By Kang Hyun-kyung
A district court ruled Sunday that a denial of extension of a visa for a foreign worker is justified because there is enough ground to believe that his marriage to a Korean woman appears not to be "genuine."
The ruling showed the courts are becoming less tolerant of sham international marriages given the recent increase in the population of foreigners in the country.
The Busan District Court backed the Busan Immigration Office's decision to refuse a visa extension to a 30-year-old Pakistani man and issuing him a deportation order.
"The immigration office can't be faulted for doing its job," the court said.
The Pakistani man, identified as "M," didn't live together with his supposed Korean wife. The couple didn't remember their first date, the court said.
He entered Korea in September 2008 as a migrant worker under an E-9 visa. He registered his marriage with the Korean woman on March 29, 2012 and filed an application for the change of his visa type to F-6, a spousal visa issued to foreigners married to Koreans.
The regional immigration office rejected his application, citing the lack of "genuineness" in his marriage. It did not extend his visa and ordered him to leave no later than March 9 this year.
"If the visa type would be changed to a spousal visa, there should be no question on the genuineness of the marriage," the court said. "Although the plaintiff completed the registration of his marriage, this is seen as just a means to renew his stay in Korea, not as an act that can prove their bona fide marriage."
The Pakistani worker's past record of illegal employment here also caused the court to rule against him.