1. Fact Relevancy
Mr. N, a holder of Japanese citizenship, has lived in Korea for 15 years in the past and completed his marriage registration in Japan in March 2018 with his Japanese wife.
After registering the marriage, Mr. N entered Korea with his wife and got married in Korea in May 2019 and his wife was pregnant in September of the same year. During this time, Mr. N was in Korea with the H-1 visa and his wife with the C-3 visa.
Mr. N, who continued to stay on an H-1 visa in 2020 changed his status to the F-4 visa in July of the same year because his mother was a holder of Korean citizenship.
Needless to say, Mr. N's wife's visa was about to expire at the beginning of February 21, 2021, and the child was expecting to be born in May 2020. As that being said, both his wife and his child needed the F-1 visa and he emphasized that his wife was in a critical condition that made her impossible to make a trip to Japan only to acquire the F-1 visa to come back to Korea.
2. Process and Result
In principle, to change from a short-term visa (C-3 visa) to a long-term visa (F-1 visa), foreigners must return to their home country to obtain a visa from the Korean embassy in their country after their re-entry permit is allowed.
However, the problem in the case of Mr. N above is that due to the immigration policy affected by the Corona Virus, his wife's condition after childbirth, and child-rearing made her inadequate to return to Japan.
We noted that there were minor children born between two couples, and emphasized a fact that they had not broken any laws in Korea, had no criminal records, had worked faithfully, and had a healthy marriage in Korea.
Fortunately, the case was closed with Mr. N's wife and his child to change their visa status in Korea to the F-1 visa, effective immediately.