NATIONAL

Revised immigration law to make foreigners subject to emergency exit bans

By Catherine Chung
  • Published : Aug 8, 2017 - 10:49
  • Updated : Aug 8, 2017 - 10:49
The government on Tuesday approved a revision to immigration law that would impose an emergency exit ban on foreign nationals found responsible for committing murder or other crimes that warrant a prison term of three years to life, government officials said.

The adoption of the bill was made at a Cabinet meeting that President Moon Jae-in presided over.

If implemented, the law would enable authorities to ask immigration officials to place foreign nationals, who could destroy evidence and escape, under an emergency exit ban.

Under the current law, the country can refuse exit to South Korean nationals but foreign nationals are not subject to emergency exit bans.

This undated file photo shows the Immigration Reception Center, affiliated with the Justice Ministry, in Incheon, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

The revised law requires law enforcement officials ask the justice minister to give retroactive approval for an emergency exit ban on a foreigner within six hours after asking for the ban.

The bill passed during the Cabinet meeting also allows authorities to set the term for which a certificate for foreign permanent residents is valid at 10 years and require them to renew it prior to the termination of the term.

South Korea has given foreign nationals permanent residency status since the revision of law in 2002 but critics say the absence of its renewal system poses a loophole.

The government plans to submit the bill to the National Assembly to amend the law. (Yonhap)