Honorary citizens


Seoul Metropolitan Government awards honorary citizenship to non-Koreans who have demonstrated their love and dedication to the city of  Seoul each year on October 28 (Honorary Citizens Day). Candidates are presented with official Honorary Citizen certificates. 

명예시민 샘플이미지

As of 2015, there are 694 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

  • Jackie Chan, action film actor (1999)
  • Guus Hiddink, soccer coach who led Korean national soccer team to the semi-finals of the 2002 Korea Japan Worldcup
  • Hines E. Ward, American football player (2006)
  • Christopher Hill, Former US Ambassador to Korea (2005)
  • Susan Cox, vice president of Holt Children’s Center and godmother of adopted children (2005)
  • Raimund Royer, the first licensed non-Korean doctor of Korean medicine (2010)
  • Peter Bartholomew, promoter of hanok (2010)
  • Sister Maria Vertilde, for her efforts to help the needy in Korea for the past four decades (2011)
  • Anatoly Torkunov, the rector of Moscow’s State Institute of International Relations (2013)

Criteria for Seoul Honorary Citizen Candidates

Candidates must
  • have lived in Korea for three consecutive years or over five years in total and have contributed to Seoul’s development as well as the life of Seoul’s residents, setting an excellent example for both citizens and foreign residents
  • be overseas VIPs or non-Koreans living in Korea who are qualified to receive Honorary Citizen status
Candidate Recommendation
  • Recommendations must be submitted by the head of a civil organization with over ten members, the head of a public organization, or a group of over ten civilians
Seoul Honorary Citizen Status
  • Recipients  : 694 citizens from 93 countries
  • Details  : Overseas VIPs: 114, Contributors to Seoul: 404, Participants in international events: 163, Other: 12