JEJU, South Korea, March 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The Jeju Immigration Office said Tuesday that the number of voluntary departures of undocumented aliens has soared after it started offering exemptions on entry bans starting in March.
As of March 19, a total of 891 individuals who had been staying illegally had left for their home country, which was a ten-fold increase compared to the same period in 2016.
The majority of those who left were from China, followed by Mongolia, Vietnam and Thailand, officials said.
The new policy offered an exemption on an entry ban to South Korea for immigrants who had not exceeded three years of undocumented stay, from what was only a year before.
Illegal immigration in Jeju Island, which allows visa-free entry except for nationals of 11 countries, soared in recent years from 282 in 2011 to 5,762 in 2016, with the island accruing a total of 12,949 illegal immigrants during the period. Roughly 10,000 still remain in Korea, officials estimate.
The special grace period will continue until May 31.
“All they need is to report to the immigration office at the Jeju International Airport with a valid passport and a flight ticket,” an official said.
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)