SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — The coronavirus has led to a decreasing number of foreign residents in South Korea, while the number of married immigrants now exceeds past records.
The Ministry of Justice reported that as of September, the number of married immigrants – foreigners who have married to South Korean nationals – reached 168,026 people, which is 2.2 percent higher than the same period last year.
Despite a 14.4 percent decrease among the number of foreign residents in South Korea following the coronavirus outbreak, the number of married immigrants has continued to rise.
Ever since the introduction of a new visa that began the inflow of married immigrants in 2010, the number has been on a constant increase from 141,654 people (2010), jumping by 18.6 percent over the past 10 years.
The majority of married immigrants lived in Gyeonggi Province, where 49,681 immigrants, or 30 percent of the entire married immigrant population, currently reside.
Jeju Province saw the largest rate of increase among married immigrants over the past 10 years, doubling from 1,406 people in 2010 to 2,776 by 2020.
Sorted by country of origin, Chinese nationals (including ethnic Koreans) accounted for 35.9 percent of all married immigrants, followed by Vietnamese (26.2 percent), Japanese (8.6 percent), and Filipinos (7.1 percent).
The number of naturalized Korean citizens who have acquired Korean citizenship after getting married to a South Korean national reached 139,551 people in September, setting a new record after jumping by 4.7 percent since last year.
“Married immigrants are returning to South Korea to escape from the pandemic, rather than for purposes of getting a job or education, which may explain the cause of constant inflow,” said an expert source on immigration.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)