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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 2019, there are 857 Honorary Citizens in total. They are provided with opportunities to participate in events hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and are permitted free admission to the Seoul Museum of Art , the Seoul Museum of History, Seoul Grand Park and other public facilities operated by Seoul City.

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)
  • Raimund Royer, first non-Korean doctor of Korean medicine (2010)
  • Michael Sandel, the wirter of 『JUSTICE』 and the professor at Harvard University(2014)
  • Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee(2018)

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 status
Recommending Candidates
  • Recommendations must be submitted by the head of a civil organization, the head of a public organization, or a group of over 30 civilians
Seoul Honorary Citizen Status
  • Recipients : 857 citizens from 99 countries to date
  • Details : Overseas VIPs(171), Contributors to Seoul(516), Participants in international events and Others(170)