South Korean “Foreigners of Convenience”

A few days ago, The Marmot’s Hole posted a translated summary of a Korean newspaper article about one way that South Korean parents are getting their children into local international schools, which are a conduit to higher education abroad. They purchase foreign residency permits from embassies of Ecuador or Mali in order to qualify their Korea-resident kids as “overseas Koreans” qualified to attend international schools.

In the case of Ecuador, all you need do is visit for a week to qualify, while Mali’s embassy in Japan can issue permanent residency visas. Both options will usually cost you about 30 million won.

As a result, some people estimate that as many as 80% of the kids enrolled in international schools are South Koreans, while the official Ministry of Education figure is 13%, because dual citizens and those with official residency overseas are counted as foreigners.

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Filed under Ecuador, education, Korea, Mali

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