As reported on Korean news earlier, the Ministry of Justice now requires Korean men intending to marry foreign women to attend the “International Marriage Guidance Program”. Here is a picture from Daegu Immigration:
Here is the press release from the Immigration Office:
The attendance of international marriage guidance program, a basic requirement for a spouse visa run by MOJ at 14 immigration offices nationwide from Oct. 6
○ The Ministry of Justice announced a revised enforcement decree of Immigration Control Act that contains measures to control issuance of spouse visa. To enhance understanding on international marriage and minimize negative impact of international marriage, Ministry of Justice operates “international marriage guidance program” offered to Korean men who are planning to marry a foreign woman. By doing so, the justice ministry will have a control over visa issuance related to international marriage.
○ This measure came in response to the public awareness that tragic incidents like a recent series of murder cases of marriage migrants have to be stopped as it have a potential to evolve from a family problem to a social and international conflict.
○ The “international marriage guidance program” will take place in the 14 immigration offices nationwide on every Wednesday starting from Oct. 6, 2010. At first, the program will be offered to Korean men who have a high divorce rate or who are planning to marry a woman from countries that frequently send spouses to Korea.
○ In addition to the training program, overseas missions of Korea will conduct a more comprehensive inspection over financial ability, health conditions, and criminal records as well as whether a couple meets legal requirements for marriage. If the inspection finds a problem, the visa application will be denied. This will be able to prevent side effects of international marriage at an early stage.
○ Now, a Korean man who wants to sponsor a visa for his foreign spouse from countries designated by the MOJ should enroll the international marriage guidance program at an immigration office.
○ The training program is aimed at providing information on laws and systems and example cases of marriage related crimes while collecting identity information on Korean nationals and sending it to overseas missions in order to expedite the process and enhance the accuracy of visa issuance.
○ Any Korean men who are considering or preparing for international marriage can participate in the program. People who marry within a year from completing the training program will enjoy faster process for sponsoring a spouse visa.
○ Along with the training program, the Ministry of Justice will raise a bar for inspection of visa application and restrict visa issuance for spouse of Korean men who are found to have a problematic record.
– The ministry will also boost information gathering on the trend of illegal marriage brokerage firms to restrict the international marriages that are socially unacceptable.
○ As the future plan, the ministry is considering tightening other visa rules.
– By exploring ways to inspect health conditions and Korean language fluency of foreign spouses;
– and to induce the participation of Korean women marrying foreign men.
Korean language fluency test in the future for foreign spouses? Not bad.