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ACT ON THE IMMIGRATION AND LEGAL STATUS OF OVERSEAS KOREANS

Act No. 6015, Sep. 2, 1999

Amended by Act No. 6124, Jan. 12, 2000

Act No. 6307, Dec. 29, 2000

Act No. 6328, Dec. 30, 2000

Act No. 7173, Mar. 5, 2004

Act No. 7768, Dec. 29, 2005

Act No. 7873, Mar. 3, 2006

Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008

Act No. 9140, Dec. 19, 2008

Act No. 10275, May 4, 2010

Act No. 10543, Apr. 5, 2011

Act No. 11690, Mar. 23, 2013

Act No. 12421, Mar. 18, 2014

Act No. 12593, May 20, 2014

Act No. 13797, Jan. 19, 2016

Act No. 14173, May 29, 2016

Act No. 14973, Oct. 31, 2017

 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to ensure overseas Koreans the entry into and departure from the Republic of Korea and the legal status therein.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 2 (Definitions)
The term "overseas Korean" in this Act means a person who falls under any of the following subparagraphs:
1. A national of the Republic of Korea who has acquired the right of permanent residence in a foreign country or is residing in a foreign country with a view to living there permanently (hereinafter referred to as a "Korean national residing abroad");
2. A person prescribed by Presidential Decree from among those who, having held the nationality of the Republic of Korea (including those who had emigrated abroad before the Government of the Republic of Korea was established) or as their lineal descendants, have acquired the nationality of a foreign country (hereinafter referred to as a "foreign nationality Korean").
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 3 (Scope of Application)
This Act shall apply with respect to the entry into and departure from the Republic of Korea and the legal status therein of Korean nationals residing abroad and foreign nationality Koreans who have the status of sojourn as overseas Korean (hereinafter referred to as the "status of sojourn as overseas Korean") from among the qualifications for sojourn under Article 10 of the Immigration Act.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 4 (Duty of Government)
The Government shall give necessary support to overseas Korean lest he/she should suffer unfair regulation or treatment in the Republic of Korea.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 5 (Grant of Status of Sojourn as Overseas Korean)
(1) The Minister of Justice may grant the status of sojourn as overseas Korean to a foreign nationality Korean who intends to engage himself/herself in activities in the Republic of Korea based on his/her application thereto.
(2) Where a foreign nationality Korean has any of the following reasons, the Minister of Justice shall not grant him/her the status of sojourn as overseas Korean under paragraph (1): Provided, That in cases of a foreign nationality Korean falling under subparagraph 1, the foregoing shall not apply from January 1 of the year when he becomes 41 years old: <Amended by Act No. 10275, May. 4, 2010; Act No. 10543, Apr. 5, 2011; Act No. 14973, Oct. 31, 2017>
1. Where a male not falling under any of the following cases becomes a foreigner by renouncing or losing the nationality of the Republic of Korea:
(a) Where he has completed, or is deemed to have completed, his active military service, full-time reserve service, or supplementary service;
(b) Where he is enlisted in the wartime labor service;
(c) Where he is exempt from military service.
2. Where it is apprehensive that he/she may impair the interests of the Republic of Korea, such as national security, maintenance of public order, public welfare and diplomatic relations of the Republic of Korea.
(3) When the Minister of Justice grants a foreign nationality Korean the status of sojourn as overseas Korean under paragraphs (1) and (2), he/she shall consult with the Minister of Foreign Affairs as prescribed by Presidential Decree. <Amended by Act No. 11690, Mar. 23, 2013>
(4) The requirements for acquisition of the status of sojourn as overseas Korean and the scope of activities of a person who has acquired such qualification shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 6 (Reporting on Place of Residence in Korea)
(1) A foreign nationality Korean who has entered the Republic of Korea with the status of sojourn as overseas Korean may fix a place of residence in the Republic of Korea and report the place of residence to the head of a local immigration office or alien registration office having jurisdiction over the place of residence. <Amended by Act No. 12421, Mar. 18, 2014; Act No. 12593, May 20, 2014>
(2) When the place of residence reported under paragraph (1) is changed, such change shall be reported to the head of a Si/Gun/Gu (including a Gu which is not an autonomous Gu; hereafter the same shall apply in this Article and Article 7) or an Eup/Myeon/Dong in which the new residence is located, or the head of a local immigration office or alien registration office having jurisdiction over the place of new residence within 14 days. <Amended by Act No. 12421, Mar. 18, 2014; Act No. 14173, May 29, 2016>
(3) Upon receipt of a report on the change of the place of residence under paragraph (2), the head of a local immigration office or alien registration office shall notify the head of a Si/Gun/Gu or an Eup/Myeon/Dong in which the new residence is located and, the head of a Si/Gun/Gu or an Eup/Myeon/Dong, in turn, shall notify the head of a local immigration office or alien registration office having jurisdiction over the place of new residence, respectively. <Amended by Act No. 12421, Mar. 18, 2014; Act No. 14173, May 29, 2016>
(4) Items to be stated in the report on the domestic place of residence, accompanying documents, and procedures for filing reports, and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 7 (Issuance of Report Cards of Domestic Place of Residence, etc.)
(1) The head of a local immigration office or alien registration office shall grant the report number of the place of residence to a foreign nationality Korean who has reported his/her place of residence under Article 6, and shall issue the report card of the place of residence to the foreign nationality Korean: <Amended by Act No. 12421, Mar. 18, 2014; Act No. 12593, May 20, 2014>
