The Ministry of Justice announced Thursday it will temporarily expand visa issuance for foreign children staying illegally in the country to better guarantee their right to education.
Starting next month until March 2025, foreign children who have been living in South Korea for at least six years after being born here or entering the country when they were younger than the age of 6 will be granted stay visas if they are enrolled in elementary, middle or high schools, or are high school graduates.
Those who entered the country after they turned 6 will be given stay visas if they have been living here for at least 7 years and are enrolled in grade school or are high school graduates.
Young students will get a D-4 study visa, while high school graduates will receive visas needed for attending colleges or finding jobs.
Until now, undocumented foreign children eligible for visas have been school age students who have been living in South Korea for at least 15 years after being born here.
Government data shows there are currently about 3,000 such students across the country without alien registration cards.
The justice ministry expects most of these students will be able to receive stay visas with the coming measure.
The ministry added that those who get expelled from school or commit crimes can lose their visas or be denied an extension of stay.
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