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Chiarimenti sulla sospensione da parte coreana dell’esenzione dei permessi di rientro per gli stranieri in possesso di visti di soggiorno di lunga durata

Data:

01/06/2020


Chiarimenti sulla sospensione da parte coreana dell’esenzione dei permessi di rientro per gli stranieri in possesso di visti di soggiorno di lunga durata

Si forniscono di seguito alcuni chiarimenti fatti qui pervenire dalle autorità coreane in merito alla sospensione dell’esenzione dei permessi di rientro per tutti gli stranieri in possesso di visti di soggiorno di lunga durata a partire dalla data di oggi, 1 giugno 2020.

 

1. What is the objective of implementing this system?

  • Since January 2020, there have been 78 cases of COVID-19 infection cases where a foreigner with long-term residential status in the RoK left the country and then re-entered the country having contracted the virus (as of 27 May, 2020).
  • The Korean government has been making efforts to put on hold Korean citizens’ entries & departures by issuing travel alerts. In addition, the Korean government nullified visas for short-term stays and made it mandatory for applicants of short-term and long-term visas to submit COVID-19-related diagnosis certificates. Furthermore, the Korean government also introduced measures limiting entries into Korea (e.g. obligating foreigners on short-term stay to be isolated in facilities). However, apart from self-quarantine measures, there were no separate measures applied to the entry & departure of long-term foreign stayers in Korea.
  • In order to safeguard the health and safety of Korean nationals and other foreigners staying in Korea and prepare against a second wave of COVID-19 as warned by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Korean government has decided to implement measures that include long-term foreign stayers in Korea to refrain from unnecessary entry & departure and submit a COVID-19-related diagnosis certificate prior to departing from another country.

 2. What are the application procedure, documents to be submitted, and application fee?

  • A relevant foreigner has to visit a local immigration office and submit his/her passport, alien registration card, integrated application form, document stating the reason for the application, document agreeing to have a written diagnosis upon re-entry and pay an application fee of KRW 30,000. However, in cases of leaving the country for business, investment, academic, research, news coverage purposes among others, if the person concerned re-enters Korea within three weeks of departure and is subject to receiving the "diagnosis exemption certificate," that person does not have to submit the document agreeing to have a written diagnosis upon re-entry (refer to no. 9 for more details on the diagnosis exemption certificate).
  • Please refer to the Hi Korea website (www.hikorea.go.kr) for more details on the application procedure, documents to be submitted and the application fee, etc.

3. What is the criteria for the re-entry permit and what are the grounds for not issuing the permit?

  • The criteria for allowing re-entry will be decided after factoring in elements such as the purpose of stay and departure and the need for quarantine, etc. If there is a specific need to leave Korea, unless there are special conditions, the Korean government is planning to promptly provide the re-entry permit.

4. What are the types of diagnosis certificates to be submitted at the time of re-entry and where can they be issued?

  • The diagnosis certificate can be issued from any publicly recognised medical institutions that are qualified to provide diagnosis, and there isn’t any specific format required for the certificate. The diagnosis certificate, in principle, should be issued in Korean or English. However, in cases where the local circumstances make it difficult to issue the diagnosis certificate in Korean or English, a diagnosis certificate issued in the local language will be recognised.
  • In cases where a diagnosis certificate is issued in the local language, a translated version either in Korean or English needs to be attached (notarisation is not necessary; please refer to the Hi Korea website www.hikorea.go.kr for the form to be used for the translated version).
  • Korea’s diplomatic offices already require a similar diagnosis certificate for visa applications, so foreigners that have inquiries should ask the local diplomatic office for relevant information.

5. The Korean authority says that diagnosis certificates issued "within 48 hours from the date of departure" will be recognised. How do we calculate the 48 hours from the date of departure?

  • "48 hours from the date of departure" means within two days calculating backwards from the date of departure to Korea (excluding public holidays). When it is inevitable, diagnosis certificates issued within three days from the date of departure (excluding public holidays) may also be recognised.
  • (Example) In cases where the foreigner departs at 21:00 on 10 June, diagnosis certificates issued either on the 8th or 9th of June shall be accepted.

6. In order to check pneumonia symptoms, which need to be included in the diagnosis certificate, is X-ray necessary?

  • All diagnosis certificates that include symptoms related to COVID-19 will be recognised. It will suffice to include whether the foreigner has or does not have pneumonia symptoms, and X-rays are not necessary.

7. If there are humanitarian reasons, such as death of a family member, which requires a foreigner to abruptly leave the RoK and head to his/her home country, can the foreigner promptly receive a re-entry permit?

  • The Korean government is planning to promptly provide a re-entry permit, if there are humanitarian reasons such as death of a family member.
  • A re-entry permit can be received at immigration offices across the nation, and can also be promptly received within 30 minutes at the airport on the date of the departure.
  • An online reservation system (on www.hikorea.go.kr) has to be used for applications filed with the immigration offices. However, just for June, in order to reduce the inconveniences that could be faced in the early stage of implementing a new system, application can be filed without making a reservation (application can be filed without reservation on the date of departure at the immigration office in airports).
  • Immigration offices that require reservation for a visit: Seoul, Southern Seoul, Incheon, Suwon, Yangju, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Ulsan, Cheongju, Ansan, Sejong, Pyeongtaek, Cheonan and Goyang (a total of 15)
  • Please note that it could take some time to process the applications when applications are received all at once. Especially in airports, it is recommended that relevant foreigners arrive early on the date of departure and conclude the relevant procedure as the airport may be very crowded.
  • Currently, system development is underway targeting mid-June, so that applicants can file their applications easily online on the Hi Korea website.

8. Are there elements that prevent disruption of essential business, news coverage activities, or any other economic activities?

  • In cases where a foreigner has an isolation exemption certificate issued by a Korean diplomatic office, he/she is exempt from a diagnosis and submission of a diagnosis certificate.
  • In cases where a relevant foreigner leaves the country for business, investment, academic, research, news coverage purposes among others and re-enters Korea within three weeks of departure, the Korean government is planning to issue a "diagnosis exemption certificate," exempting the person from diagnosis and submission of a diagnosis certificate, and thereby preventing unnecessary constraints on business activities, etc.
  • Please refer to the Hi Korea website (www.hikorea.go.kr) for more details on the application procedure for the diagnosis exemption certificate.

9. What happens to long-term foreign stayers that left the RoK with an exemption for re-entry permit prior to 31 May and re-enter on 1 June and afterwards?

  • The measures are to be applied to registered foreigners that leave the RoK from 1 June and re-enter the country afterwards.
  • Therefore, foreigners that have left Korea prior to 31 May and re-enter on 1 June and afterwards may re-enter the country even if they have not received a re-entry permit. Re-entry is also possible for them even if they do not have a diagnosis certificate.

10. In cases where a foreigner re-enters Korea with a re-entry permit, is he/she still subject to quarantine measures such as COVID-19 testing and isolation?

  • Even if a foreigner re-enters Korea with a re-entry permit, that does not mean he/she is exempt from isolation. That is a separate measure.
  • All foreigners entering the RoK have to be in quarantine for 14 days either at home or at a separate facility in accordance with the guidelines provided by the quarantine authority. Regardless of the newly introduced measures, the measures put in place by the quarantine authority (i.e. isolation, etc.) will remain effective.

11. Will flight attendants and sailors have to receive the re-entry permit when they try to enter/leave Korea? In addition, do they have to submit a diagnosis certificate when they re-enter Korea?

  • Registered foreigners who are flight attendants or sailors that leave/enter Korea will be exempted from the re-entry permit. They will also be exempted from the obligation to have a diagnosis certificate upon re-entry.

 

 


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