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Government Loosens Overseas Home-Buying Regulations

Posted June. 30, 2005 06:27,   


Starting from July, a spouse can buy an overseas house worth under $500,000 when they leave Korea if they can prove that they will stay overseas to get a job or go to school for more than two years.

However, a child’s admission certification is not recognized as a permit for a long-term stay to purchase a house. It means that an overseas house cannot be bought in the name of a wife who leaves Korea to take care of her child studying abroad.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy announced on June 29 that they will revise the Foreign Exchange Transaction Regulation as above to promote overseas investment and enforce it starting July 1.

The revision permits the purchase of an overseas house which costs up to $500,000 under a spouse’ name if it is possible to prove with documents such as a work permit or an admission certification that a spouse will stay overseas for more than two years. As the remittance limit amount is $500,000, you can buy a house worth about $1.5 million if you get mortgage loans in the U.S.

Until now, the person concerned could not buy a house and make a remittance of more than $300,000 if he or she is not intended to live abroad by themselves.

Parents who depart from Korea to look after their child can buy a house if they prove the fact through an immigration document that they have lived abroad, after more than two years of living there. For example, if a wife went to the U.S. with her child studying there a year ago and still lives there, she could purchase a house a year later. If two years have already passed, a house could be bought immediately.

A house can be purchased at once if a spouse can prove the fact that he or she has lived aboard for employment or school admission for more than two years, even after leaving Korea for a short-term stay abroad.

It is not illegal to buy a house after two years of living abroad and to enter Korea a month after buying the house. It doesn’t matter only if the house is sold in three years after returning to Korea.

Chi-Young Shin higgledy@donga.com