USFK highlights two SOFA regulations

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Because the U.S. military is a guest here in Korea, it is important we respect local laws and the rules set out in the status of forces agreement.

Two issues that have been emphasized recently are home-based businesses and hiring third-country nationals.

In most cases, servicemembers are not allowed to open any sort of business because there are various licenses and visas foreigners are required to obtain from the Korean government.

Military members are also barred from teaching at local schools and performing private tutoring sessions with Korean nationals for pay, however, dependents are allowed to obtain the required visas to do this.

The one exception to this policy is businesses that sell goods and/or services to other SOFA personnel only; however, the permission of the installation commander is required.

These businesses are not subject to Korean regulations, licenses, fees or taxes, but may be subject to U.S. taxes.

The use of APO boxes for home businesses is not authorized and strictly prohibited.

Another issue is the employment of TCNs by SOFA personnel to perform domestic labor, which is, in most cases, illegal under Korean Law.

The only exceptions to this policy are individuals with the following visas:

- F-2: Foreign nationals married to Korean nationals or permanent residents in Korea and those with refugee status

- F-4: Foreign nationals with Korean ancestry

- F-5: Permanent resident aliens in Korea TCN's with SOFA status, like TCN spouses or dependants with a SOFA stamp in their passport, may be employed by other SOFA personnel on base if the employee is authorized by the base commander.

For more information, contact the 51st Fighter Wing legal office at 784-4131.