Sex offense record to keep foreign visitors out

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Sex offense record to keep foreign visitors out

The Justice Ministry has changed its regulations to permanently ban entry into the country of any foreigner convicted of a sex offense, the ministry said yesterday.

Those convicted of sex offenses while staying in the country will also be subject to immediate deportation, according to the ministry.

“This means a foreigner convicted of a sex offense here or in any other country will immediately be deported and will never be allowed to come back to Korea,” a ministry official said, asking not to be identified.

Foreigners convicted of other crimes are also subject to deportation, but they can still re-enter the country after a five-year waiting period.

Two foreign residents confirmed to have committed sex offenses in the past have been deported and forever banned from re-entering the country since the ministry changed its regulations last month, the ministry official said.

The move comes as officials say the number of sex offenses committed by foreign residents has been on the rise.

They also say that there have been cases where people deported following convictions here tried to re-enter the country through illegal means.

The number of sex offenses by foreign residents here increased 11 percent last year from a year before, according to the ministry official.

Over 1.1 million foreigners were living in Korea as of May 2009, records show.

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