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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Data Protection in Korea is set to take on new importance in 2021

Koreans have been forced into the realm of digital deliveries and contactless payment options due to the global pandemic. The change in conditions shall, likely, lead to more criminals looking to take advantage of this situation. Foreigners and international companies potentially could be exposed to significant risks from data and identity theft in Korea as the risks increase over the next 12 months. A recent report by the Police Science Institute in Korea predicts that white-collar crimes such as fraud

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Navigating Korea’s Inheritance Law: Korean Inheritance Laws Basics Explained

Sean C. Hayes and the team at IPG Legal field many inquiries from international clients for assistance with inheritance issues in South Korea. Many clients that we talk with are children of Korean descendants who have passed away without a will. This week we saw another ruling on inheritance issues with the surviving family of K-pop star Goo Hara. After a nine-month battle, the Gwanju Family Court ruled that the inheritance be split, with the singer’s brother getting 60% of

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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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Happy New Year to all our clients, family, and friends!

2020 has been a tough year and we look forward to working with you in 2021 to celebrate your success. Happy New Year!

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Changes to the Korean Immigration System means more Opportunities for Single Parents to Work in Korea

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

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Deportation after COVID-19 Quarantine Violations in Korea

This week a bill was submitted by Korean politicians to make the deportation process easier for the Korean government to deport foreign nationals accused of submitting false testing information for COVID-19. The COVID pandemic remains an emotive issue in Korea as cases have been steadily rising domestically over this Winter season. Political leaders, within Korea, have had a long history of using the foreign population as an easy target to win the hearts and minds of the public when times

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SsangYong Motors files for Bankruptcy in Korea

It isn’t just foreign companies that have a robust history with Korea’s militant labor unions. The troubles of GM Korea and SsangYong Motors have been well documented over the last decade. This week SsangYong Motors finally succumbed to the pressures of the Korean market. The company filed for bankruptcy after defaulting on loan repayments of 60 billion won ($54.4m USD). SsangYong is unlikely to receive further government support, with the national government unlikely to step in to provide aid for

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