This is a common question asked by Filipinos in Facebook groups. What does 68-1 or 46-1 stamped on the passport mean? The numbers refer to the articles in the Immigration Control Act of South Korea.
68-(1) means “Order of Departure”. This is stamped on the passport of an overstaying foreign passport holder who surrendered to the Immigration Office and volunteered to leave the country. In the Immigration Control Act, Article 68 contains the following:
Article 68 (Departure Order)
(1) The head of office or branch office, or the head of the foreigner internment camp may order any foreigner falling under any of the following subparagraphs to depart from the Republic of Korea: Read the rest here.
On the other hand, 46-(1) means “Order of Deportation”. It is stamped on the passport of an overstaying foreign passport holder who was caught by immigration officials. This carries a ban of a maximum of five years before the individual could come back to Korea. Article 46 of the Immigration Control Law of South Korea contains the following:
Article 46 (Persons to be Deported)
(1) The head of office or branch office or head of a foreigner internment camp may deport any of the following foreigners from the Republic of Korea according to procedures as prescribed in this Chapter: Read the rest here.
A common question asked by those who had the numbers stamped on their passport is: will they be able to apply for the EPS-TOPIK and be admitted as EPS workers? Here is what the official EPS website says:
Based on the information above, a person who had the 68-(1) or 46-(1) stamped on the passport is not eligible for the EPS visa. Even if the applicant passes the EPS-TOPIK test and gets chosen by an employer, the Immigration Office in South Korea will check the record of the applicant. They have the final decision on the visa application.
Is it possible for someone who left voluntarily to go back to Korea as a tourist? It is possible but only if they could get a visa from the Korean Embassy in their country.
No Entry-Ban on Voluntary Departure
Earlier this year, the Immigration Office announced a “no entry-ban” on overstaying foreigners who would voluntarily leave Korea until the end of the year.
Exemption from a re-entry ban for voluntary departure
❑ Duration : 2016. 4. 1. ~ 9. 30. (6 months) – EXTENDED to December 31st
❑ Place : Immigration offices at all ports of entry
❑ Benefits for voluntary departure
❍ Exemption from the re-entry bans which were imposed due to the period of overstaying.
※ Previously, there was an exclusion period for up to 2 years depending on the length of overstaying
❍ Exemption from the penalty for illegal migrants and their employers.
❍ Leaving the country freely without detention.
❍ Entering the ROK after receiving the re-entry visa from the diplomatic mission abroad.
▸ If you were deported as you were caught by the authorities, you would be banned from returning for up to 5 years regardless of the period of overstaying.
▸ There would be enhanced criminal penalty including accusation, etc., and increased fines would be imposed as well.
❑ Procedure for voluntary departure
❍ If you choose to return to your home country voluntarily, you should come with a flight ticket and valid passport or travel document and report your voluntary return status to immigration offices at all ports of entry on your departure date.
※ If you entered this country using a forged passport or any other abnormal ways, there will be more time needed for verification of identity. In these cases, you should contact and visit Immigration offices at ports of entry at least 3 days in advance of your departure date.
❑ Contact details
❍ If you have any further inquiries, please contact the Immigration Contact Centre(☎ 1345) or Immigration offices at ports of entry.
– Incheon Airport : ☎ 032-740-7391~2 – Gimhae : ☎ 051-979-1300