Brazilians in South Korea

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Brazilians in South Korea
Total population
400 to 500 families
Regions with significant populations
Brazilian Portuguese · Korean
Related ethnic groups
Brazilian diaspora

There is a community of Brazilians in South Korea consisting of immigrants (mostly Korean Brazilian returnees) and expatriates (mostly footballers) from Brazil. In total there are estimated to be about 400 or 500 families of Brazilians living in South Korea.[1]

Migration history[edit]

Korean Brazilian returnees[edit]

Since the late 1980s, the economic situations of Korean Brazilians have slowly deteriorated. Many successful Koreans who accumulated sufficient wealth abandoned Brazil to look for economic opportunities elsewhere. Some non-affluent Koreans who failed to adjust to Brazilian society also did not find bright futures in Brazil. Some Korean immigrants in Brazil decided to return to their homeland, the economy of which has grown much faster than Brazil’s since the 1980s. The early Korean immigrants who migrated as family units maintained strong ethnic consciousness. Thus, they were able to adapt to Korean society relatively easily when they returned to Korea.

Young Korean Brazilians who completed basic South Korean education in South Korea before moving to Brazil also did not encounter any difficulty in maintaining their Korean identity while living in Brazil thanks to the flexibility of Brazilian ethnic relations.[2] However, second-generation Korean Brazilians did not develop clear ethnic identities in Brazil and had to work hard to be integrated into Korean society.

According to statistics of South Korea's Ministry of Justice, in 2009 a total of 77 Brazilians entered the country on overseas Korean (F-4) visas.[3]


Brazilian expatriate footballers have been coming to South Korea to play for the K-League, the country's only fully professional association football league. At the inception of the K-League in 1983, only two Brazilian players made rosters. From 2000, Brazilian footballers became the K-League's priority with players such as André Luiz Tavares, João Soares da Mota Neto, Nádson Rodrigues de Souza, Adilson dos Santos, and Eduardo Gonçalves de Oliveira.

A few Brazilian students have also been awarded scholarships by companies such as Hyundai or public bodies such as South Korea's National Institute for International Education Development to study at universities in South Korea.[4][5] Ministry of Justice statistics show a total of 34 Brazilians entering Korea in 2009 on student (D2) visas.[6]


Brazilian culture is also present in South Korea. The Embassy of Brazil in Seoul held a series of cultural events in 2009 such as music concert and Brazilian film festival to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between South Korea and Brazil as well as in May 2012 with a Brazilian Cultural Programme titled "Seoul of Brazil", a three-day event which marks the 50th anniversary of Korean immigration to Brazil.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Terzian, Françoise (2011-09-05), "Brasil atrai mais coreanos que brasileiros na Coreia", Brasil Econômico, archived from the original on 2012-07-21, retrieved 2012-05-30 
  2. ^ Yoo 2007, p. 160
  3. ^ Ministry of Justice 2009, p. 296
  4. ^ "Referência em educação, Coreia do Sul atrai estudantes brasileiros", Rede Globo, 2012-01-29, retrieved 2012-05-29 
  5. ^ "Montadora assina acordo para dar bolsas a brasileiros na Coreia do Sul". Rede Globo. 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  6. ^ Ministry of Justice 2009, p. 288
  7. ^ "Brazilian music returns to Seoul", The Korea Times, 11 May 2012, retrieved 2012-05-29 


External links[edit]