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Monday, March 4, 2024

Newly-married actor Song Joong-ki eligible for multicultural family benefits

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Actor Song Joong-ki, left, and his wife Katy Louise Saunders [NEWS1, KATY SAUNDERS]
Actor Song Joong-ki, left, and his wife Katy Louise Saunders [NEWS1, KATY SAUNDERS]

Actor Song Joong-ki and his new wife British actor Katy Louise will be eligible for various benefits when they welcome their new child, as they will be deemed a multicultural family under the Korean law.

A multicultural family is a family with a spouse who is of a foreign nationality or is a naturalized Korean, according to Danuri Portal, a website that provides information and support for multicultural families in Korea. Danuri Portal is run by the Korean Institute for Healthy Family, a public institution under Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

Any family that falls under this category is subject to receive aid regardless of nationality or income level.

Among the benefits provided under the Multicultural Families Support Act passed in May 2020, the most well-known one is the choice to attend a foreign school. Foreign schools in Korea are popular among local families because these schools follow the western curriculum, mainly American.

Children of local Korean families need to live overseas for more than three years to be eligible to attend foreign schools.

Children of multicultural families are also prioritized when it comes to enrollment in public daycare centers and annex kindergartens, which usually have long waitlists. Annex kindergartens are run by the public school the kindergarten is annexed to have reputations for providing quality education.

In higher education, some universities have a special admissions process for the children of multicultural families.

Multicultural families do not have to compete with Koreans when applying for housing support such as national public houses.

Financial support including medical fees, airfare and pocket money for holidays are also provided by the government. Long-term loans for marriage, tuition and living costs are available at low rates.

BY HA SU-YOUNG, SOHN DONG-JOO [sohn.dongjoo@joongang.co.kr]