(2) The following details shall be stated in the report card of domestic place of residence issued under paragraph (1):
1. Report number of the domestic place of residence;
2. Name;
3. Gender;
4. Date of birth;
5. Nationality;
6. Residing country;
7. Place of residence in the Republic of Korea, etc.
(3) The head of a local immigration office or alien registration office shall prepare and keep the register of reports on the domestic place of residence and other related documents, as prescribed by Presidential Decree. <Amended by Act No. 12421, Mar. 18, 2014>
(4) A person who intends to have his/her report card of domestic place of residence re-issued as he/she has lost or damaged his/her report card of domestic place of residence issued under paragraph (1) or due to other reasons prescribed by Presidential Decree shall apply for re-issuance of the report card to the head of a local immigration office or alien registration office. <Amended by Act No. 12421, Mar. 18, 2014>
(5) The head of a local immigration, alien registration office, or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu or an Eup/Myeon/Dong may issue a certificate to a person who has filed a report on the domestic place of residence under Article 6 or allow such person to peruse such certificate, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice, attesting that he/she has filed a report on domestic place of residence. <Amended by Act No. 9140, Dec. 19, 2008; Act No. 12421, Mar. 18, 2014; Act No. 14173, May 29, 2016>
(6) A person who applies for issuance and re-issuance of the report card of domestic place of residence under paragraphs (1) and (4), or issuance of the certificate of the report of domestic place of residence under paragraph (5) shall pay a fee prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 8 (Return of Report Cards of Domestic Place of Residence)
When a foreign nationality Korean no longer need to hold the report card of domestic place of residence, he/she shall return it to the head of a local immigration office or alien registration office within 14 days from the date such reason arises, as prescribed by Presidential Decree. <Amended by Act No. 12421, Mar. 18, 2014; Act No. 12593, May 20, 2014>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 9 (Relations with Resident Registration, etc.)
Where a resident registration card, a certified copy and abstract of resident registration, a alien registration card, or a fact certificate of alien registration is required for various kinds of procedures and business relations, etc. prescribed in statutes, a report card of domestic place of residence or a fact certificate of report of domestic place of residence may substitute for each of them.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 10 (Immigration and Sojourn)
(1) The period of sojourn under the status of sojourn as overseas Korean shall be up to three years at the longest. <Amended by Act No. 9140, Dec. 19, 2008>
(2) The Minister of Justice may grant permit for extension of the period of sojourn to a foreign nationality Korean who is going to stay continuously in the Republic of Korea exceeding the period of sojourn under paragraph (1) as prescribed by Presidential Decree: Provided, That where there is any reason falling under any subparagraph of Article 5 (2), the same shall not apply.
(3) Where a foreign nationality Korean who has reported the domestic place of residence departs from and reenters the Republic of Korea within the period of sojourn, reentry permit under Article 30 of the Immigration Act shall not be required.
(4) A foreign nationality Korean who has reported the place of residence in the Republic of Korea or the change of such place of residence shall be deemed to have completed the alien registration under Article 31 of the Immigration Act and the report on change of the place of sojourn under Article 36 of the same Act.
(5) Employment and other economic activities of a foreign nationality Korean who has been granted the status of sojourn as overseas Korean shall be freely permitted to the extent that he/she does not impair social order or economic stability.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 11 (Real Estate Transactions, etc.)
(1) A foreign nationality Korean who has reported the domestic place of residence shall have equal rights with a Korean national in the acquisition, possession, utilization, and disposal of real estate in the Republic of Korea other than the cases under Article 9 (1) 1 of the Act on Report on Real Estate Transactions, Etc.: Provided, That such activities shall be reported under Article 3 (1) and Article 8 of the Act on Report on Real Estate Transactions, Etc. <Amended by Act No. 13797, Jan. 19, 2016>
(2) Where a foreign nationality Korean who has reported the domestic place of residence either registers the real right concerning real estate in the real name, which is registered or will be registered in the name of title trustee under the title trustee agreement prior to enforcement of the Act on the Registration of Real Estate under Actual Titleholder's Name, or disposes of it by sale, etc. pursuant to Article 11 (1) and (2) of the Act on the Registration of Real Estate under Actual Titleholder's Name within one year after the enforcement of this Act, Article 12 (1) and (2) of the same Act shall not apply.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 12 (Financial Transactions)
A Korean national residing abroad who has completed resident registration and a foreign nationality Korean who has reported the domestic place of residence shall enjoy equal rights with a national of the Republic of Korea who is a resident under the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act when using domestic financial institution, such as opening a deposit account or installment savings account, application of interest rates, and making deposits and withdrawals: Provided, That the same shall not apply to reporting on capital transactions, etc. under Article 18 of the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act. <Amended by Act No. 12593, May 20, 2014>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 13 (Foreign Exchange Transactions)
