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Issuance of F-4 overseas Korean visa on sharp increase

All News 10:34 September 25, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 25 (Yonhap) -- The issuance of the F-4 visa, for overseas Koreans, sharply increased in recent years as eligibility requirements have been gradually eased, government data showed Wednesday.

According to data obtained by Rep. Lee Seok-hyun from the justice ministry for a parliamentary inspection, the number of the F-4 visas issued was 468,337 in 2016, 515,587 in 2017 and 565,639 last year.

Ethnic Koreans from China topped the list with 391,677 last year, trailed by those from the United States with 90,207, Canada with 28,401, Russia with 21,027 and Kazakhstan with 3,495, the data showed.

In terms of the rate of increase from 2016 to 2018, ethnic Koreans in Kazakhstan came first with 85.8 percent, compared with 29.1 percent for those in Russia, 23.7 percent for those in China and 17.7 percent for those in Canada.

Experts say the surge of the F-4 visa issuance is attributable to the continued alleviation of its qualifications, such as lowering the required academic achievements from a four-year college degree to a two-year one.

The F-4 overseas Korean visa is a multiple entry visa whose sojourn period is three years, and can be continuously renewed.

F-4 visa holders are eligible for employment, except for simple labor work, in South Korea. But babysitting was recently excluded from the simple labor category, becoming another factor for the hike of the F-4 visa issuance.

F-4 visa applicants are required to have been born in Korea or to be an immediate family member of someone born in Korea.

Issuance of F-4 overseas Korean visa on sharp increase - 1


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