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Foreign Sex Criminals Face Permanent Entry Ban

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Finally, an immigration measure that makes sense.  From the Korea Times:

By Park Si-soo
Staff Reporter

Foreigners convicted either at home or abroad of sexual crimes will be permanently banned from entering South Korea, a source at the immigration office said Wednesday.

This is in line with an immigration regulation amendment in February by the Ministry of Justice to take a tougher stance against foreign criminals, particularly sexual predators.

In the latest case following the amendment, the Korea Immigration Office has slapped a permanent entry ban on three American men, who were seeking E-2 English teaching visas, raising the number of affected foreigners to twelve.

So far, convicted foreigners ㅡ regardless of the type of crime they perpetrated in Korea or elsewhere ㅡ could apply for a visa for the country five years after being deported following completion of their jail terms.

The possibilities were slim for them to earn the right to re-enter Korea. For that reason, more than 2,000 foreigners have attempted to pass through the immigration process with false passports, an immigration statistic showed.

“The latest measure shows the government’s tougher stance against foreigners with previous convictions, particularly those found guilty of sexual crimes,” the source told The Korea Times.

Among the three Americans facing a permanent entry ban is a native English teacher who has worked at a private language institute and a university over the past three years and four months.

The 35-year-old U.S. citizen, who served as a certified counselor in the state of Washington before coming to Korea, was found guilty of sexual molestation of a child and consequently saw his license canceled, the office said citing a criminal record forwarded from the U.S. government.

Tighter Security

The other two were also found guilty in their homeland of sexual molestation and sexual harassment over the phone, respectively, the office added.

“We’re enhancing cooperation with other states to build up the list of aliens embroiled in all kinds of crimes and to keep them off Korean territory permanently,” the source said.

In the meantime, foreigners suspected of attempting to enter the country on false documents to hide their previous deportation caused by criminal acts here will have to undergo fingerprint checks at international airports and harbors from as early as August.

The measure is to tighten security ahead of the G-20 summit in November in southern Seoul.

The apprehension of two Pakistani men last month, who are suspected of being members of the Taliban, have provided the impetus for the system’s introduction.

Suspects’ fingerprints will be compared with the immigration office database and those with an identical match will either be denied entry or taken in for questioning.

The office said this was a makeshift measure to tighten immigration inspections with the summit just eight months away.

On top of this, a bill requiring all foreign nationals aged 17 or over visiting Korea to have their fingerprints registered is pending at the National Assembly.

If passed, all visitors, excluding diplomats and those traveling on official duty, must have their fingerprints scanned and be photographed upon entry.

“Collecting biometric information will not only deter crimes committed by foreigners but also reduce the number of people coming here with fraudulent documents,” an immigration official said. “Unlike names and dates of birth, which can be changed, biometric data is unique and almost impossible to forge.”

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Written by recruiterinkorea

April 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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