South Korea will revoke its policy of exempting Egyptians from an entry visa starting from October of this year, and the Ministry of Justice asked that Egyptian nationals should apply for an “advanced entry visa.”
A South Korean government official told local newspaper, The Dong-A Ilbo, that “this year, about half of asylum seekers were Egyptians. If this continues, things will get out of hand so we have decided to change the current police.”
Analysts said that after accepting a large number of Yemeni refugees on the southernmost island of Jeju, the Korean Ministry of Justice decided to change its policy to avoid a similar refugee crisis.
South Korea included Yemenis on the list of nationals who have to apply for a visa prior to entering the country, a decision that comes after the country accepted more than 500 refugee families.
According to the Ministry of Justice, between January and May, 276 people applied for asylum in South Korea.
This included 112 Egyptian nationals, many of whom were men in their 20s and 30s.
Between 1994, when the South Korean government first began receiving refugee applications, and 2017, up to 4,444 Egyptians applied for asylum in South Korea.