Residency rules eased for ethnic Koreans

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Residency rules eased for ethnic Koreans

Beginning next year, ethnic Koreans overseas not consistently residing in Korea can obtain permanent residency status if they hold more than 500 million won ($426,000) worth of local real estate or earn sustainable income through employment here, the Justice Ministry said yesterday.

The ministry also plans to ease standards for granting permanent residency to expatriates. To date, only high income earners and specific professionals are granted the right.

Starting next year, expats who have stayed here for five years or longer and have posted beyond mid-level earnings will be eligible to apply.

According to a series of new rules on permanent residency, those who have paid 500,000 won or more in property taxes stemming from domestic real estate holdings or have invested $5 billion or more here will be eligible. First, however, they must show they have reported their residence to the Justice Ministry in the past two years. Those ethnic Koreans who will be allowed to apply for permanent residency will also include those who earn more than double last year’s per capita gross national income of $18,000 after being hired by a Korean company. Those who have posted annual earnings of at least $18,000 or more while working in manufacturing as well as agriculture, farming and fisheries industries over the past four years will also be eligible, as will those who have exported domestic goods worth 2 billion won or more. Issuance of the right will be made immediately after the filing of an application, the ministry added.

Until now, it has been mandatory for ethnic Koreans who had lived abroad to reside here for two years or longer before they could apply of permanent residency. Because of this, it has been nearly impossible for a number of Koreans with foreign nationalities traveling back and forth between Korea and their home countries to obtain permanent residency. Holders of permanent residency can stay here without having to extend the period of their visas, removing barriers in their job opportunities. The ministry said the measures are aimed at encouraging ethnic Koreans with expertise to land jobs here, given that the country is suffering from a low birthrate and soon could face steep population declines.

“Maybe because we have kept regulations on permanent residence for ethnic Koreans highly stringent, only 500 of them have actually obtained the right in the past seven years,” said a Justice Ministry spokesman.

By Seo Ji-eun []
Related Korean Article

국내 비거주 해외동포도 영주권 받는다

국내자산 5억이상·50만달러 이상 투자 등 조건
내년부터 국내에 지속적으로 체류하지 않더라도 5억원 이상의 국내 자산을 보유하거나 국내 취업을 통해 일정 소득 이상을 올리는 재외동포에게도 영주권(F-5)이 주어진다.

법무부는 외국국적 동포에 대한 영주권 부여 관련 지침을 만들어 내년 1월부터 시행한다고 30일 밝혔다.

이 지침에 따르면 2년간 국내 거소(居所)신고 상태를 유지하면서 5억원 이상의 부동산 보유 등으로 재산세 납부실적이 50만원 이상이거나 50만달러 이상을 국내에 투자한 재외동포에게 영주권을 준다.

국내 기업에 채용돼 연간 소득이 작년 1인당 국민총소득(GNI.약 1만8천달러)의 두 배 이상이거나 지방에서 4년 이상 농축산어업 또는 제조업 분야에서 일하면서 1만8천달러 이상의 소득을 올리는 재외동포도 영주권을 받게 된다.

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