Visa and citizenship rules modified

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Visa and citizenship rules modified

The Korean government yesterday announced several steps to help foreigners wanting to work in Korea or become citizens.

To make the Korean citizenship test more accessible to foreigners, additional exam centers will be opened in 17 local immigration offices across the country starting this month, the Justice Ministry said yesterday.

Until now, those who wishing to become naturalized Korean citizens had to take the naturalization exam at the Justice Ministry’s naturalization exam center in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi, forcing foreigners residing outside of Gyeonggi area to sometimes make long trips. Further, to help prospective Korean citizens get tips about the exam, samples of written examinations and interview questions for the naturalization test will be posted at the Korea Immigration Service’s Web site, www.immigration.go.kr, and Hi-Korea, an e-government portal for foreigners at www.hikorea.go.kr.

The way visas are being handled is also changing. Before, companies wanting to hire foreign professionals, such as native-English teachers, researchers, and experts in advanced technology, had to send company officials to visit immigration offices and make on-site visa applications before inviting foreign talent here. Now the ministry will simplify the procedure by introducing online visa registration at HuNet Korea, the government-run visa nomination and online visa application web site where people can submit online visa applications (www.visa.go.kr). To use the Web site, companies need to create accounts, the ministry explained.

Procedures concerning re-entry permits will be eased for foreigners married to Koreans and international students studying in Korea who leave for short home visits and overseas trips.

Those who make a re-entry application by on-site registration and at the Korean Immigration Service official Web site can make limitless overseas trips and make multiple re-entries regardless of how long they lived in Korea. Those making re-entry applications will be exempted from fees.


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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