The Seoul Metropolitan Government has added Thai to the linguistic repertoire of its foreign language information service (as of November 2012), increasing the number of foreign languages it covers to nine. The service helps foreign nationals in Seoul in all aspects of their daily lives including their living, business, and administrative requirements.
The service is provided through the Seoul Global Center, a one-stop service that deals with every possible type of inconvenience experienced by foreigners living in Seoul, as well as offering them valuable essential information. Counseling and information is offered in one of the following nine languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mongolian, Russian, Tagalog, Uzbek and Thai.
Launched in 2008, the Seoul Global Center not only deals with visa and other immigration related issues but also provides professional counseling on business, tax, law and labor issues as well as general information on driver’s licenses, credit card applications, employment, consumer grievances, rental housing lease and telecommunications.
The Seoul Global Center handles a daily average of 350 cases with the assistance of various public and private organizations stationed there, such as the Korea Immigration Office, the Road Traffic Authority, the Seoul Tourism Association, Woori Bank and LG Telecom. Furthermore, every afternoon on weekdays, professionals including tax specialists from the National Tax Service, lawyers, certified labor attorneys, CPAs and Realtors offer counseling in English. Just one visit to the center is usually enough to settle any problem a foreign national might encounter in Seoul.
For those who cannot spare the time on weekdays, the center offers On-Site Counseling Services on Sundays in Mongolia Town (Gwanghui-dong) and Philippines Street (Hyehwa-dong), as well as in Daerim Subway Station and Itaewon, the most frequently visited areas by foreign nationals in Seoul. The Seoul Global Center also offers foreign nationals free classes in Korean language on weekday evenings and in Korean language and multiculturalism at weekends.