SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — The proportion of unregistered foreigners in South Korea is nearing the 20 percent milestone, setting an unprecedented record.
The Ministry of Justice reported that 19.3 percent of all foreigners in South Korea last year were unregistered, up by 3.8 percentage points since the previous year (15.5 percent).
The proportion of unregistered foreigners has gradually increased each year, from 10.2 percent in 2016 to 15.5 percent in 2019.
The number of unregistered foreigners last year amounted to 392,196 people, surpassing 2019 levels (390,281 people).
Among them, 281,000 people (71.8 percent) entered the country on a tourist visa with a 90-day stay permit, down by 3.9 percent from last year.
The remaining 108,000 people were long-term residents, including Korean compatriots and foreigners with registration IDs, up by 13.4 percent from last year.
Many foreigners who entered the country for work stayed even after their visa expired.
Last year, some 7,875 foreigners with E-9 non-professional employment visa were added to the list of unregistered foreigners, jumping sevenfold from the previous year.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)