More Than 10,000 Foreigners Are Still Living In Korea Illegally, Due To The Winter Olympics

The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was so great that foreigners decided to stay in South Korea… illegally.

It seems living in South Korea is a foreigner’s dream, with more than 10,000 of them continuing to stay in the country illegally after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics allowed visitors to waive their entry visa for a period of 90 days.

Image: Associated Press/Andy Wong

The Pyeongchang Olympics ran from February 9-25, so the visa-free period ended in May.


South Korea formalized the three-month visa waiver arrangement to encourage visitors to the Olympics and the country’s tourist spots.

Image: AP/Andy Wong


But now a government report has found that of the 351,739 foreign visitors that were granted visa-free entry to attend the Olympics, 11,535 of them were confirmed to be illegally staying in South Korea as of late last month.

Image: Alain Evrard

The report was submitted by the Justice Ministry to Jun Hee Kyung of Liberty Korea Party, who urged the government to crackdown on illegal migrants and the local brokers helping them. Jun Hee Kyung cited a possible increase in crime and unfair labor division as reasons to worry, saying illegal migrants may steal jobs from authorized foreign migrants.


In early 2017, South Korea’s foreign population surpassed 2 million, accounting for 3.9% of the population, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Image: CNN


The number of foreigners in South Korea in 2018 seems to have grown substantially due to the illegal migrant population.

Image: Korea Times
Source: Korea Times and Chosun Ilbo

2018 Korea Winter Olympics