10,377 Thai nationals who were discovered to be working illegally in South Korea were deported in only 2022. 10,000 Thai citizens have visited South Korea after the country “reopened” during the outbreak. 50 percent of them—or more than 5,000—have been turned away and sent home, according to the Daily News. Although the Korea Times did not specify if the Thais who were turned away had a K-ETA or the appropriate visa, it is probably safe to infer that 110 passengers on one trip weren’t sufficiently unprepared to possess neither. Therefore, it is unknown why they were denied admittance. The Korea Times reported yesterday that 110 Thai tourists traveling on a single flight were refused admission to the South Korean island of Jeju and deported back to Thailand.

According to sources, a startling 50% of all Thais entering South Korea have been turned away at the border since Korea’s post-pandemic “reopening” Currently, in order to enter South Korea, all foreign nationals must get a K-ETA or a visa. 125 of the 184 Thai nationals on a Jeju Airlines aircraft yesterday from Bangkok to Jeju Island had their immigration paperwork “re-examined.” 110 people had their entrance requests rejected and were sent back to Thailand last night. The Korea Times said that Immigration did not give any information or explanations for refusing their admittance. Non-Korean nationals should submit an online K-ETA application at least a week before their trip if they plan to visit family, engage in short-term studies with a stay under 90 days, or travel for business. You must apply for the necessary visa if the K-ETA does not cover your visit’s purpose or if you are not a citizen of a K-ETA-eligible country. On July 25, South Korea opened its doors to visitors without a quarantine, regardless of their immunization status. Immigration regulations in South Korea are more stringent than ever.

The nation is harshly cracking down on migrant employees who are employed illegally. Around 18,000 Thais are legitimately employed in South Korea. One estimate puts the number of Thais working illegitimately in South Korea at 140,000.

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