Marrying a Korean

A lot of girls has been asking me about getting married to a Korean. Their questions range from the how-to’s to what it’s life being married to one. There are even those asking me to find them a guy here.

Marriage to a Korean is not as easy as it sounds. It’s definitely not so unlike the dramas you see on TV. When you marry a Korean, you marry into his family. Traditionally, a woman’s name is crossed-off her family register and she becomes a member of her husband’s family. My husband said that during Choseon dynasty, women didn’t have names. They are either daughters or wives of someone. And men of means were openly polygamous. However, women of nobility receive equal inheritance from their families. Married women also don’t change their last names to that of their husbands’.

Marrying a Korean requires a lot of thought. After all, it is your life. And although we are both Asians, they follow Confucian traditions more strictly than even the Chinese.

After much thought and you’re still hung on marrying your Korean boyfriend… here is the how-to.

60 comments

  1. I think Korea novelas are really potent in signaling out inaccurate impressions–when you have a Korean boyfriend, it’s mostly all happy, cheesy, kissy, touchy, and a bit brutal. Brutal?! In those soaps, it is quite legit and cutie cutie that boy kicks or drags girl by the hair, and girl kinda likes the soft masochism. haha. It think it’s one uniquely entertaining element of Korea novelas.

  2. The last link seems to be broken. If I go to the website I can see it, but if I click to go into the particular post to comment, the same error occurs…

    One of my friends had a problem with his mother’s tombstone. He had all daughters, so his name (or his kid’s names? I forget) are not listed, and he refuses to visit the grave until that is fixed.

    How is foreign marriage perceived, though? Does the family accept you with open arm or with knives? =P

  3. hi, betchay! one of my most favorite kdramas is ‘terms of endearment’ which really made me ask a lot of questions about marriage and family life in korea. the lead girl in ‘toe’ han gain married song il guk(playing a rich guy). after their marriage as if a form of initiation rites han gain serves his family while they eat, she does not eat with them, does a lot of housework and you get the impression that her status is just above that of a servant. when the mother learned that she has been and got pregnant with another man prior to their marriage, the mom went berserk drove her out of the house, locked her out and she isn’t allowed to eat anything in the house. i was telling myself, what is the advantage of being married to a korean man, you do not carry his surname, the kids if any belongs to the husband’s family in case of divorce. i’m just wondering about alimony and child support, how are they carried out. since you are a foreigner married to a korean national, are you covered by their laws pertaining to marriage and family. i hope you got married in the philippines

  4. Hi. I have asked you some advice in the past through email and i thought i’d just post my other questions here so others can also benefit from your answers.
    Im trying to look for a documentary of children born to Korean and Filipino parents. Can you provide the link to articles, documentaries, etc. on this topic? You have featured Ms. Fernandez and i read that her sons are now in the Philippines because they couldnt adapt in korea. Is discrimination against kids of interracial marriages that bad?
    My boyfriend’s family is trying to accept the idea that their son might be married to a filipino . What they are worried about is the future of their grandkids. At first, I never really thought seriously about it but when I read about Fernandez’s kid, I started to get worried. I thought I could hurdle the “hardships” of being married to a Korean but things would be different when it comes to my future children. I don’t think I can risk them being bullied by their peers for not being a pure blood.
    Do you have the same apprehensions about your son growing in Korea? You’ve been in Korea for quite some time and you have known a number of Filipinas married to Koreans. What do they think about this?

  5. Hi,

    This is my first time in your blog. I enjoyed reading your post. I am always fascinated in other culture especially Korean Culture. If someone will give me an expense paid tour and I have to choose between Korea and USA, I’ll choose Korea. Post more with pics of Korea and their culture. I always thought if I did not get married soon, I might be looking for a Korean guy as a husband, probably because of the Korean dramas and movies that influenced me. As seen in most korean movies, marriage is marrying the guy’s family. They will keep you as theirs.

    Thanks for the interesting post.

