Go to Main Content

International Relations News

  • “Seoul is looking for those who love Seoul!” Recommendations for Honorary Seoul Citizenship

  • International Relations News SMG 14649

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) bestows honorary Seoul citizenship on international citizens who show affection and contribute to making Seoul a better city for both Korean citizens and international residents in diverse sectors including economy, culture and tourism. The SMG will be accepting recommendations of candidates for the 2021 honorary Seoul citizenship pool from Mon, Jun. 21 to Fri, Jul. 23, 2021.

    Qualified international nominees must have resided in Seoul for more than three consecutive years (or for five cumulative years). Amongst them, the criteria include those who have contributed to the economic development of Seoul, improved the status of Seoul at home and abroad, enhanced the quality of Seoul citizen’s lives, promoted cultural activities, and introduced cutting-edge technologies in science and other industries, among other factors.

    Also, nominators must be the one of the following: head of a national agency or local government; head of a public organization or corporation under the auspices of the head of said agency or local government, head of a civic organization, or a group of more than 30 Seoul citizens with joint signatures attached.

    The recommendation form can be downloaded from the SMG website, and submission should be made via post or in person before Fri, Jul. 23, 2021. For details, contact the SMG International Relations Division (+82-2-2133-5281).

    The SMG will confirm the finals list after thorough examination of nominees’ documents and deliberation of the Seoul Metropolitan Council and Honorary Seoul Citizen Selection Committee comprising experts in international relations. The honorary citizenship ceremony will be held in November.

    Honorary Seoul citizenship was first bestowed on international citizens in recognition of their contribution to Seoul’s development and reconstruction in 1958. Since its inception, 880 honorary citizens, including heads of state and diplomats visiting Seoul, have been awarded as contributors to the city and their honorary citizenship is marked as Seoul’s token of gratitude for their dedication and for building mutual cooperation.

    Notice of Recommendation for Honorary Citizenship of Seoul

    Seoul Metropolitan Government – Announcement No. 2021-1734

    Notice of Recommendation for Honorary Citizenship of Seoul

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government confers honorary citizenship upon international residents in Seoul in recognition of their contributions to the city and the local community, including being a role model to Seoul citizens as well as other foreign residents.

    June 21, 2021

    Mayor of Seoul

    1. Qualification for Honorary Citizenship of Seoul

    1) Current foreign residents who have resided in Seoul for more than three consecutive years and current or former foreign residents who have or had resided in Seoul for five cumulative years, having contributed to:

    • • Improving the status of the City of Seoul at home and abroad,
    • • Enhancing the quality of life and promoting cultural activities of citizens,
    • • The economic development of Seoul, or
    • • Introducing cutting-edge technologies in science and other industries.

    ※ Note: Foreign residents refer to those who completed alien registration with the Immigration Bureau of the Republic of Korea. Those who are exempt from alien registration in accordance with applicable law/regulation, such as the holders of Official & Diplomatic passports, are also eligible.
    2) Foreign residents who have resided in Seoul for three consecutive years or less (or current or former foreign residents who have resided in Seoul for five cumulative years or less) but have made significant contribution to the City of Seoul otherwise than aforementioned
    * Note: The contribution made to the City of Seoul shall be independently assessed and determined by the deliberation committee.


    1) Heads of public organizations (Heads of national organizations and local governments, or those of corporations and public organizations whose purpose of existence was authorized by the heads of national organizations and local governments),
    2) Heads of civic organizations, or
    3) More than 30 citizens of Seoul. (Joint signatures are required)

    3.Required documents

    1) A recommendation form: attached to this notice.

    • • Please include nominee’s personal information and key achievements (including detailed supporting materials) in Korean or English. You may attach additional documents if necessary.
    • • If more information about nominees is needed, the Committee will contact nominators to request additional information or confirm facts.

    2) A photo of nominees (3.5cm*4.5cm) taken within a six-month period.
    3) Certificate of Alien Registration

    • • Please include all records of the residential address change.

