Actor Song Joong-ki. (HighZium Studio)
South Korean actor Song Joong-ki and his British wife Katy Louise Saunders are eligible for a slew of benefits tailored for multicultural families in South Korea, which range from a 25 percent discount on phone bills to priority admissions to public daycare, international schools and local colleges.
Song announced Tuesday that the couple has just completed their legal marriage registration in Korea in a letter to his fan club online.
The couple’s latest decision allows them to receive benefits under the programs tied to the Multicultural Families Support Act.
The most well-known benefit is that children from multicultural families here are allowed to apply for and enter international schools here without many strings attached. Korean citizens must legally complete at least 3 years of education overseas to apply for the schools, but the children of multicultural families are waived from this rule.
International schools are considered as prestigious institutions in Korea as they can provide a global curriculum and learning experience for students. North London Collegiate School Jeju, Branksome Hall Asia, St. Johnsbury Academy Jeju and Korea International School are some of the most prestigious international schools for students aged 8 to 19.
Children from multicultural families also receive benefits when entering universities here with many institutions offering them special early admission opportunities. They are also prioritized when attending state-run daycare centers, which usually have long waiting lists.
To improve their livelihoods, the government offers the families discounts on water, electricity and medical bills. They are eligible to apply for and receive monthly discounts on mobile phone bills of up to 25 percent.
For the lower-income families, they’re prioritized when applying for public rental houses.
Loan benefits are offered as well, backed by low-interest rate products for weddings, children’s education, medical bills and more.
To be defined as a multicultural family under the Korean law, the couple in the family must consist of a person with a Korean nationality and a partner who is a married immigrant or a person who received naturalization permission from the country.