SEOUL, June 2 (Korea Bizwire) — The word ‘alien’ will be removed from the registration cards issued to all foreigners residing in South Korea.
The use of the term has been under constant criticism since ‘alien’ may also mean ‘extraterrestrial’ or ‘stranger’ in exclusionary terms.
The Ministry of Justice announced Monday that it will select new terminology that will replace the word ‘alien’ and amend related legislation.
The current registration card for foreigners is officially called an ‘alien registration card’, as inscribed on the front side of the card.
The government has been referring to foreigners as ‘aliens’ since 1966, when it issued the first alien residence permit.
The new registration card is expected to use a more neutral term of reference, such as ‘foreign national card’, ‘foreign residence card’ or ‘residence card’.
The decision comes after reflecting the recommendations submitted by the first batch of the ‘Foreign Mentors Club’ established last month.
“Foreign Registration Card is like the very first greeting that the country sends to so many foreigners living in South Korea. It may look like a small change, but to foreigners, it is big,” said Julian Quintart, a club member and a television personality from Belgium.
“As a member of Korean society, I am pleased to be a part of a small movement producing big change.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)