    4) Written Pledge as an Honorary Citizen of Seoul: attached to this notice
    5) Consent to Collection and Use of Personal Information: attached to this notice


    1) Period: June 21, 2021 ~ July 23, 2021
    2) By postal mail or in person

    • – Address: International Relations Division, 8F, Seoul City Hall, 110 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul (04524), Korea
    • – e-mail:seoulhonorary@seoul.go.kr
    • – Contact:+82-2-2133-5281
    • • In case of submission by postal mail, the postmark date should be no later than July 23, 2021.
    • • Submission of a hard copy (original copy) of recommendation form via postal or in person is required to be made no later than July 23, 2021.

    5.Selection process

    The nomination is brought to the Selection Committee for the Honorary Citizenship of Seoul and Seoul Metropolitan Council for deliberation.

    • • The Selection Committee will be convened in August of 2021.
    • • Seoul Metropolitan Council will confirm in September of 2021.

    6.Benefits for Honorary Citizens

    • • May be provided the opportunity to participate in city administration, i.e. invited to attend city-organized events or be appointed as a member of city-led committees, etc.
    • • May be given free admission/access to Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul Museum of History, and Seoul Grand Park, etc.


    1) Recommendation form can be downloaded at “Seoul Metropolitan Government (English)” website.

    2) Those selected as Honorary Citizens of Seoul (including non-selected nominees) will be notified within seven days after Seoul Metropolitan Council confirms the result of the Selection. (Exact date may be subject to change due to internal situations.)

    • • The conferment ceremony for Honorary Citizenship of Seoul will take place in November. (Exact date is to be determined later.)

    3) Submitted documents will not be returned. For more information, please find the contact information.

