NA­TIONAL

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Kim Jae-heun [email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

The gov­ern­ment will no longer al­low il­le­gal im­mi­grants to leave the coun­try im­me­di­ately when they vol­un­tar­ily ap­pear at an air­port or har­bor, a mea­sure aimed at pre­vent­ing il­le­gal aliens from flee­ing af­ter com­mit­ting a crime here, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Jus­tice, Sun­day.

The gov­ern­ment will no longer al­low il­le­gal im­mi­grants to leave the coun­try im­me­di­ately when they vol­un­tar­ily ap­pear at an air­port or har­bor, a mea­sure aimed at pre­vent­ing il­le­gal aliens from flee­ing af­ter com­mit­ting a crime here, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Jus­tice, Sun­day.

The de­ci­sion comes af­ter a Kaza­khstani il­le­gal alien re­turned home a day af­ter be­ing in­volved in a hit-and-run ac­ci­dent in which a boy was crit­i­cally in­jured.

To date, an il­le­gal alien could go home im­me­di­ately on the day they went to an air­port or har­bor and re­ported their vol­un­tary de­par­ture to the im­mi­gra­tion cen­ters there, un­less the per­son had been banned from leav­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­istry, the sys­tem will be abol­ished, and start­ing Oct. 21, il­le­gal mi­grants will have to re­port their vol­un­tary de­par­ture plan to an im­mi­gra­tion cen­ter near their residence three to 15 days in ad­vance.

They will be al­lowed to leave af­ter the im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties re­view the sit­u­a­tion.

The au­thor­i­ties will be­gin the re­view on Oct. 14. Il­le­gal im­mi­grants will have to sub­mit their pass­port, de­par­ture ticket and an ap­pli­ca­tion form.

The form can be down­loaded from im­mi­gra­tion web­sites or hiko­rea. go.kr.

In ad­di­tion, the au­thor­i­ties will check if the il­le­gal aliens have been in­volved in any crimes.

The min­istry will also ban the de­part­ing ap­pli­cants from chang­ing their sched­uled de­par­ture date, and in case of un­avoid­able cir­cum­stances, such as a fam­ily mem­ber’s death or crit­i­cal health con­di­tion, they must sub­mit doc­u­ments to prove this.

The min­istry said it will re­ceive ap­pli­ca­tions on­line af­ter scru­ti­niz­ing over­all feed­back on the new sys­tem.

In the hit-and-run ac­ci­dent, a Kaza­khstani man, 20, al­legedly ran over an eight-year-old boy in Chang­won, South Gyeongsang Province, Sept. 16.

The vic­tim un­der­went brain surgery, but re­mains un­con­scious­ness.

The il­le­gal im­mi­grant aban­doned his ve­hi­cle on a high­way in Bu­san 2.1 kilo­me­ters from the where the ac­ci­dent took place. He fled the coun­try through In­cheon In­ter­na­tional Air­port at 10.25 a.m. the next day, 18 hours af­ter the ac­ci­dent.

Po­lice con­firmed the sus­pect af­ter match­ing his fin­ger­prints in the car with those used to go through im­mi­gra­tion.

Po­lice said it took time to con­firm the man’s iden­tity be­cause the car was reg­is­tered un­der an­other per­son’s name, so the man left the coun­try be­fore po­lice could re­quest a travel ban.

On Sept. 19, the min­istry said it would ask the Kaza­khstani gov­ern­ment to repa­tri­ate the sus­pect, seek­ing co­op­er­a­tion with the for­eign min­istry, the po­lice and In­ter­pol. Korea and Kaza­khstan have an ex­tra­di­tion treaty.

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