SEOUL, The justice ministry said on Thursday it will conclude the temporary voluntary departure system for illegal stayers at the end of the month.

The six-month program was adopted in October last year to give overstayers a chance to leave the country with no penalty, irrespective of the period of their illegal stay.

A total of 34,000 people voluntarily left the country under the system over the past five months, the ministry said.

Of them, Thai nationals accounted for the largest portion, trailed by Chinese, Kazakhs, Russians and Vietnamese.

The ministry and other five agencies, including the police and the labor ministry, will begin a major crackdown on illegal immigrants next month, the ministry said.

Those caught in the crackdown will be deported and banned from entering the country for up to 10 years, it added.

Source: Yonhap news Agency