SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — The Ministry of Justice said Saturday that it has introduced a deposit program to encourage foreigners subject to deportation to voluntarily leave the country as part of efforts to ease crowding in temporary detention centers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the new policy, foreigners who are ordered to leave the country following a violation of the immigration law can avoid being detained if they make a deposit of up to 20 million won (US$17,800).
It was introduced to reduce crowding at detention centers and jails, which are prone to coronavirus outbreaks due to a lack of social distancing and poor hygiene, the ministry said, noting that overcrowding at those facilities has recently became a major public health concern.
As of August last year, temporary detention centers for foreigners in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, and Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, saw their populations double to 760, compared with the average numbers seen before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those who make the deposit can get it back when they leave the country. If they don’t leave by a pre-determined departure date, they can get it back only partially or not at all.