Visa reentry rules relaxed

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Visa reentry rules relaxed

Starting in December, foreign nationals who have stayed in Korea for more than three months will not have to get permission from the immigration office when they want to go abroad and return within their authorized period of stay.

The Korea Immigration Service released a revised regulation yesterday covering registered foreigners who have lived in Korea for more than 91 days on a single-entry visa. Under the new rules, these foreigners will not need approval from the immigration office if they visit another country and re-enter Korea within their authorized period of stay. The new regulation will be effective Dec. 15.

Previously, a foreign national with a single-entry visa good for more than 91 days had to visit the immigration office and pay about 20,000 won ($17.73) for permission to take a trip abroad and re-enter Korea. Under the new regulation, about 900,000 foreigners will be exempted from the requirement, officials said.

The service also announced that foreign nationals who have F-5 permanent residency will be able to travel or live outside Korea for two years and maintain the F-5 status. Previously, they could only stay out of Korea for a single year.

By Kim Hee-jin []
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