Thousands of Foreign Students Overstay Their Visa

  • By Kim Eun-gyeong

    September 29, 2022 13:20

    The number of foreigners who arrive here on a student visa but drop and fail to return to their country has increased nearly five-fold over the past four years. 
    Private universities are keener than ever to recruit foreign students to solve financial problems as the young population dwindles, but such dropouts are often illegal immigrants and never had any intention of finishing their course. 
    According to government data, a total of 10,335 foreign students dropped out of universities as of late last year, and 6,947 of them stayed on as undocumented aliens. That was up from 1,419 in 2018. 
    The government believes that a considerable number of foreigners come on student visas on university or language courses to find a job, and that their number increased as foreign workers were effectively barred from the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. 
    But not all of them intended to melt into the grey economy. "Some foreign students who have language problems also dropped out because they had difficulty adapting to online learning amid the COVID lockdown and then failed to return to their countries because many flights were suspended," an official at the Education Ministry explained.  
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