[Q&A] You Can Enter into Korea during the Entry Ban Period with a Special Entry Permit from the Immigration Office

Q) I was deported from Korea in 2015. I was given a five year entry ban for domestic violence against my then ex South Korean wife. The sentence I received was 3 years probation. However, I have a young child in Korea, who is taken care of by my ex-wife, but I have been paying the child supports. I would like to visit Korea to see my child but I am very worried that my visa application or entry would be denied by the past record and the entry ban.  My ex wife and I are now in a good relationship and she would provide a supportive letter for me. What is the likelihood that the Korean immigration will allow me to see my son?

A) In principle, a foreigner listed on the entry ban of Korean immigration office is prohibited to enter Korea for some period of time.  There is, however, a special entry permit which can be made during the period of entry ban for some humanitarian reason.  Most common cases are for the family unity purposes.  For example, there was a case where a special entry permit was granted in consideration of the family relation with the Korean spouse and Korean child.  The petitioner in that case had committed a narcotics crime in Korea and had been deported.  He wanted to live with his family in Korea during the entry ban.  The Korean immigration office granted a special entry and issued a relevant visa for the petitioner, which was quite unusual considering Korean authorities are very strict when it comes to the drug related offenders.

You may apply for a special permit through the Korean Embassy in your country.  Also when you apply for a visa, it may proceed to the review of the immigration office’s special entry permit.  I cannot guaranty the outcome but considering that (i) the ground for the deportation was a domestic violence and your ex-wife is now in good relationship with you, (ii) you have been paying the child support, (iii) a visitation with a parent is highly required for the best interest of the child and (iv) there is a special visa granted for the child visitation purpose under the Korean immigration law, I think you have a chance here.  Of course, you will need to provide a supportive letter from your Korean ex-wife.

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