Tougher checks for foreign workers

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Tougher checks for foreign workers

Korea will strengthen criminal and health background checks on foreigners, the Justice Ministry said yesterday, as anxiety increases about crimes by foreign visitors following a brutal murder earlier in the year.

Starting from Aug. 1, the Ministry of Justice will require the submission of overseas criminal histories by foreigners who apply for non-professional work visas, crewmen’s visas or working visit visas, the ministry said.

Currently, criminal backgrounds are only required from foreigners who came to Korea to teach children or those from countries with frequent incidences of marriage immigration fraud.

Visa seekers with histories of violent crimes, such as murder, robbery or rape, will be denied entry, the Justice Ministry said.

The plan was introduced to keep the country safe from potential crime or infectious diseases as the country has had a rising number of organized and brutal crimes by people from overseas. The Justice Ministry will also step up health checks on those groups, requiring visa applicants to submit medical reports from ministry-designated hospitals. Those with serious infectious disease will be expelled from the country, it said.

“The latest measures are expected to help prevent the entrance of foreigners with criminal records as well as the spread of infectious diseases stemming from abroad,” a ministry official said.
The measures came after the recent murder of a young Korean woman by a Korean-Chinese labor worker.

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