ID cards to be available to Korean expats in 2015Koreans living abroad will be eligible for a national identification card starting Jan. 22, 2015, the Ministry of Security and Public Administration announced yesterday.
Nationals residing abroad may file for a resident registration card if they plan to stay in Korea for 30 days or more, a move which is expected to lift restrictions on financial transactions and ease their time spent in their home country.
The ministry added that it anticipates more than 110,000 nationals will register for the ID cards.
Previously, Korean nationals had to give up their registration cards when they moved overseas.
Resident registration numbers are required for a number of activities, including banking, legal assistance, phone service, online purchases and general identification.
“Because of legal restrictions, overseas Koreans were limited in their economic activities and experienced many inconveniences regarding their livelihoods until now,” said Kim Ki-soo, a policy official with the Public Administration Ministry, “so we hope to alleviate this.”
The ministry added that the new legislation will also ease the process of certification seal impressions for overseas nationals. Seals must be registered in the individual’s jurisdiction and are needed to carry out financial transactions.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are more than seven million Koreans living abroad.
Of them, 1.1 million hold permanent residency cards and 4.4 million hold citizenship in the countries in which they reside.
BY SARAH KIM [firstname.lastname@example.org]