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Gender should not affect F-1 visa access: Seoul High Court

The Seoul High Court ruled Monday that the Korea Immigration Service under the Ministry of Justice should issue F-1 visas to foreign applicants regardless of their gender if they plan to visit South Korea to help a family member who is expecting or has given birth in the country.

F-1 visas are issued to those visiting and joining their families. The immigration agency’s internal regulation states that only female family members of such immigrants can be issued F-1 visas. 

(Getty Images-Yonhap)
(Getty Images-Yonhap)

A male Vietnamese immigrant challenged the agency’s directive at the trial court, which sided with the agency.

But, on appeal, the Seoul High Court reversed the ruling, saying the immigration law does not discriminate against gender in issuing F-1 visas.

The immigration service argued that immigrants may take advantage of the new change, but the appeals court said the agency’s claims are not reasonable.

By Choi Si-young (