The Supreme Court ruled for the first time that if there is evidence that Korean spouse takes more of the blame for divorce of an intercultural marriage, migrant spouse should be granted extended stay. The ruling overturns lower courts’ ruling that the stay can be extended only when the Korean spouse is held entirely accountable.
“The case in which a Vietnamese woman called for the cancellation to disallow extension of her stay in Korea to the court of appeal against the Seoul Immigration Office has been remanded to the lower court,” the Second Division of the Supreme Court announced Wednesday. In the first and second trial, the court had ruled that the 23-year-old wife was partially accountable for the divorce and ruled the disallowance of her extended stay as lawful.
“If migrant spouses are permitted for extended stay only when their Korean spouse is entirely accountable for the divorce, migrant spouse has no choice but to stay passive in exerting rights to lawfully address the marital relationship,” the judge panel said on the day. “There is also a chance of Korean spouse abusing this law to mistreat his/her migrant spouse.”
“The ruling protects the rights of migrant women who have been wrongfully deported from the country in addition to being mistreated and divorced,” a source at the Supreme Court.