Generally, we do not pay benefits to dependents and survivors who have been outside
the United States for more than six months and who first became eligible for the benefits
after 1984 (P.L. 98-2 section 340), unless they satisfy certain U.S. residency requirements
(Five-year residency rule).
This requirement is based on the provisions of section 202(t)(11) of the Social Security
Act. During this five-year residency, the dependent or survivor must have been in
a family relationship with the number holder (NH).
However, section 202(t)(11)(E) of the Act exempts citizens or residents of a country
with which the United States has a Totalization Agreement from the five-year U.S.
residency requirement, unless the Agreement provides otherwise or includes a limitation
on the exemption. The U.S.- Korea Agreement does not contain a limitation on this
exemption. Therefore, Korean citizens (regardless of where they reside), and non-U.S.
citizen beneficiaries who are residents of Korea meeting an exception to the Alien
Non-payment Provisions, and who qualify for U.S. dependents or survivors benefits,
are exempt from the five-year U.S. residency requirement.