    Cheers!
    metropolismom

    Metropolismoms last blog post..Becoming A Blogger

  6. Hi betchay, I’m super fascinated with your blog and your willingness to help other people. I have been reading your blog since last year. and I guess you are super sikat na, especially your touist visa post, 🙂

    I’ve gotten time to write now coz I really really really need your help. I’ve read that you got married here in the Phils. My fiance (now in Korea) and I (i’m here in Pinas) are planning to get married for me to get an F-2 visa. He’s planning to come here in Nov 2008. The problem is, he will only have 15 days to stay here because of his job and he will just get a promo ticket. This promo ticket allows him to stay 15 days only. Here are my questions:

    1) Is it possible for us to get married in 15 days?
    I know, marriage here under Phil law requires 10 consecutive days of posting before we can get a marriage license, so it is just our second option. Does Korean embassy have a service wherein we can have a civil wedding there, and how many days does it take?

    2) And is it possible for me to apply the f-2 alone? I mean maybe my fiance wouldn’t be here anymore when I get time to apply for an f-2 visa.

    🙂 thanks in advance, God bless

  7. I’m An American girl…half black and half white. It was easy for me to get my korean husband. He has to get a K1 fiancee visa. That grants him one entry into america to marry you. As long as you get married within 90 days of his arrival and petition to change status at immigration right after…things go very smoothly…in america anyway lol

  8. My boyfriend is Korean but we plan to migrate in another country maybe in Australia or Canada. I told him beforehand that I’m really worried about living in Korea. I guess that gave me a huge relief but I’m still worried about his family although we plan to live away from them.

  9. I’m married with korean guy too and have been living in korea for more than 6 yrs, it’s kinda difficult at first coz i felt like i dont have voice to say what i feel and do what i wanted to do but its a little different now coz i dont let my husband treat me like im his ahmm i forgot the word for that maybe maid-like, i hope you understand what im trying to say.. anyway i am so glad to be here and learn about this site coz i think i can learn from reading evryones comments and maybe i can help others too..have a nice day!!

    1. hi Ms. Eina. I’m Cerylhen, 18, Filipina. I wanted to hear your thoughts and experiences in having a korean husband~ i have a korean boyfriend so your words might give me a lot of hints and help. Thank you. My email is cerylhen@live.com

    2. Hi Eina! My name is Marlene,I’ve been staying here in Seoul for more than a month & still haven’t got any filipina friend living here in Korea.Besides, I haven’t even seen any filipino in my area.I missed talking to a fellow countrymen & luckily i saw your post that you’re willing to help others so i will grab the chance to at least have someone to talk to other than my husband & in-laws.You can first reach me thru email & here’s my address: marlene_r777@yahoo.com.Hope to hear from you soon & please grant my request.Thank you very much!

  10. whenever i read your entries i feel kinda frustrated. Always seem so negative like ,, it’s not easy etc….
    However reading your blog made me more optimistic. I got my korean visa just in a week and i adjust quite well to my husband’s family as they welcomed me so warm

    Thanks anyway kabayan.

    1. hi Mei! the truth is it’s not really easy… but it’s not impossible to adjust to a married woman’s life here… even my sisters-in-law who are koreans would not say that it’s easy being a wife and a daughter-in-law here…

  11. hello! what are the requirements in marrying a korean? my korean fiance and i have been in the relationship for more that a year now. we are planning to get married this year but i do not know the needed documents. please help me. thank you ms betchay.

  12. do i just need a cenomar? actually, i cannot find the website of Korean embassy in the Philippines. please help me. thank you.

    1. hi apple!

      better visit your local registry office/civil registrar’s office (municipal hall) and ask for details and the list of requirements needed in getting married (to a korean). I got married at age 28 and the requirements were simple, i just don’t know if there are still other requirements for those marrying 25 under (in case you are 25 and younger)

      as for your husband, he’ll need a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage from the Korean Embassy. this certificate is one of the requirements that will be requested of you by the local registry. To get this certificate from the embassy, your husband has to present his Family Register Certificate from here (at least not more than 3 months old from date of issue. my husband had to request his brother here to get new certificates for him and mailed them to Philippines) and another certificate (i forgot the name) to prove he can be given the Cert of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage.

