Fourth-generation Goryeoin to receive ‘overseas Korean’ status
Feb. 08, 2019
Global Korean Post
By Park Hye-ri and Yoon Sojung
Fourth-generation Goryeoin, or ethnic Koreans from former Soviet republics in Central Asia, will be eligible for “overseas Korean” visas to more easily live and work in Korea.
The Ministry of Justice on Jan. 25 said it plans to revise the Enforcement Decrees of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans to extend the scope of the overseas Korean designation from third-generation Goryeoin (mostly grandchildren of the original Koreans forced to settle in Russia and Central Asia) to fourth generation (direct descendants).
By law, the application of the overseas Korean status has been limited to third-generation descendants of Korean nationals. For this reason, younger Goryeoin had difficulties getting a visa to stay in Korea or a Korean passport, something that even made them unable to live with their parents in the motherland.
The amendment to the law will come after the 40-day period for the preliminary announcement of legislation that ends on March 4. Afterward, fourth-generation Goryeoin with foreign nationality can stay in Korea for up to three years at a time and extend their stay without difficulty. They will receive the same rights as Korean citizens in real estate and financial trading as well as qualify for national health care.
Back on Aug. 15, 2017, President Moon Jae-in mentioned in his National Liberation Day speech his administration’s plan to support ethnic Koreans who were forced to move to Siberia and Sakhalin. The ministry has since implemented related measures on 516 Goryeoin as of December 2018.
The ministry said in a news release, “To mark the centennial anniversary of the March First Independence Movement and the establishment of the Korean Provisional Government, we will revise the law. We hope that the revision will help more descendants of overseas Koreans gain legal status to freely travel and stay in Korea, which will allow them more opportunities and pride as Korean nationals.”
Fourth-generation Goryeoin can also take classes to better adapt to life in the country like those on Korean, basic legal information in Korea and understanding Korean society.