S. Korean government cites increase in unregistered immigrants as reason for crackdowns

Many migrant workers become “unregistered” after leaving abusive workplaces

The South Korean government is citing a rapid increase in unregistered immigrants as a reason for intensifying crackdown efforts.

As of March 2019, the estimated number of unregistered immigrants stood at 356,095, or 14.9% of the 2,379,805 foreign nationals currently staying in South Korea. Major factors in the recent rapid rise include the success last year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and a government expansion of visa-free entries to attract foreign tourists. Of the 61,305 additional unregistered international residents calculated between late December 2017 (251,041) and late May 2018 (312,346), 52,213 entered South Korea without visas.

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