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Seoul extends expiring visas as pandemic continues

10:46 April 09, 2020

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has extended visas for foreigners set to expire soon to prevent them from visiting immigration offices amid the coronavirus pandemic, the justice ministry said Thursday.

Under the move, visas for around 60,000 registered foreign nationals that are set to expire by May 31 have been automatically extended by three months, the ministry said in a press release.

This file photo, taken on Feb. 17, 2020, shows an immigration office in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

The ministry said it expects the visa extension to help reduce the number of visitors at immigration offices and prevent trips to the offices, which can take up to two hours in rural areas. On average, over 2,500 requests for visa extensions are submitted each day.

Details on the visa extension are available at the government immigration portal (www.hikorea.go.kr). The information call center (1345) is also open for inquiries.

This is the second time the ministry has automatically extended expiring visas in line with the government's social distancing campaign set to end on April 19.

In late February, the government extended visas for more than 130,000 registered foreigners.

mlee@yna.co.kr
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