign lawyer to work alongside your Korean lawyer.  The best foreign lawyers are, typically, those with significant experience working alongside Korean judges and prosecutors. Few foreigner lawyers have experience with litigation, thus, if you are involved in litigation, please consult with one of the handful of international attorneys in Korea that have experience with the Korean court system and have a substantial experience working in an equal capacity with Korean lawyers.  ____Sean Hayes may be contacted at: [email protected] Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team for an international law firm. He is the only non-Korean to have worked as an attorney for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the

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U.S. Taxation of American Citizens/Permanent Residents Living Abroad

TAXES.  Everyone wants to avoid them and only a few people really know how.  This goes double for US citizens who earn income in China.  This is because the US taxes foreign income as well as income earned within the States.  Even worse, the IRS requires any US person with a financial account overseas to register it with the treasury department, as long as such account has held over $10,000USD at some point during the year. This provision was meant to discourage the use of overseas tax shelters, but they equally apply to US people teaching English in China that have managed to save $10,000USD in their Bank of China account. And speaking from personal experience, the process is complicated because it involves both the IRS and the Treasury department.  Luckily, the filing can be done online, even if it is not particularly simple. For those earning a salary in

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Korea and Myanmar Now Not as Far Apart

Good news for Korea and Myanmar.  Myanmar is anticipated to be a major investment destination for Korean companies.  Korean Air, realizing this trend, has launched the first non-stop flight from Korean to Yangon, Myanmar.  The flight will commence in early September of this year.   The flight time will, thus, be reduced from 10 hours to 6 hours. If the flight is well subscribed, expect Asiana Air to quickly follow suit.  _________ Sean Hayes, IPG’s Co-Chair of the Korea Practice Team, may be contacted at: [email protected]  IPG is engaged in projects for Korean and international clients in Myanmar and much of Southeast and East Asia. (c) Sean Hayes – SJ IPG. All Rights reserved.  Do not duplicate any content on this blog without the express written permission of the author. [email protected]

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