Tougher Visa Rules Aim to Weed Out Ex-Convicts

      July 03, 2012 12:18

      The Justice Ministry will toughen criminal background checks and health rules for foreigners who want to work in Korea from Aug. 1, a spokesman said Monday. The aim of the new visa rules is to prevent foreigners with criminal records from entering the country after a spate of violent crimes here committed by foreigners.

      So far only foreigners who want to teach languages to young students, or applicants from countries prone to marriage fraud have had to submit their criminal record when applying for entry visas. But from now on all foreigners and even Korean expats will have to submit them when they apply for work visas, maritime crew visas, or business visas.

      The ministry will also conduct criminal background checks of foreign applicants for permanent residency, except for investors of large sums of money, highly skilled professionals, and those who made significant contributions to Korea.

      The ministry will also subject all overseas Koreans who could seek employment here to health checks. So far only foreign language teachers, bar staff and manual laborers are subject to health checks, which cover drug addiction, mental illness and infectious diseases.

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