Seoul appoints non-Koreans who love and cherish Seoul as much as its Korean residents as Honorary Citizens on October 28, Honorary Citizens Day, when candidates are officially presented with Honorary Citizens certificates. 


As of 2017, there are now a total of 791 Honorary Citizens. 

They are provided with opportunities to participate in events hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and are given free entry to place such as the Seoul Museum of Art , Seoul Museum of History, and Seoul Grand Park. 

Notable Honorary Citizens

  •  Action star Jackie Chan, a longtime fan of Korean culture (1999)

  • Guus Hiddink, the man who took Korea’s national soccer team to the 2002 FIFA World Cup semi-finals (2002)

  • American football player Hines E. Ward (2006)
  • Former US Ambassador to Korea Christopher Hill (2005)
  • Susan Cox, VP of Holt Children’s Center and mother of adopted children (2005)
  • Raimund Royer, first non-Korean doctor of Korean medicine (2010)
  • Peter Bartholomew, guardian of hanok (traditional house of Korea) (2010)
  • Sister Maria Vertilde who has helped the needy in Korea for the past four decades (2011)
  • Anatoly Torkunov the Rector of Moscow’s State Institute of International Relations (2013)
  • Michael Sandel, the wirter of 『JUSTICE』 and the professor at Harvard University(2014)
  • Suzy Menkes, the eiditor of 『Vogue International』 and the supervisor of “Conde Nast Conference”(2016)
  • Pierre Ory, Coauthors of 『Missellin Green Guide』 and the French school teacher(2017)

Criteria for Candidates of Seoul
Honorary Citizenship

Candidates must
  • have lived in Korea for three consecutive years or over five years in total, contributed to Seoul’s development as well as to the quality
    of  life of Seoul’s residents, and  set an excellent example for both citizens and foreign residents
  • be
    overseas VIPs or non-Koreans living in Korea who deserve Honorary Citizen

Recommending Candidates
  • Recommendations must be submitted by the head of a civil organization with over ten members, the head of a public organization, or a group of over ten civilians
Seoul Honorary Citizen Status
  • Recipients  : 791 citizens from 94 countries to date
  • Details : Overseas VIPs(140), Contributors to Seoul(460), Participants in international events(163), Others(7)

Criteria for Candidates of Seoul Honorary Citizenship