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Seoul grants stay extension for Ukrainians in Korea

Sebitseom, artificial islands on the Han River in Seoul, are lit up in blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, on Sunday, in support of the Eastern European country after the Russian invasion. (Yonhap)
Sebitseom, artificial islands on the Han River in Seoul, are lit up in blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, on Sunday, in support of the Eastern European country after the Russian invasion. (Yonhap)

The South Korean government on Monday said it will grant special stay permits to Ukrainians living here, allowing them to overstay their visa until the situation in their home country stabilizes following Russia‘s invasion of the Eastern European country. 

The Justice Ministry said 3,843 Ukrainians, who have been staying in the country on either short- or long-term visas, will benefit from the measure, including 538 whose visas were set to expire by June. 

The government will grant special stay permits to those whose stay was set to expire and can no longer extend their visa. They include students who graduate or have finished their studies, and those who are short-term visa holders with permission to stay in Korea for no more than 90 days. 

For those whose visa has already expired, the ministry said it will not forcibly deport them, but they will be encouraged to leave voluntarily when the situation in their home country stabilizes. 

“The special stay measure was taken out of humanitarian concerns for Ukrainians living in South Korea who cannot go back to their home country due to external factors, including war,” Justice Minister Park Beom-kye said in a statement. 

The government has introduced similar measures in the past. In March last year, it granted special stay permits for about 25,000 people from Myanmar, allowing them to overstay their visas after a military coup in the Southeast Asian country. In August, it allowed around 400 Afghans to extend their stay amid chaos following the Taliban’s takeover of the country.


By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)
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