    List of Honorary Seoul Citizens 2020

    List of Honorary Seoul Citizens 2020
    No. Name Nationality
    1 Bipin Kumaru Gurung Nepal
    (Acting Ambassador of Nepal to Korea)
    ○ Promoted welfare through volunteer work for persons with disabilities (2017)
    – Recipient of National Assembly commendation (Sep. 29, 2017) / Recipient of commendation from the Chairman of Seongbuk-gu Council (Apr. 28, 2017)
    ○ Served as Vice President of the Overseas Nepalese Association (2015–2017) and conducted exemplary Nepalese cultural program
    ○ Engaged in Seoul citizen patrol activity (2018)
    2 Yeo Gyeongrae Taiwan
    (Choo Shin-kang, Chair of the Seoul Culture and Arts Exchange Association)
    ○ Donated and practiced good deeds for marginalized Seoul citizens
    – Offered meals to senior citizens living alone in Mapo-gu, Seoul (since 2016)
    – Provided lunch boxes for children living in Yeongdeungpo-gu hit hard by COVID-19 (Apr. 2020)
    ○ Contributed to spreading Korean-style Chinese cuisine as a world-renowned chef (Selected by Michelin Guide 2017–2020)
    ○ Nurtured young talents of restaurants and food service industry serving as a professor at Kyonggi University Lifelong Education Center
    3 Joachim Kurt Novak Germany
    (Wolfgang Slavinsky,
    Acting President of the Austrian Federation of Korea)
    ○ Attracted German investment by strongly promoting Korea as an attractive investment destination and giving out legal advice
    ○ Dedicated to vibrant economic activities between Korea and Europe (Establishment of Europe Chamber of Commerce in 2012)
    ○ Served as vice-chair of Korea-Austria Federation, supporting cultural exchanges between the two countries for 6 years
    4 Florian Marx Germany
    (Ambassador of Germany to Korea)
    ○ Elevated Seoul and Korea’s status by contributing in Global Vaccine Institute emergence as a world-renowned institute for the last 14 years and strengthening COVID-19 responses
    ○ Engaged in KOICA’s Development Project for Developing Countries, creating positive image of Seoul and Korea
    ○ Contributed to human resource development and scientific development of Seoul based on medical studies as adjunct professor at Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Health and Yonsei University for years
    5 Lakova Oxana Russia
    (Korea Economic Daily journalist Jeon Min-seo and 68 citizens)
    ○ Awardee of Seoul Design Governance Seoul Mayor Award (2017, 2019)
    – Designing multicultural education, creating a clean public toilet environment
    ○ Elevated status of Seoul’s civic participation design policy through international academic presentations
    ○ Conducted a photo exhibition under the theme of the Five Great Palaces in Seoul in Vladivostok, Russia to promote bilateral cultural exchanges
    6 Muhammad Khalid bin Ismail Malaysia
    (Ambassador of Malaysia to Korea, CEO of Multicultural TV, Chair of GBA)
    ○ Offered practical opinions for the development of halal tourism in Seoul during 2019 Seoul Tourism Strategy Seminar and developed and promoted halal tourism as a member of 2020 Seoul Tourism Market Diversification Committee
    ○ Introduced Malaysia on Korean TV series “Non-summit” in 2016 as a guest and introduced Korea to Malaysia through social media, promoting bilateral exchanges
    7 Haktabasum Nasrin Bangladesh
    (Lee Jun-haeng, CEO of Beyond)
    ○ Promoted bilateral exchanges between Korea and Bangladesh as Secretary-General and founding member of Korea Bangladeshi Cultural Association (BaCAK) for the last 3 years
    ○ Taught English to Korean low-income children under NGO ‘Beyond the English Divide’
    ○ Presented Bangladeshi traditional dance at major events hosted by Bangladeshi Embassy in Korea to promote cultural exchanges
    8 Dinh Noctan Vietnam
    (Ambassador of Vietnam to Korea)
    ○ Buttressed Dokdo as Korean land and conducted a visit to Dokdo with colleagues from abroad in 2011
    ○ Provided Korean language and multi-media free lesson to KOICA Vietnamese job seekers in 2014 and helped Vietnamese students to settle in Korea
    ○ Connected Korean and Vietnamese startups and gave a lecture about Vietnamese market and technology to Seoul startups in 2018 Korea-Vietnam Block chain Conference held in Ho Chi Minh City
    9 Quintrat Julian Belgium
    (Ambassador of Belgium to Korea)
    ○ Featured on TBS TV Hong Seok-cheon’s Oh My Road MC (Save Gyeongridan-gil) (2019)
    ○ Seoul Kimchi Making Festival Ambassador (2014), Seoul Environmental Film Festival GIFF Ambassador, Gangnam Multicultural Awareness Improvement Project (2016), TBS eFM The Cube co-DJ, Seoul Arirang Festival DJ, etc.
    ○ The Purme Foundation Nexon Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital donation riding, briquettes delivery service for 6 years and other social contributions
    10 Laurent Ferreira Belgium
    (Ambassador of Belgium to Korea)
    ○ Received many architecture awards in Seoul for the last 15 years including:
    – Architect of Chang Ucchin Museum of Art (2014) (Selected by BBC for Best Architecture, 2014)
