Asia - Pacific

South Korea tweaks law to prolong stay of Afghan evacuees

Nearly 400 Afghans undergoing assimilation programs in Far East country

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 19.10.2021
South Korea tweaks law to prolong stay of Afghan evacuees

ISTANBUL

South Korea has amended its immigration law to allow refugees from Afghanistan to stay in the country for long-term residency, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The Cabinet approved the revision to the immigration law “to grant long-term residency” to Afghan evacuees. The amended law will also allow them to get jobs in the Far East country.

South Korea airlifted around 390 Afghans in August after Taliban took power in Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of foreign forces. Thousands of Afghans have since fled the country.

“In order for them to live independently in our society, getting jobs must be a priority,” South Korea’s Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum told the Cabinet meeting. “Ministries should review ways that can utilize their careers in Afghanistan in South Korea.”

Those who came to Seoul include medical professionals, vocational trainers, IT experts and interpreters who worked for South Korea’s embassy and its humanitarian and relief facilities in Afghanistan.

They are now undergoing assimilation programs “to help them get familiar to the Korean culture and society.”

The prime minister has urged locals “for a warm welcome and support” to Afghans “so that they can complete assimilation programs by February next year.”

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