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Hideous criminals to be banned from marrying foreign women

The government said Friday that it will ease requirements for marriage migrants to naturalize even after a divorce and those convicted of violent crimes will be banned from marrying foreign women as part of measures to better protect marriage migrants’ human rights. 


Migrant women married to Korean men do not have to prove their husbands were entirely responsible for the breakup to naturalize here, according to the measures unveiled by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family along with relevant ministries.

This comes after the Supreme Court ruled in July in favor of a Vietnamese woman who sought to revoke the immigration office’s decision that refused to authorize an extension of her stay in the country after a divorce.

Overturning earlier rulings, the court said she can maintain her residency status after divorce even if she is partly responsible for the breakup.

The immigration Control Act stipulates migrant women can extend their stay if their husbands die or go missing, or if they can prove that their Korean spouses are 100 percent at fault for the breakdown of their marriages.

Predators, who were convicted of domestic violence, sexual violence and other hideous crimes such as murder and robbery over the past 10 years, will be restricted from pursing international marriages, according to the measures.

The crackdown on unregistered international marriage agencies will be tightened and advertisements, which sexualize women and thus violating women’s rights, will face tougher punishment.

The government will also step up support for marriage migrants to help them better adjust to life in Korea and respond to domestic violence. Korean language classes, interpretation and translation services will be provided at the initial stage of them settling in the country.

A system of reporting human rights violations against marriage migrants will be set up, involving multi-language counseling services on the phone and mobile applications. Two more counseling centers for domestic violence victims will be added to the current five, and 34 more counselors will be dispatched.