What Do You Need While Marrying in South Korea As A Foreigner

Are you marrying in South Korea as a foreigner? Married life is never easy, especially when you marry someone from a foreign country. With different cultural backgrounds, they may have a very different perspective on life than you.  

But, despite all the differences, if once you get along with someone, nothing can stop you from spending a happy and cheerful life with your beloved partner.

However, you need to consider a few legal things before you choose a foreign life partner. As you are marrying in South Korea as a foreigner, you should give this blog a careful read to avoid any legal issues. We have enlisted all the legal requirements for foreigner marriages in South Korea. So bring your journal, make a checklist, tick it off and enjoy your wedding without any hustle. 

Legal Age for Marriage in South Korea

In South Korea, you must be over the age of 20 to be eligible for marriage. However, if you are below 20 but want to marry, there is a way out.  With the consent of parents or guardians, the marriage of men and women of ages 18 and 16 respectively is legal. So if you are below 20, you should ask your parents or guardians for their consent to proceed further. 

You can do that in a private setting or take them to some nice, chic hotel-like Harry Potter café in Seoul if you want them to say yes.

Legal Documents for Marriage in South Korea

Both parties will need specific documents and transcripts from local Korean law enforcement agencies as well as foreign government offices for marriage. Overseas documents must be converted into the Korean language. All documents should undergo apostille. Simultaneously, translation of all Korean papers and transcripts into the native language of the foreign spouse should also take place. Typically, these documents will include:

  • Identity proof (birth certificate)
  • Citizenship proof (passport)
  • Affidavit of Marriage Eligibility ( Proof you are above 20)
  • Papers to prove you are marrying for the first time (divorce decree if divorced, or death certificate of your former partner if applicable)
  • If you are under the age of 20, you must provide proof of consent from your parents or Guardians.
  • Your South Korean spouse must submit a birth certificate, a certificate of family relationships, and a copy of his or her identity card.

Plan Your Big Day in South Korea

As a foreigner, your marriage will take place in the embassy. But after that legal marriage, you can plan marriage functions of your choice. In South Korea, you can have a religious marriage ceremony in a chapel or a temple. Also, you can book a wedding hall or hotel as a venue. If not, you can enjoy an intimate wedding with your close friends and family at your private place.

Traditional Wedding Outfits of South Koreans

While marrying in South Korea, the bride would wear a Hanbok, or traditional and formal clothing made traditionally of silk. On the other hand, the groom may wear a Hanbok or formal suit. For the Paebaek, or formal South Korean traditional wedding, a bride may wear a Wonsam, a delicate top embroidered with silk threads, paired with a full skirt called a Chima.

On the other hand, the groom during a Paebaek wears a Samogwandae, Chosun Dynasty court attire. His outfit consists of a long, intricate gown worn over pants. Moreover, he wears a jacket, as well as a belt. His outfit also has a Samo, a black cap with wings on both sides. 

A less formal groom may choose to wear just Baji (traditional pants) and a Jeogori jacket.

We also recommend you to get to know Korean culture even more. One way of doing that is generating your Korean name so it is easier for the locals to call you.

Colors of Traditional South Korean Wedding Outfit

The colors of bride and groom’s outfit should represent the “taeguk,” or “eum-yang” ( yin and yang) and they are symbolic. The bride wears a red Hanbok, whereas the groom dons a blue Hanbok. Together these two colors symbolize the balance of complementary entities, much like the circle in the middle of the Korean flag.

Visa information for the Foreign Spouse

You can change your immigration status to F-6, or the Korean spousal visa, after your marriage to a South Korean national. One such type of passport will allow you to stay in South Korea for one or two years and work there. As a foreign spouse, you will have the option to extend your visa before it expires.

You must apply for a visa change at your local immigration office to get a spousal visa in South Korea. Besides other documents, you’ll need your marriage certificate, papers of residency verification, clear evidence of your and your spouse’s salary. As a foreign spouse, you may also have to prove your Korean language skills. 

Same-sex or Gay Marriages in South Korea

Neither in the South Korean Constitution nor the Civil Penal Code, homosexuality is clearly addressed. “No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” states, Article 31 of the National Human Rights Commission Act of South Korea.

But nevertheless, Article 92 of the Military Penal Code, which is presently being challenged in court, declares sexual activity between people of the same sex to be “sexual assault or harassment,” In fact, individuals participating in any such act will get severe punishment. They may have to spend up to a year in prison. 

🇵🇰 Majid Mushtaq

Majid Mushtaq is a passionate content creation wizard, Youtuber, traveler, and selfie-fanatic. He is currently living in Seoul and after being bitten by the travel bug, he has been to 25 countries. He loves writing about cultures, technology, food and more food. Gracias :)