South Korea will temporarily expand visa issuance for foreign children staying illegally in the country to better guarantee their right to education, the justice ministry said Thursday.
Until now, undocumented foreign children eligible for visas have been middle and high school students, as well as high school graduates, who have been living in South Korea for at least 15 years after being born here.
But from next month to March 2025, foreign children who have been living here 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 elementary, middle or high schools, or are high school graduates.
Students will get a D-4 study visa, while high school graduates will receive visas needed for attending colleges or finding jobs.
There are currently about 3,000 students enrolled in elementary, middle and high schools across the country without alien registration cards, according to data from the education ministry.
The justice ministry expects most of these students will be able to receive stay visas with the coming measure.
Those who get expelled from school or commit crimes can lose their visas or be denied an extension of stay. (Yonhap)