The Ministry of Justice decided to grant conditional legal status to children of foreigners who have stayed in Korea for a long time through a screening process.
On April 19th, the ministry announced that foreign children who are attending middle and high schools in Korea or graduated from high school will be given a status of residence for studies and other purposes. They will be subject to certain criteria, such as school attendance and violation of the law.
Eligible persons are those who graduated from elementary school on February 28, 2021, were born in Korea, stayed in Korea for more than 15 years, and attended middle and high school or graduated from high school in Korea. Applicants who fail to meet any of these requirements will not be eligible.
After a screening process that inspects their violation of the law and other elements, children who fall under these conditions are entitled to temporary stay for one year or until they complete their studies. General Training Visa (D-4) is granted to qualifying children if they are enrolled in the school as of the application date. If they have graduated from high school, they are given a temporary residence qualification (G-1) for one year if they meet employment or college enrollment conditions. Parents of children who have been granted qualifications will be temporarily suspended from deportation due to illegal stay and must leave the country when the child reaches adulthood.
The issue has been constantly raised about non-Korean nationals who were born in Korea and lived here for a long time. They are neglected without legal status, and it is impractical for them to return to their parents' home countries.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Justice explained that it prepared a conditional relief for children by gathering insight from the academia and experts in the field.
The ministry set the expiration date of the trial policy at February 28, 2025, to alleviate social concerns about the adverse effects and the hostile public sentiment.