    – Korea Architects Association Special Award Eomdeokmun Award (2009), Seoul Architecture Award for Residential Architecture, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Young Architect Award
    ○ Vibrant participation in design, art, facilities and public sector contributing in cultural advancements in Seoul and served in multiple of universities in architecture major for 15 years
    11 Ashminov Mikhal Spasov Bulgaria
    (Ambassador of Bulgaria to Korea)
    ○ Delivered support and free meals to Bulgarian residents, marginalized groups and underprivileged children living in Korea
    ○ Offer cooking class and provide snacks to Korean students majoring Bulgarian language to and raise awareness through education programs
    ○ Featured on diverse Korean TV programs including “Please Take Care of My Fridge” (JTBC) to introduce Bulgarian food and promote exchanges
    12 Carlos Gorito Brazil
    (Kim Eun-jeong and other 53 citizens)
    ○ Conducted and participated in Brazilian Culture Day (2014, 2015) in Jongno, and Global Village Hanmadang in Seoul (2011–2016)
    ○ Conducted a Brazilian cultural experience program for 23 middle and high schools in cooperation with Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education
    ○ Delivered numerous lectures about global society and conducted TV programs in Brazil to promote Korea
    ○ Contributed to Seoul promotion as a video creator in 2020
    13 Rafael Abasolo Astrain Spain
    (Ambassador of Spain to Korea)
    ○ Lived in Korea for 55 years since 1964, teaching Korean to foreign residents living in Korea
    ○ Served as a priest in Priest Training Institute (2004–2010) and St Paul’s Hospital (2012–2019)
    14 Yazan al-Makawi UAE
    (Ambassador of the UAE to Korea)
    ○ Contributed to Korea and UAE industrial agreements, contracts and negotiations, boosting bilateral industrial exchanges
    ○ Actively support ENEC workers and students’ visits to Korea for inspection or education
    15 Craig Ratusu Ireland
    (Lee Jae-hun and other 54 citizens)
    ○ Developed an online platform to connect foreign job seekers and Seoul enterprises that wish to hire foreigners contributing to secure employment of residents
    ○ Provided career development programs to refugees in Korea in connection to coffee industry
    ○ Contribute to nurturing future entrepreneurs by serving as a member of advisory committee of SGSC and Invest Seoul since 2017
    16 Niyaji Balaka India
    (Eric Hoffman, Chair of the Foreign Advisory Investment Committee)
    ○ Strongly support and push forward Seoul city startup policies in cooperation with Seoul Startup Hub and P&G Innovation Center to operate testbed and pilot programs
    ○ Support medical facilities renovation and donate books and children products to Seoul Children’s Hospital and Boramae Seoul National University Hospital (Korea P&G, 2018 Seoul Supreme Foreign Enterprise Award)
    ○ Deeply engaged in advisory activities of foreign investment policies and Seoul policies as a member of the Foreign Investment Advisory Committee (FIAC)
    ○ Active participation in city and central government projects to make a more inclusive and eco-friendly policies for Seoul city and Korea’s gender equality
    17 Marcela Martines Pelaez Colombia
    (Ambassador of Colombia to Korea)
    ○ Contribute to building self-reliance of the persons with disability by offering skill training programs in link with Chungeum Rehabilitation Center’s coffee program
    ○ Operated an expert coffee education course through Seoul Woman Up platform and participate as an examiner of barista test selecting young entrepreneur
    ○ Made donations to promote affirmative exchanges between Korea and Colombia and to share between local communities
    18 Chabala Mika Lucas Tanzania
    (Ambassador of Tanzania to Korea and 15 citizens)
    ○ Foreign language and culture class for Koreans hosted by the Seoul Youth Culture Exchange Center (MIZY), Itaewon Global Village Center, Seoul City Hall, Tanzania Embassy in Korea
    ○ Introduced Korean culture to foreigners and Tanzanian culture to Koreans through “My neighbor, Charles: I like singing” (KBS), “Dan and Joel (YouTube), and other TV programs and YouTube channels
    ○ Invited as a delegate of foreign residents living in Korea at 2020 ASEAN SUMMIT held in Busan
    19 Catherine Gumyier France
    (Acting Ambassador of France to Korea)
    ○ Voluntarily served as a spokesperson for Seoul, global SKAL member and promoted Seoul tourism as she resided in Seoul for 15 years
    ○ Served as an advisor and promoter for 2018 Global Campaign “Fair Travel Living Together” co-hosted by Seoul, Seoul Tourism Organization, Barcelona, and UNWTO
    ○ Promoted Seoul as a sustainable tourism city in diverse global forums and events held home and abroad
    ○ Provided mentorship for foreigners and helped Korean youth to enter global market through K-Move Mentoring program hosted by the Ministry of Employment and Labor and the Human Resources Development Service of Korea