Troubled singer’s visa trial opensThe trial for Korean-American singer Yoo Seung-jun over his F-4 visa request opened Friday. Yoo, formerly a major star in the Korean music industry, was denied admission to the country in 2002 over his refusal to join the Army.
Unlike a travel visa, F-4 visa holders are allowed to participate in commercial activities in Korea.
According to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Among dual citizenship holders who were born outside Korea but whose names were included on their family register, only those who have renounced their Korean citizenship can apply for F-4 visas.”
By law, an F-4 visa cannot be given to applicants who renounced their Korean citizenship to avoid serving in the military. However, once an applicant turns 38, a visa may be issued regardless.
Yoo applied for an F-4 visa last year but was denied despite the fact that he was already 38. He has since appealed to be granted an F-4 visa based on the law’s exception.
After facing public backlash for dodging the draft, Yoo took to various media channels to display his contrition and desire to return to Korea. The star became a naturalized U.S. citizen nearly 15 years ago — a move many of his fans interpreted as his way of avoiding military duty in Korea.
By Jeong Byung-ki