Tougher laws on foreign marriages

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Tougher laws on foreign marriages

Koreans seeking to marry foreign spouses will soon have to go through closer screening on their marital state and financial statements under guidelines that take effect next month, the Ministry of Justice said yesterday, in an effort to minimize the effects of problematic international marriages.

The legal revision was the latest move by the Korean government to protect foreign spouses from mentally ill or financially incompetent husbands and to curb marriage scams. It also has stepped up monitoring of matchmaking agencies and is expanding counseling services for foreign wives.

Under the new rule that takes effect on March 7, those who seek a foreign spouse will be asked to present financial statements and marital status papers, particularly whether they had invited bribes from other countries more than twice over the past five years, the ministry said.

For those who apply for F-2 spouse visas, the diplomatic offices abroad will thoroughly review whether the relationship is legitimate in order to screen out job seekers under the false pretense of marriage, the ministry said. Koreans who want to marry a foreigner are obliged to take courses on international marriage to fulfill prerequisite qualifications, officials added.

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