LA Korean Consulate General Says Yoo Seung Jun Can Apply For Tourist Visa
The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Los Angeles (hereafter “Los Angeles Korean Consulate General”) has stated that Yoo Seung Jun can apply for a tourist visa but not the F-4 Overseas Korean Visa.
Yoo Seung Jun was a popular Korean singer in the 2000s who publicly stated that he would complete his mandatory military service. In 2002, he obtained American citizenship and relinquished his Korean citizenship, making him exempt from mandatory military service. Since then, he has been banned from entering the country by the Ministry of Justice.
This past July, the Korean Supreme Court ruled that it was unlawful to deny Yoo Seung Jun a visa to enter South Korea, opening the possibility for his return. Earlier this month, Yoo Seung Jun gave an interview about his past controversies to SBS’s “Night of Real Entertainment.”
On September 20, the Seoul High Court heard the first arguments in the case that Yoo Seung Jun filed against the Los Angeles Korean Consulate General about their rejection of his visa application. This case was originally filed in 2015 and the lower court ruled in the Consulate General’s favor. This new trial is intended to determine whether the case will be remanded (sent back to court).
During the trial, the Los Angeles Korean Consulate General stated, “Among all the visas that we grant, the F-4 visa confers the most benefits. The F-4 visa is not the only visa that the plaintiff [Yoo Seung Jun] can apply for. He can apply for a general tourist visa. If the plaintiff’s goal is to return to his roots as a Korean, then we believe the tourist visa will be sufficient.”
Yoo Seung Jun’s representatives stated, “Yoo Seung Jun applied for the F-4 visa from a legal point of view. If he tries to enter the country without a visa, then he will certainly be denied entry. To contest this legally, there must be a disposition of refusal when the visa is applied for. The plaintiff is an overseas Korean as defined by the Overseas Korean Law. The Overseas Korean Law embraces tolerance and openness with the belief in the importance of connection between Koreans. The F-4 visa is eligible only for overseas Koreans and not the general international public. The plaintiff applied for the F-4 visa because the F-4 visa is exclusively for overseas Koreans.”
The F-4 Overseas Korean Visa is a multiple-entry visa that is valid for five years, with a sojourn period of two years. Former Korean nationals or the children of former Korean nationals are eligible to apply.