Massages, nightclub work nixed for foreign spouses

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Massages, nightclub work nixed for foreign spouses

Foreigners who obtained residency status by marrying a Korean will be prohibited from working in nighttime entertainment venues, according to the Justice Ministry. The ministry also said it was planning to make it possible for distinguished foreigners in the arts or sports who have lived in Korea for more than five years to be able to acquire Korean residency on an F-5 visa.

The Justice Ministry announced a revised regulation yesterday which states that foreign spouses on F-2 visas will not be able to work in such venues as noraebang, or singing rooms, hostess bars, massage parlors and other places that “disturb the social order and ‘good’ social conduct.” The ministry said the revision is scheduled to go to the cabinet before July.

“There have been many cases in which foreign spouses [in Korea] have worked as noraebang ‘helpers’ or in massage parlors and have caused social problems,” said an official at the Justice Ministry. “This measure was taken so that a proper multicultural family environment will be able to stabilize here.”

Under current regulations, if a foreign spouse was found working in nighttime entertainment venues, there was no clear guideline permitting investigation or restrictions.

The ministry said it wants distinguished foreigners in Korea in the arts or sports to be able to obtain residency. “With this, people like Guus Hiddink [the Dutch football coach who led the Korean national team to the semifinals of the World Cup in 2002], who has contributed to Korea and is renowned internationally, will be able to obtain permanent residency,” the official said.


By Cho Jae-eun [jainnie@joongang.co.kr]

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