Justice ministry grants temporary stay permits for undocumented migrant children

SEOUL– Illegal migrant children who are born and have lived in South Korea for more than 15 years will be given temporary stay permits, the Ministry of Justice said Monday, as part of efforts to recognize their fundamental and equal rights and inherent dignity.

The policy, which runs until February 2025, is limited to children who graduated from elementary school before Feb. 28, 2021. Middle or high school kids will be granted the D-4 visa, and those who already graduated from high school will get the one-year G-1 visa.

Those who benefit from the policy should dutifully attend school and comply with the local laws, or the permits could be revoked, the ministry.

The limits on the scope and duration of the policy are meant to prevent the policy from being abused as a way of illegal immigration, the ministry said.

For the sake of the children, their parents will also be given temporary stay permits. When the children become adults, they and their parents should leave the country voluntarily.

According to the ministry, an estimated 100-500 children will be subject to the policy, which is meant to cope with the challenges facing undocumented children who are forced to leave the country, although they recognize themselves as Korean — culturally and linguistically.

Also it is in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the country endorsed in 1991, the ministry said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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