© Inho Shin
From next year, the English word "Alien", which means foreigner, will reportedly disappear from the registration card for foreigners staying in Korea. The Ministry of Justice announced that it would issue advance notice of a revision to the enforcement rules of the Immigration Act on November 5th. The Ministry of Justice will complete the revision of the enforcement rules this year and push for the use of new English notation on the alien registration card. Then, the "Alien Registration Card" will become a "Resident Card" starting in January of next year.
The term "Aliens" has been criticized because it reflects the perception that foreigners are aliens or strangers in addition to "foreign residents." The Ministry of Justice has collected various public opinions on this issue through the Social Integration Immigration Mentors' Association, the Immigration Policy Advisory Committee composed of experts from the public and private sectors, the Foreign Policy Working Committee, and the Immigration Policy Research Institute. As a result, "Resident Card," which has the highest preference among many options and is widely used in the European Union (EU), Japan, and China, has been adopted as a new name for the card.
The policy improvement was made to reflect the proposal of the Social Integration Immigrants Mentors' Association which was launched last month. According to an official at the Ministry of Justice, the change in the English term will help ease the alienation of foreigners living with us and allow foreigners in Korea to feel a sense of belonging as members of our society. He also said that starting with this improvement, they would expand the communication channels to listen to the voices of various policy sites so that the people and foreigners can coexist in harmony.