JANUARY 2003

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Number of Korean Green Card Holders Increases
From SeGye
December 7, 2002

By Kim JinSe

Last year, the number of Koreans who obtained the permanent residence was 20,742, with 8,959 men and 11,783 women. Among them, 6, 499 immigrants came directly from South Korea and the other 14, 253 are students and business visitors who applied for the green card while in the U.S.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service announced that the population of Korean immigrants last year increased by 5,000 more than the average year. Korean immigrants ranked 13th among other immigrant populations in 2001.

Many of the new immigrants obtained their green cards by changing their status. The majority were holding visitor’s or student visas. 4,492 non-immigrant visitors, 2,209 foreign students, 2,107 short-term employees and 313 business visitors got the green card last year.

About 9,420 people came with their immediate family (spouses, parents, children, brothers and sisters) through invitation by citizenship holders, and 2,029 came through invitation by green card holders.

After 9/11, immigration regulations became more strict. However, as the number of Korean foreign students is increasing and many are changing their status to a working visa after graduation, Korean immigration is increasing. One attorney, practicing immigration matters for Koreans, pointed out that "Korean foreign students are seeking to find a sponsor after graduation because of the extremely competitive job market in Korea. In the U.S., they find it relatively easy to get a job with high education and professional skills. Once they find a sponsor, it is easy to obtain a green card after all."

Translated from Korean by JooYeon Lee

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