      Anyway, here’s the address of the Korean Embassy. It’s really not difficult to find. The guards and Korean volunteers are very accommodating. They’ll help you around.

      Korean Embassy
      The Pacific Star Building
      Sen. Gil Puyat corner Makati Avenue
      Makati City, Philippines 1226
      Phone: (+63) 2 811-6139 to 44
      Office Hours: 8:30-12:00 and 1:30-5:30

      i hope this helps…
      .-= jehan´s last blog ..DGP’s VMAs: Pick Your Video of the Year (2009) =-.

      1. thank you Ms Betchay and Ms Jehan

        Ms Betchay, actually, we have not decided yet where we’ll get married. However, my fiance wants us to tie the knot here in the Philippines. ~not yet final~

        Thank you for your reply Ms Jehan. i will just drop by municipal hall and Korean embassy next week. My fiance is excited and wants me to get the needed documents ASAP. ^^ (the feeling is mutual, actually.lol) by the way, i am under 25 y/o. Thank you so much!

        Ms Jehan, what is the Korean term for the “Family Register Certificate” so I could ask my fiance to get it? Where will he get the said certificate? Is the last certificate just the same as our CENOMAR here in the Philippines? Sorry I asked a lot of questions.

        ~apple

        1. you’re welcome apple!

          it’s best that you and your fiance visit the korean embassy together. let him show them his passport and his 가족관계증명서 (ga-jok-gwan-gye-jeung-myeong-so) or Certificate of Family Relationship which should not be more than 3 months old from its date of issue here in Korea..

          if his Cert. of Family Rel’p is almost 3 months old, they’d ask him to get a new one again (which he could ask any of his family members here to get for him and send [via EMS]).

          if by chance he is a divorcee, he also needs to show his 혼인관계증명서 (hon-in-gwan-gye-jeung-myeong-so) or Certificate of Marriage Relationship showing that he really is divorced or that their divorce is already finalized.

          from my CFO seminar, I encountered 2-3 pinays having problems with their CFO certificates because their husbands’ divorce weren’t finalized yet (they got married via matchmakers but their falsely or incompletely translated certificates were caught by the CFO personnel).. really too sad for them. these certificates are written in Korean. so the unsuspecting Filipinas didn’t know at first that they were getting married to a married man…
          .-= jehan´s last blog ..DGP’s VMAs: Pick Your Video of the Year (2009) =-.

          1. thanks ms jehan! ^^

            luckily, my fiance is not a divorcee so i guess we will not be having problems. thank you and God bless..

            ~apple

  13. Hello!
    I came across this site yesterday looking up Dol ideas and traditions, etc as our neighbors daughter turns 1 today! I have to say it caught my attention because I am a korean woman married to a filipino man living in the US. I was wondering if anyone out there had any liks to organizations for our family to join or groups we could join to meet other couples or families like us. We live in the Boston are and are having a hard time finding families like us…although we are lucky enough to have a family across the street who is just like us!! It’s great but I want a community of children who are around our childrens age. Any suggestions??

    Thanks! – 🙂

  14. @ apple

    you’re welcome.. take it one step at a time, don’t be stressed with the list of requirements you’ll see. btw, after your wedding, see to it that your wedding cert/contract will be forwarded immediately to NSO. you have to follow it up. you have to work on it. while working on them, go to the CFO office right away to get your seminar scheduled. you can attend the seminar while processing your papers…

    good luck and God bless….
    .-= jehan´s last blog ..Goodbye Winter, Goodbye Clinique =-.

  15. san po ung CFO office? un po ba ung seminar para sa mga foreign wives? thank you

    and pag nakuha ko n ung marriage certificate namin from NSO saka ko naman po yon ipapadala sa hubby ko para iregister sa korea..gnun po ba? tpos saka pa lang ako makakapagapply ng visa? o pde po n tourist n lng muna?

