An increasingly number of Thais are illegally staying in South Korea and this is one of the main causes that prompts South Korean immigration officials to reject entry of several Thais upon arrival in South Korea, explained the Thai embassy in Seoul.
The embassy said that Thailand and South Korea have signed an agreement to exempt visas for tourists of the two countries visiting South Korea or Thailand of up to 90 days.
However, many Thais have exploited this loophole to overstay their visas and work illegally in South Korea, said the embassy, adding that there are now 52,435 Thais who are illegally staying in the country out of a total of 90,235 representing 58.1 percent and the trend is rising – hence the need of the immigration officials to curb the number of illegal immigrants from Thailand.
The South Korean immigration has introduced two measures to deal with this problem which include: voluntary repatriation to Thailand for the illegal immigrants of which 8,402 Thais accepted the offer and entry denials for Thais suspected of intending to work in South Korea.
The Thai embassy maintained that the South Korean immigration office was fully authorized to question or interview any Thais who are deemed suspicious. Any of them who fails to provide answers to the satisfaction of the immigration officials has the tendency to be rejected entry, it said.
Thais wishing to visit South Korea are advised to prepare the following documents to be shown to the immigration officials upon request – return air tickets, documents of hotel reservations, travelling itineraries and sufficient amount of money to sustain the duration of stay in the country.
The Thai foreign ministry has been trying to solve the problem of Thais being rejected entries with their South Korean counterpart but this will take time.
Thais who wish to work legally in South Korea are advised to follow the Employment Permit System which can be easily accessed by going to the following website, https://www.facebook.com/epstoea/
The embassy warned that those who were caught working illegally will be deported, blacklisted and banned from visiting the country for up to five years. But, worse, this will tarnish the image of Thailand, it added.