8 in 100 Immigrant Wives Become Illegal Residents
That’s the title of a news article in Korea Times.
Korean immigration law demands immigrant wives live here for at least two years with an F-2 visa issued to spouses of Koreans before applying for Korean citizenship. If they divorce within two years and foreign spouses fail to prove in a courtroom that their Korean husbands caused the divorce, foreign wives must leave Korea before their visa expires.
Before I finally decided to marry my husband, I did my research first on what could happen if my marriage wasn’t successful. We don’t have divorce in the Philippines and an annulment is costly and time-consuming (Amy Perez?) A Filipina married to a Korean couldn’t simply end her marriage by divorcing her spouse in Korea. That divorce wouldn’t be valid in the Philippines; however, a Korean spouse could divorce a Filipina wife. That leaves her with nothing if she’s not a Korean citizen. What’s worse is that if they have a child, the custody would most likely be given to the Korean father. She will also have to leave the country when her visa expires. This is why I always tell those who ask me for advice about marrying a Korean that they should think about it really carefully.
There is a quote that goes like “Marriage is more than four bare legs in a bed (or bed frames?).”