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Korea to remove ‘alien’ word from ID card issued to foreign residents

June 2, 2020 - 14:24 By Kim Tae-eun
Alien Registration Card (Ministry of Justice)

The English word “alien” will no longer be on identification cards issued to foreign residents in South Korea.

The Ministry of Justice announced Monday a revision to the Immigration Act aimed at replacing the current name of “alien registration card” with a more neutral one.

This is the first time the country is deleting the term “alien” in over 50 years since 1966 when the “alien residence permit” was first issued to foreign residents in the country.

Often used to refer to foreigners, the term “alien” has continuously received criticism over its negative connotation toward foreigners.

The Justice Ministry decided to come up with a new name such as “foreign national card,” “foreign residence card” or just “residence card,” reflecting suggestions from the ministry’s advisory group.

By Kim Tae-eun (