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Marriage Procedures for Foreign Residents

Marriage Procedures for Fo...

Marriage procedures for foreign nationals (from certain countries including Canada and  the United States) getting married in Korea have been streamlined in recent years. They no longer have to obtain an Affidavit of Marriageability (single statement) and two additional certificates, which required three Embassy notary services. The two certificates bearing the seal of the ward office were replaced by a “Proof of Processing” form showing the names of the bride and groom, along with the date and place of marriage, bearing only the seal of the issuing office.  An Embassy’s involvement in this new process has been limited to the issuance of the Affidavit of Marriageability for couples from designated countries.

Step 1:
Foreign nationals are required to appear in person at their Embassy in (or at a Consulate office outside Seoul) with two copies of the Affidavit of Eligibility of Marriage (can be obtained either from the Embassy or in some cases, on-line). They should also provide a piece of identification (i.e. passport and/or birth certificate).

Step 2: The couple should bring the following documents to their local district office (Gu Cheong) to report and register their marriage.
- Notarized copies (2) of the Affidavit of Eligibility of Marriage
- Passport
- Proof of termination of any prior marriage(s) such as an original or certified divorce certificate, annulment or death certificate of a previous spouse (when applicable)
- A completed application for marriage (obtained at any gu office) form, signed by 2 witnesses
-  Registration Fee: about  50,000 won - (cash only) - applies when both parties are foreign nationals
- Korean spouse should have the following:
    - A copy of the Korean spouse’s family registry (obtained at any dong office)
    - A certificate of personal records (Korean spouse)
    - A certificate of kinship (Korean spouse)
    - Personal  seal (stamp, Korean: In Gam: 인감)
-The signature of two witness may be required for the registraton.

Step 3: The Korean district office will issue the following documents:
- a filing receipt on the day of report;
- a verification certificate, which is the same as a Korean marriage certificate(3~5 days required – if both parties are foreign citizens, it will be issued the same day); or a marriage certificate (family register), issued when the marriage is between a Korean citizen and a foreign resident alien (7 days required).

Note: If the two parties are of different nationalities with neither being Korean, they should check their individual embassies regarding their country’s rules regarding getting married in Korea and to determine whether their marriage will be recognised in Korea.

Marriage is a civil procedure in Korea, and performing a religious ceremony alone does not constitute a legal marriage. Anyone can be invited to officiate at the wedding ceremony, since it's the registration process that legalises the union.

For more information on family law, please check out the Korean Legal Aid website (choose “English” as the language from the main page, go to the Legal Info tab & select Family Law Basics).


K4E Note:  The above information should be considered as a guideline only.  If your experience differs in any way from the above information, please notify us at info@korea4expats.com and share your experience so that we can update this page.

Last Updated on 2017-02-28

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