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Gwangju city

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With information on Gwangju available throughout the world,
Gwangju’s interaction with many countries will be of greater value.

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, have 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 in dangerous situations and thus in 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 places 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 insurance 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

Requirements for Facilitated Naturalization (Naturalization by marriage)
  • He/she shall be an adult under the Civil Act of the Republic of Korea
  • He/she shall be a man of good conduct
  • He/she shall be able to support himself/herself, relying on his/her own assets, ability or family he/she lives with
  • He/she shall have basic knowledge as a national of the Republic of Korea, such as Korean language proficiency and understanding of Korean custom
  • A person whom the Minister of Justice decides that the allowance of their naturalization does not inflict harm to national security, maintenance of order or public welfare
Additional Requirements (Subparagraphs 1 and 2, Paragraph 2, Article 6 of the Nationality Act)

An alien whose spouse is a national of the Republic of Korea falls under any of the following subparagraphs

  • A person who has had a domicile in the Republic of Korea for at least two consecutive years while being married to the said spouse
    • Must live at least two consecutive years in the Republic of Korea from the day of entrance after getting a marriage certificate in a foreign country.
  • A person for whom three years have lapsed since he/she got married to their spouse, having a domicile in the Republic of Korea for at least one year consecutively
  • A person who was unable to sustain marriage due to death or disappearance of his/her spouse or other causes unattributable to him/her while having a domicile in the Republic of Korea and being married to their spouse, who failed to fulfill the domicile requirements for a period, but has fulfilled the requirements for the remaining period, and whose case the Minister of Justice considers reasonable
  • A person who failed to satisfy the domicile requirements, but who is taking care of, or shall take care of, a minor born within the marriage relationship with their spouse, and has met the domicile period requirements and whose case the Minister of Justice considers reasonable
Domicile Requirements

Below are the domicile requirements of a naturalization applicant according to the Article 5 of the Enforcement Regulations of the Nationality Act

  • The period of legal residency of an applicant shall include the entire period of time he/she has resided in Korea since lawfully entering the country. 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 document 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, Gwangju City Hall (+82-62-613-3242)
  • Women and Children Division, Dong-gu Office (+82-62-608-2654)
  • Women and Children Social Welfare Division, Seo-gu Office (+82-62-360-7958)
  • Women and Family Division, Nam-gu Office (+82-62-607-3515)
  • Hope Welfare Division, Buk-gu Office (+82-62-410-6422)
  • Welfare Policy Division, Gwangsan-gu Office (+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
  • 2nd floor Kokom Building 27-1, Jong-ro 65-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul Tel: +82-2-3672-8988, +82-2-3672-7559 (Consultations)
Emergency Support Center for Migrant Women (Multicultural Family Support Portal)
  • 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 Students with Multicultural Background
  • TEL : +82-62-380-4500 (09:00~18:00)
  • Multicultural Student Education Seminar and Workshops
  • School Support Programs (Korean language classes, IT classes, culture classes)
  • Devising academic curriculum and materials for discretional activity to prepare for multicultural generations
  • Participating in multicultural study projects
Birth attendant services for migrant women
  • Dispatching a birth attendant for migrant women in Gwangju giving birth (72 hours max.)
  • Operated by Buk-gu Multicultural Family Support Center, Gwangju (+82-62-363-2963)
Multicultural Family Support Center
  • Family Health Support Center at Dong-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-234-5790) 14, 693 beon-gil, Nammun-ro, Dong-gu, Gwangju
  • Multicultural Family Support Center at Seo-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-369-0073) 18, 1224 beon-gil, Sangmu-daero, Seo-gu, Gwangju
  • Multicultural Family Support Center at Nam-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-351-5432) 7F, Junyeong Building, 831, Seomun-daero, Nam-gu, Gwangju
  • Multicultural Family Support Center at Buk-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-363-2963) 195, Haseo-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju
  • Multicultural Family Support Center at Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-954-8004) 57-1, Gwangsan-ro, Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju
Koryoin (ethnic Koreans in former Soviet states) Support Center
  • 29 Sangjeong gongwon-ro 50 beon-gil, Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju (+82-62-961-1925)
  • Childcare, counseling (legal, medical, immigration, etc.), interpretation services and more
  • Division in Charge : Social Welfare Division
  • Contact : +82-62-613-3241,3242