A significant number of migrant wives from Southeast Asian countries and China intend to return to their home countries eventually, as “reverse immigration,” a study showed on Friday.
The report, released by the state-run Korean Women’s Development Institute, surveyed a total of 534 migrant wives from the Philippines, Vietnam and China last year.
Among those who participated, 34.5 percent said they have thought of moving back to their native countries at least once since moving to South Korea. Of them, women from the Philippines accounted for the highest number―45 percent.
About 33 percent of all women who have considered the idea said it was because they want to spend their later years in their home countries, while 31 percent said they would like their children to be educated outside Korea.
“It is possible for many members of South Korea’s multicultural families to emigrate to the countries of their mothers’ or wives’ origin in future,” the researchers wrote in the report.
The study also found that 63.6 percent of the surveyed women have wired funds to their families in their home countries at least once in the past year. Those from the Philippines were again the highest.
While 86.7 percent of Filipino wives said they have sent money to their families, 67.8 percent of Vietnamese women and 45.2 percent of Chinese wives said the same.
While 47.6 percent said they sent money as gifts on holidays, 41.9 percent said the funds were to help their families back home financially. Meanwhile, 9.1 percent said they wired funds to invest in properties or businesses in their home countries.
While only about 4 percent of Vietnamese and Chinese wives who send funds to their native nations said they’ve done so for investment purposes, 25.8 percent of the Filipino women said they have invested in properties or businesses back home.
“It is notable to acknowledge that migrant wives in South Korea are investing in properties in their native countries (while wishing to return to their home countries),” researchers wrote in the report.
“Marriage immigrants from the Philippines were the highest number of those who wish to return back and are investing in properties in their native country.”
According to the Korean government, marriage immigrants from the Philippines, Vietnam and China―excluding ethnic Koreans born in China―make up almost half of all 295,842 marriage immigrants as of this year.