Free Legal Help Available for All Foreigners in Korea | Be Korea-savvy

Free Legal Help Available for All Foreigners in Korea

The Ministry of Justice now offers free Legal help will be available for foreign residents in South Korea.

The Ministry of Justice now offers free Legal help will be available for foreign residents in South Korea. (Image: Yonhap)

SEOUL, March 13 (Korea Bizwire) – A new helpline (1345) offering free legal advice and counseling is now available for any foreign resident of South Korea, regardless of their visa type, starting today, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said yesterday.

The MOJ teamed up with the Korean Bar Association and the Ministry of the Interior to offer help with common legal issues such as lease contracts or criminal cases, in a bid to ensure the legal rights of foreign nationals living in South Korea are respected.

When an appointment is made, the Immigration Contact Center will arrange a date for a three-way phone call between a foreign resident, a translator, and a lawyer. Face to face legal counseling is also available on request.

According to the MOJ, there are currently 57 lawyers offering free legal help in fifteen immigration offices around the country, with plans to hire a further 144 lawyers.

The MOJ’s move to offer legal help to foreigners is the latest addition to the ‘Village Lawyer’ initiative, a free service originally intended to help those who can’t afford lawyers by offering them legal advice and counseling.

Those wishing to book an appointment can dial 1345 without an area code.

Hyunsu Yim (

12 thoughts on “Free Legal Help Available for All Foreigners in Korea

  1. Yongsang Park (박용상)

    I am a former hagwon English teacher in Sejong and ended my contract a few months early due to having to return back to the United States to continue my education (I had originally taken a leave of absence from my school to come teach in Korea). I forfeited my severance pay and was told by the director’s husband, who took care of finances for the hagwon, that once they could find a new occupant for my apartment, my last paycheck would be wired to me; I left him my American bank account information before leaving. After returning home, I called to check on the situation, and was told that they were still looking for a tenant. Afterwards I never heard back. I reached out to my director a few days ago via Kakao Talk but received no response even though the message was marked as read. I am currently in Korea for vacation until 12/30/17 and would like to know what my options are regarding receiving my last paycheck. I can supply a copy of my contract and/or my director’s contact information if necessary. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.


    Have you resolve your issues? Can I see a redacted contract? In your contraxt they are legally obligated to pay your salary unless signed it that early termination then they still have to pay minimum wage. Contact me ASAP because I think you maybeare maybe near the verge of the statue of limitations.

  3. Aubrey Laine Nodado

    Hi, good day!
    I am from the Philippines and I want to seek some advice regarding our salary and severance pay.

    I am an online AutoCAD operator. Our employer is Korean which is in Korea right now. We don’t have any contracts. Our salary is very late every month. Since it’s so late, there are months that we don’t receive our salary anymore but our employer is still asking us to work.

    Starting in 2020, we didn’t receive any salary but we work until February 2020. And now, we didn’t hear anything from our employer. No contact and communication at all.
    So, please help us out. Thank you.

  4. Jenny

    안녕하세여 19살 제니입니다.
    여기한국에서 6~7년 살앗는데여 근데 그동안 부모님이랑 안살고 왜냐 저희 엄마가 한 15살쯤 집나가라구 해가지구 사이도안좋구 그렇지만 이 글쓰는이유가 혹시 20살되면 혼자비자라도 만들수잇는지 궁금해서…..저 지금 어떻게해야되는지 잘모르구…만약에도 이민국가면…저희부모님 불법이면 어떻하죠…저까지 피해를주는거자누 규래서…제 비자 혼자라도 만들수잇어여?

  5. Elena Natividad

    Seeking for clarification regarding korea immigration practices. I have 4 kids all minors. Yearly we apply for visa extension. This year is our 4th time. Eveytime we have to secure an appointment individually through online. kids has their own numbers. We use to politely ask one immigration officer to process our papers as one because we are family but we always ends up rejected. My kids has to sit on their own facing the immigration officer just by themselves. Imagine how i feel as a mother seeing my kids having to face the officer alone, much more my youngest who was just 6 years old (3 years ago) She is 8 years old now, my son turning 12, my daughters ages 13 and 15. They all went to the same experience as before when we recently applied for visa extension. But my second daughter had a bad experience that caused her to feel humiliated and frightened. The officer who process her application said mean word to her and she felt bad about it. She was told to wait. She did wait for a long time and when she follow up, she was told “i said i will call you)..when it’s almost closing time i daughter to follow up again because its getting late and.she did. But she face the officer again she was told “did i call your name?” Its not just just the word itself but the tone is what i think made my daughter feels bad. It was such a bad experience to her. And i as a mom, i want to make an appeal to immigration to.please consider kids when they face immigration officers and if possible process the family members application as one. So kids do not have to feel the pressure.
    Is there any legal help about this? If we want to file a complaint?

    • Kae

      I did have the same issue with an officer from immigration nambu. She is in the window 1.. there was no other people but she is taking her time. I was in an appointment for 2:30 but it was almost past 3pm and she still doesnt call my number. I ask the same question (nicely) but your correct her tone is kinda off and told me “did i call your number?” Come when your number is called. I felt humiliated as well. Have you already made a complaint? How did you do it?

  6. Alok Mehta

    I work with a MNC with a US contract but in Korea Seoul office and pay taxes in South Korea. I was told by my manager that termination at will clause applies to me and they want to terminate me as my skip manager doesn’t like me. But their is no justifiable cause my performance appraisals have been great. I know Korean law doesn’t allow termination at will and there has to be a justifiable cause. Does it apply to foreigners working in Korea. Please kindly let me know. I would be very grateful and will go a long way in helping me and my family during these Covid times.

  7. Kenneth orford

    Good afternoon: I am writing to plead for help concerning a young man that I know, who has been in Korea on a legal work visa. This visa was to expire April1, 2021. It was extended to August 1, 2021. Before April1,2021, this young man went to the police and asked how he could get an extension on his visa. The took his drivers license away, but somehow, he was extended three months to August 1, 2021.
    He has called me several times and he is unable to say much because he doesn’t speak English. He is from Thailand. He and I have talked repeatedly looking for answers. He just a kid, lost in a foreign country. Hes scared and alone. He has no where to turn. Covid keeps me trapped in Canada but there would be little use me travelling to Korea because I don’t speak Korean either. I am begging: on my knees begging you to reach out to James, and at least find out what is happening. Please in Gods name, please help me help this young man. Please I beg again. Help me.
    I am Dr. Kenneth Orford in Vancouver Canada. phone is 1-250-864-0492 email is
    I am not asking for anything free, but mercy and grace to see what’s going on since I can not get answers.
    I remains yours respectfully,
    Dr. Kenneth Orford

  8. Rizwana

    I am getting problem to refund my deposit from owner, after house shifted she is telling you did this and that, and asking 900,000 lakhs for for fixed it. what should i do my mind is tried with this. I always find very good korean people. I don’t know why she is behavouring like this.
    Please tell what should i do how to take my all deposited from her.
    Thank in advance.

  9. Mj

    I am a foreigner married to a korean, we have a common child who is 4 years old now.
    We registered our marriage and our child in korea on 2019. I went to Korea 2019 with our child but after months waiting him to find a job he asked me to go back to my country saying he will come later to live in my home country.
    I waited but he never came, couple months later he made new girlfriend and got her pregnant, now they have a child but all this happened while we were still legally married in both countries.
    Now he said he got divorces in korea but I never signed any paper for divorce,he refuses to pay child support and I haven’t get divorces in my country.
    I saw I can get child support and also adultery compensation, because he registered the new child in korea and child was born when we were still married in korea.
    Is this possible?


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