    1. hi annie! you may visit http://www.cfo.gov.ph for more info on the seminar for foreign wives…

      pagkakasal ninyo at nakuha mo marriage certificate from the city hall, punta agad sa Korean Embassy with your hubby at apply na ng visa… iinterbiyuhin kayo ng consul (pero most likely he’ll only talk to your hubby)… kung hindi mag-stay with you ang hubby mo at babalik siya ng korea, ipadala mo ang NSO marriage certificate mo sa kanya… papa-register niya sa “dong” office ang kasal ninyo at kukuha siya ng family register with your name on it… pag nakuha mo na ang family register, dalhin mo sa embassy kasama ng NSO marriage certificate at ibibigay sa yo passport mo with F-2-1 visa na nakatatak… better apply for 59 days visa para hindi ma-doble bayad mo (kasi kailangan mo rin extend pagdating mo ng Korea)… pag nakuha mo na visa mo, balik ka sa CFO office at bibigyan ka ng Emigrant sticker…

  16. Hi Ms. Betchay,

    I have a korean bofriend and he always rushing me up to get married with him. What is the difference if I will be getting married in the Philippines or getting married only in Korea? Thanks and hope for your immediate reply.

  17. ms. betchay
    npaganda po ng forum nyo kc npkarami nyo po ntutulungan ….gusto ko po sna mg asawa rin koreano kya lng dko po alam kung paano at saan ako mkkhanap ng mgging asawa sna po mtulungan nyo ako …31 npo ako dto po ako s manila nkatira…god bless and more power po

  18. hello po! tawagin nyo nlng poaq ness.. my asawa po aq koreano now at bgo plng po kme magpa 5mos plng.. prolema q po is dalagang ina aq at mag5yrs old n anak q.. pnagtapat q 2 sa asawa q ngaun ngaun lng at laking glit nya… d nya raw mttanggap ang anak q, sv q kung d mo mttanggap ang ank q uwi nlng aq pilipinas, kya lng ayaw nya guz2 nya hindi nya ttanggapin ang anak q pero hndi aq uuwi ng pinas… guz2 nya aq idivorce now. ano ggwin q? salamat po

  19. Greetings,
    Im getting married with a korean(divorcee)…Im sure we will be needing his divorce papers,aside from that we dont know what else we would need…I hope you help me and even writing the requirements in korean.cause i also dont know how to explain him in english…what documents and should we go at the korean embassy first before getting married?
    Thank You and More Power!
    Lex~

  20. hello ness, sana kasi sinabi mo b4 kau nagasawa na dalaang ina ka… ayaw na ayaw kc nila d2 ang sinungaling. mas gus2 nila pranka d2 sa korea. i hope na matatanggap ang anak mo envetually. at sana wag naman divorce…

  21. help namn po…ano po requirements kung pakasal kmi d2 sa pinas ng bf ko..divorcee po xa.thank you po..more power!

  22. kung mag papakasal po ba kami…dretso napo ba kmi sa church??or may need pa muna xa na papers from the korean embassy??

  23. diba po after ko mapa-authencate ung marriage certificate namin iseseng ko sa asawa ko tpos ibabalik nia ulit skn. question ko po, isang page lng ung bumalik skn, ngyon hinahanapan po ako ng cfo ng ilang pages pa…pero sbi ng asawa ko isang page lang daw po tlga ang ibinigay sknya. ano po tawag dun sa korean…thank you po!

  24. Hi Ms. Betchay!

    Thank you for your informative blogs. I have a question, though…my korean boyfriend and I are planning to get married next year here in Korea. Currently, I am a student attending a Korean university. We want to get married after my graduation or before I can head back home. I would like to know if civil marriage is possible in Korea and if it is, how do we apply for it.

    Thank you very much!