Where a Korean national residing abroad exports payment means falling under any of the following subparagraphs or pays abroad, the Korean national residing abroad shall be equally treated with a foreign nationality Korean in the application of Articles 15 and 17 of the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act:
1. Proceeds from sale or disposal of the real estate in cases of the disposal by sale or by expropriation of the real estate in the Republic of Korea which has been possessed by a Korean national residing abroad before residing abroad;
2. Payment means imported or paid from abroad into the Republic of Korea.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 14 (Health Insurance)
Where a Korean national residing abroad who has completed resident registration and a foreign nationality Korean who has reported the domestic place of residence stays in the Republic of Korea for at least 90 days, he/she may seek the benefit of health insurance, as prescribed by health insurance-related statutes. <Amended by Act No. 12593, May 20, 2014>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 15 Deleted. <by Act No. 6328, Dec. 30, 2000>
 Article 16 (Patriots and Veterans Benefit to Persons of Distinguished Services to State, Persons of Distinguished Services to Independence and Their Bereaved Family)
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008]
 Article 17 (Administrative Fines)
(1) Any person who fails to report on the change of his/her domestic place of residence, in violation of Article 6 (2), shall be subject to an administrative fine not exceeding two million.
(2) Any person who fails to return his/her report card of domestic place of residence, in violation of Article 8, shall be subject to an administrative fine not exceeding one million.
(3) Administrative fines referred to in paragraph (1) or (2) shall be imposed and collected by the head of a local immigration office or alien registration office, as prescribed by Presidential Decree. <Amended by Act No. 12421, Mar. 18, 2014>
(4) through (6) Deleted. <by Act No. 9140, Dec. 19, 2008>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 8896, Mar 14, 2008]
ADDENDUM
This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA <Act No. 6124, Jan. 12, 2000>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
Articles 2 through 6 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 6307, Dec. 29, 2000>
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
(2) (Special Cases concerning Right to Receive Compensation) Any person who is entitled to receive compensation under the Act on the Honorable Treatment of and Support for Persons, etc. of Distinguished Service to the State or the Act on the Honorable Treatment of Persons of Distinguished Service to Independence at the time this Act enters into force shall be deemed a person having the right to receive the compensation, notwithstanding the amendments to Article 16.
ADDENDA <Act No. 6328, Dec. 30, 2000>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 2001. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 15 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 7173, Mar. 5, 2004>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 7768, Dec. 29, 2005>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA <Act No. 7873, Mar. 3, 2006>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 2007. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 8 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 8500, Jul. 13, 2007>
This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 8896, Mar. 14, 2008>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 9140, Dec. 19, 2008>
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA <Act No. 10275, May. 4, 2010>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 2011. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 4 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 10543, Apr. 5, 2011>
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
(2) (Applicability) The amended provision of Article 5 (2) shall apply beginning with the application for the status of sojourn as overseas Korean first filed after this Act enters into force.
ADDENDA <Act No. 11690, Mar. 23, 2013>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
(1) This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
(2) Omitted.
Articles 2 through 7 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 12421, Mar. 18, 2014>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
Articles 2 and 3 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 12593, May 20, 2014>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on January 22, 2015.
Article 2 (Transitional Measures)
For a Korean national residing abroad who has reported the domestic place of residence pursuant to the former provisions as at the time this Act enters into force, who fails to report the domestic place of residence pursuant to Article 10-2 of the partially amended Resident Registration Act No. 12279 ever after this Act enters into force, the report of the domestic place of residence and the report card of the domestic place of residence filed and issued under the former provisions remain valid until June 30, 2016 and the effect of the report of the domestic place of residence and the report card of the domestic place of residence of all Korean nationals residing abroad becomes void from July 1, 2016.
ADDENDA <Act No. 13797, Jan. 19, 2016>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force one year after the date of its promulgation.
Articles 2 through 11 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 14173, May 29, 2016>
This Act shall enter into force on September 30, 2016.
ADDENDA <Act No. 14973, Oct. 31, 2017>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.
Article 2 (Applicability to Grant of Status of Sojourn as Overseas Korean)
The amended provisions of Article 5 (2) shall apply to the persons who renounce or lose the nationality of the Republic of Korea after this Act enters into force.
Article 3 (Transitional Measures concerning Grant of Status of Sojourn as Overseas Korean)
Notwithstanding the amended provisions of Article 5 (2), the former provisions shall apply where a person who renounced or lost the nationality of the Republic of Korea before this Act enters into force, files an application for the status of sojourn as overseas Korean.