MOJ enforces 3rd Extension of Stay by Authority for Registered Foreign Residents to limit the spread of COVID-19
□ The Ministry of Justice (Minister Choo, Mi Ae) announced that it has decided to extend Periods of Stay of some 90,000 registered foreign residents and Overseas Korean (F-4) residents in the nation whose authorized stay is set to expire soon, by its authority. The measure, effective from December 1 (Tue.), will grant them extension of stay for three (3) months as part of efforts to prevent the community spread of COVID-19 in accordance with the nation’s recently enhanced Level 2 social distancing guidelines.
□ The MOJ’s decision to extend their stay comes in line with the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters (CDSCH)’s policy, which has issued stricter social distancing rules to contain surging infections in the winter season, particularly ahead of College Scholastic Ability Test (CAST), the annual college entrance exam, and aims to reduce local travel among registered foreign residents who otherwise need to travel in their communities to extend their stay as the authorized period of stay is to soon expire.
❍ The Extension of Stay by authority is expected to substantially decrease in-person visits to local immigration (branch) offices nationwide considering that individual applications for the permission account for more than 30% (2,559 on daily average with a total of 632,264 cases processed in 2019) of entire applications filed by foreign residents in the nation.
❍ This policy will be particularly effective in limiting the virus transmission in local communities with a decrease in public transport usage, given that it requires more than a 2-hour travel to visit immigration offices in some cases of regions.
□ To be specific, around 90,000 legitimate* registered foreign nationals (including Foreign National Koreans who have reported the domestic place of residence) whose period of stay is due to expire by February 28, 2021 will have a 3-month extension of stay from the original expiration date.
＊ The Extension of Stay by Authority Measure only applies to those legally staying in the Republic of Korea as of Dec.1, 2020 and does not apply to illegal/missing immigrants.
※ Those who have already applied for Permission to Extend Period of Stay either in-person or online, those staying abroad and foreign residents defaulting on national health insurance fees/tax payments are excluded from the measure.
❍ Non-Professional (E-9), Maritime Crew (E-10), Work and Visit (H-2) and Miscellaneous (G-1) status holders are, however, excluded from the above measure as their status can not be extended by authority under the relevant laws and regulations. And parents of Marriage Migrants with (F-1-5) status will have their period of stay extended within the maximum period as set forth by laws and regulations of the Republic of Korea.
※ Using e-Application services at www.hikorea.go.kr, or filing group applications through employers is highly recommended for those not eligible for the Extension of Stay by Authority.
❍ The aforementioned measure requires no additional applications at local immigration offices as it comes into force by authority of Minister of Justice, and the extended period of stay can be checked at Expiry Date Check on the HiKorea website (www.hikorea.go.kr).
□ The Ministry of Justice has enforced the measure of Extension of Stay by Authority both in February and April and has contributed to containing the spread of COVID-19 since the outbreak of pandemic earlier this year by reducing in-person visits to public institutions.
□ Details regarding its implementation will be posted on the website of HiKorea (www.hikorea.go.kr) and further inquiries on the measure can be addressed at 1345, the Immigration Contact Center, with no need to visit local immigration offices.