  25. Hello everyone.
    ive been to the embassy a few days ago kukuha sana ng requirements for visa and to ask na rin ng process and requirements for marrying a Korean. gusto ni bf dun kmi mgpakasal sa Korea, sbi ko naman dito. nag ok na cia. now ang gusto nya, i-meet ko muna parents since d ko pa cla na meet.sa chat lng minsan pero syempre iba pa din yung personal. now the prob is, i dont have work so i dont have ITR and COE. i stopped working na kc eh. the lady guard sa embassy told me na hindi daw kmi pwede ikasal sa Korea kc hindi ako papayan ni embassy na dun ikasal. dapat daw pumunta c bf dito at dito kmi mgpakasal. the guard gave me the requirements and a form na we both need to fill out. i asked her if may tendency pa din ma deny even if legally married na.sbi nya, yes kc there are married couples na fake daw. etc.. tapos depende din daw sa mga isasagot nyo pareho sa interview at sa form. kc in the form merong question na How and when did you meet. For us its easy naman kc its been over 3 yrs na kmi and every year he comes here sa pinas to visit me at nag aral pa nga d2 ng english for 4 months. my only problem now is how to get a visa na walang ITR and COE. i can provide my bank cert. anyway cia din naman sasagot ng expenses ko. haaaay..nde ako makatulog dahil dito..heeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp naman mga sisses.. ty and God Bless.

  26. Hi betchay, I’m super fascinated with your blog and your willingness to help other people. I have been reading your blog since last year. and I guess you are super sikat na, especially your touist visa post, 🙂

    I’ve gotten time to write now coz I really really really need your help. I’ve read that you got married here in the Phils. My fiance (now in Korea) and I (i’m here in Pinas) are planning to get married for me to get an F-2 visa. He’s planning to come here in Nov 2008. The problem is, he will only have 15 days to stay here because of his job and he will just get a promo ticket. This promo ticket allows him to stay 15 days only. Here are my questions:

    1) Is it possible for us to get married in 15 days?
    I know, marriage here under Phil law requires 10 consecutive days of posting before we can get a marriage license, so it is just our second option. Does Korean embassy have a service wherein we can have a civil wedding there, and how many days does it take?
    2) If ever ba na kukuha ako ng passport!
    lahat ba ng ibfo na issagot sa passport application eh surname ko pa rin pero married na status ko?

    3) And is it possible for me to apply the f-2 alone? I mean maybe my fiance wouldn’t be here anymore when I get time to apply for an f-2 visa.

    🙂 thanks in advance, God bless

  27. Hi betchay, I’m super fascinated with your blog and your willingness to help other people. I have been reading your blog since last year. and I guess you are super sikat na, especially your touist visa post, 🙂

    I’ve gotten time to write now coz I really really really need your help. I’ve read that you got married here in the Phils. My fiance (now in Korea) and I (i’m here in Pinas) are planning to get married for me to get an F-2 visa. He’s planning to come here in april 25 The problem is, he will only have 15 days to stay here because of his job and he will just get a promo ticket. This promo ticket allows him to stay 15 days only. Here are my questions:

    1) Is it possible for us to get married in 15 days?
    I know, marriage here under Phil law requires 10 consecutive days of posting before we can get a marriage license, so it is just our second option. Does Korean embassy have a service wherein we can have a civil wedding there, and how many days does it take?

    2) If ever ba na kukuha ako ng passport!
    lahat ba ng info na issagot sa passport application eh surname ko pa rin gagamitin pero married na status ko?

    3) And is it possible for me to apply the f-2 alone? I mean maybe my fiance wouldn’t be here anymore when I get time to apply for an f-2 visa.

    🙂 thanks in advance, God bless

  28. Hi everyone! I’ve just discovered this site. I also have a korean boyfriend. He works now in Australia now and he’s gonna visit in the Phil after a couple of months before returning to his country. hmmm, I’ve heard a lot of bad impressions against korean guys but I know that not all of them are womanizer, etc.. My boyfriend is really different: kind, thoughtful, loyal, honest, loving, and so on. He has proved his love and loyalty to me and my family. We are not planning to get married yet though we want to spend the rest of our lives together. The problem is, I haven’t met his family. He mentioned that his father is very strict, that’s why I’m so afraid to meet him. What’s the best thing to do? Are korean parents really strict? He’s planning to take me to korea soon. Please help me get rid of this fear. Thanks!

