More than 100 illegal activities by marriage agencies have been uncovered by the Gender Ministry, its officials announced on Wednesday.
During an investigation from May 20 to June 30, the ministry discovered 110 violations, including providing insufficient information about the clients’ potential spouses and not offering written contracts.
Among them, 78 were committed by international matchmaking agencies, while 32 were made by local marriage agencies.
The largest number of cases ― 34 ― involved failing to provide adequate information about the clients’ potential spouses.
“Getting married to a foreign spouse without knowing enough about them may generate conflict later,” said Jeon Sang-hyeok from the Gender Ministry. “We plan to have municipal authorities inspect agencies in their regions at least once a year.”
Meanwhile, the number of international couples of a Korean man and a foreign woman has been on the decline in the country since 2011, according to the ministry. Last year, some 18,307 international couples tied the knot, while 22,265 were married in 2011.
Last year, South Korea revised the requirements for the F-6 visa, specifically for foreigners who plan to marry Korean spouses. The measure, which took effect April 1, includes a requirement where all applicants must pass the lowest level of the Korean language proficiency test.
By Claire Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)