FAQs-Marriage/Divorce

A: Marriages in Korea are not reported to the United States since the U.S. does not have a central marriage registry, and the U.S. Embassy does not keep a record of marriages performed in Korea. In general, marriages that are legally performed and valid abroad are also legally valid in the United States. Although marriage statutes in the U.S. differ from state to state, a marriage performed in Korea under the Korean law is recognized in all states. Please visit the Department of State’s website for more information about Marriage Abroad.

Please note that the marriage certificates issued by the Korean ward office are official Korean government documents and may be generally acknowledged in the United States. However, we recommend having your Korean marriage certificate authenticated with the attachment of an apostille.  You may have your Korean marriage certificate authenticated by contacting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Republic of Korea at 02-2002-0251/0252.

A: Please schedule an appointment.  We will provide the necessary affidavit form when you arrive.  The fee is $ 50 dollars for each affidavit.

A: Most civil marriages in Korea take place at a local ward office. The embassy assists with marriages of U.S. citizens in Korea by notarizing Affidavits of Eligibility to Marry, a document required by the Korean government; however, no marriage records are kept by our office.

For marriages registered after January 31, 1995, a copy of the marriage certificate may be obtained from the Korean ward office where the marriage was registered.

If you registered your marriage before January 31, 1995, you may obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate by calling the Civil Service Division, Seoul City Hall at +82-2-2133-7903. Additional information may be available by telephone through the Dasan Call Center at +82-2-731-2120, a service offering English-speaking support available by pressing the appropriate prompts when dialing in.

Alternatively, you may wish to contact the Seoul Global Center (SGC) in Korea, which is run by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and is a comprehensive support center for foreigners and offers assistance in foreign languages including English. SGC offers assistance by phone at +82-2-2075-4180 or by email at hotline@seoul.go.kr. You may also visit their website at http://global.seoul.go.kr/.

A: Only an original or official certified copy of legal documents such as a divorce decree, annulment or death certificate for your previous spouse(s) can be submitted as proof of termination of previous marriage(s). Copies must be certified as being true copies of the original document by the issuing court or agency and bear an original stamp or signature. Scanned, photocopied or faxed documents are not acceptable.

A: No, the embassy cannot assist filing a divorce, nor is there a need to report your divorce to the embassy. If you would like to process your divorce in Korea, please contact the Seoul Global Center at 02)2075-4130 for detailed information or refer to the list of the attorneys in Korea.  You may also wish to refer to the Department of State website regarding divorce abroad.

A: The Republic of Korea (ROK) government does not recognize same-sex marriages, even if those marriages are legally-recognized and performed in other countries, such as the United States.