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Visa-free scheme spurs illegal immigrants

2017/10/13 10:52

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SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- The number of illegal immigrants who exploited the visa-free program soared in the last couple of years as the government is expanding the system to attract more tourists, data showed Friday.

According to the data provided by the Ministry of Justice to Rep. Kwak Sang-do for a parliamentary audit, the number of foreigners who entered South Korea without visas and stayed illegally came to 82,357 last year, up 121 percent from 37,225 recorded in 2013. The tally already surpassed last year's total, reaching 95,718 in the January-August period of the year.

"The government should come up with measures to prevent people from exploiting the programs intended to boost tourism in the country," Kwak said.