  29. Hi, I’ve got a question. I really hope you can help me figure out what to do. You see, I’m married to a Korean but I’ve got 2 kids from a previous relationship that aren’t my husband’s. They’re also from another Korean. My daughter is registered under his biological father’s last name, so she’s a Kim. My son’s father’s name is a blank so he follows my last name. The problem is, how can we bring the kids to live with us in Korea? Please help me out. Thanks.

    1. hi mam tintin i hv a same problem with yours, can u pls tell me what did u do to bring ur children to korea, if u did

  30. hello po ate betchay please kailangan ko po tulong nio d2 po ako korea ngayon kaya lang 6 months npo ako tnt live in po kami ng boyfriend ko, at ngayon buntis napo ako at hindi pa po kami kasal, paano po ba yun pag nanganak akong di kami kasal pwede po bang ipangaln sa boyfriend ko?

  31. hay ang hirap po talaga para na kong mababaliw kakaicp savih ng boyfriend uwi daw po kami sa pinas dun nalng daw po ako manganak dun narin daw po kami magpakasal hindi ko na po talaga alam kung paano gagawin kailangan ko na din magdecide sa pinas o d2 ako manganak, pag d2 ako nanganak sa korea kanino ko po ba ipapaapelyido eh hindi pa kami kasal, tapos tnt pa po ako….

  32. Hi Ms. Betchay…nag e-mail po ako last month regarding po sa kasal ko sa isang korean kaso lang po wala pa akong nareceive na sagot.It was 2006 when i marry this korean,pero hindi po ako sumama sa kanya.Then nagpakasal po siya ulit ng dalawang beses.nakita ko po sa record nya sa NSO na 3x na siyang ikinasal…papano ko po ba siya mahahanap?Wala po akong alam tungkol sa kanya.Gusto ko po ipawalang bisa ang kasal ko sa kanya kaya lang wala po akong sapat na kakayahan at kaalaman,wala po akong malaking pera para sa anullment…sana po mapayuhan nyo po ako.Salamat po ng marami,maghihintay po ako ng sagot.

  33. I am married to a korean man and now my life is miserable. After I married my man he completely changed. So different from what he used to show me and to my family. He was not giving me money, doesnt go home and doesnt tell me where and when he is going home,wont take me out, we dont sleep together as he preferred to sleep alone, doesnt give me gifts, sometimes hit etc. After I delivered baby, He told me he wanted a divorce and would just take the baby. I was totally devastated. Until, i found out, just 6months later I got pregnant again and he said he wants to abort the baby. I went to the center for a help. And while I was staying there I saw a lot of victims by korean husbands beaten hardly. There were Filipinas, Nepalese, Vietnamese, Uzbekistan, Russian, Chinese etc. all were asking for a refuge and assistance from the hands of a cruel and heartless korean men.

    So much to speak, never be deceived by the good looks and sweet gestures a korean guy would give you. Think, think, think! Korean men here are treated as their HEAVEN and woman as to NOTHING but a servant. They can marry as much and as many as they want. Women here doesnt have vouce. Been there just sharing. But if you’re willing to take all the risk then its up to you.

    1. Hi Pia! I hope you could get the help that you need. I attended a lecture on multicultural families last season and it’s sad to know about the women who couldn’t get the necessary help when they are abused by their husbands.

      1. hi Betchay! i just want to ask hindi ba talaga kasama ang pinay na wife sa family tree nila? mga anak lang ba talga ang kasama? pag hindi pa korean citizen hindi ba talaga kasama? hope to get your response soon. thanks =)

        1. Hi Mimi! Sa official family registry dapat lalabas din ang pangalan ng wife, whether Korean or not. May annotation lang na “international marriage”.

    2. kawawa pla ang mga ngppkasal sa mga korean men..i never thaught that korean men treated their wife so badly..but i’m also thinking that if there are filipino men are married to korean women?..

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