According to the South Korean newspaper, The DONG-A ILBO, South Korea’s Ministry of Justice introduced a policy that obliged Egyptians to get a “pre-visa” before entering the country starting October of this year.
South Korea’s visa-free entry for Egyptians had encouraged asylum seekers to pick the country as the place to stay, which consequently led to a dramatic increase in asylum applications and illegal immigrants.
Between January and May of this year, out of a total of 276 asylum applications, nearly half of the applicants had been from Egypt whereas last year (2017), 3,244 Egyptians filed refugee applications in South Korea, the third most refuge seeking country in South Korea after Pakistan with 4,268 applications and China with 3,639 applications.
The reason for these measures had been linked with the immigrant’s fabricated documents, which require South Korea’s human resources and money to verify.
“Many of them claim to have been forced to undergo criminal trials for their anti-government activities as part of the Muslim Brotherhood, but most of the documents they present are fabricated,” said an official from the Immigration & Naturalization Service at Incheon International Airport.
The news also came after the Yemenite refugee crisis in Jeju Island which prompted the Ministry of Justice to preempt similar issues involving refugees.
The DONG-A ILBO reported that the South Korean government expected little backlash from the Egyptian government. However, it was not unlikely that Egyptian government would change the current arrival visa policy and implement a pre-visa requirement for South Korean visitors, “citing the principle of reciprocity.”
Lately, there has been a surge of interest in South Korea among Egyptians, especially among youth who indulge in Korean Dramas, and with new Korean food venues turning into a popular outings choice.