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Introduction to the Deportation or Removal Order and How to Appeal the Order in Korea


그림 2In South Korea, the immigration office may remove or deport from South Korea any person who breached the Immigration Control Act(“ICA”) of South Korea.  Any person who is released after receiving a sentence of imprisonment without prison labor or heavier punishment may be deported by the deportation order as well.

When the immigration officer reasonably finds a foreigner falling under the requirements for the deportation and risk of her running away, the officer can detain the person with approval from the head of immigration office.  The duration of detention cannot exceed 10 days, which can be renewed up to 10 more days.  During this detention, the officer interviews and decides whether to deport the individual or not.

When the immigration officer decides to deport a foreigner, the officer shall deliver the deportation order to the foreigner and immediately take action to make the person leave South Korea.  But, when the individual files a claim for refugee protection, the deportation order cannot be executed until the refugee claim is decided by the Korean authority.

Then, can you appeal the deportation order issued by the Korean immigration office?  Yes, you can.  There are two possible ways to stop the deportation.  First, the individual who was given a deportation order may file an administrative appeal.  This appeal can be made to the Minister of Justice of South Korea through the head of immigration office. This administrative appeal must be filed within 7 days after the receipt of the deportation order.  Alternatively, the party can make an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which in general shall be filed within 90 days after the notice of the deportation order or 180 days after the deportation order was issued, whichever comes first.

The second way is to appeal to the Court and ask the judge to reconsider the validity of immigration office’s deportation decision. It is true that immigration office has the broad discretion power to deport foreigners.  But that power is still under the scrutiny of the court.  Therefore, under Korean law, any foreigner who is to be removed and deported by the order of the immigration office can appeal to the court for the reconsideration of the validity of that order.  What is important here is that the court does not just mechanically interpret the words in the code, but considers various factors to decide whether the decision was reasonable or not. The court has followed this legal standard for a long time and ruled that the decision of the immigration office to deport a foreigner should not only meet the requirements provided by the ICA, but also, even though it does, any unreasonable decision which could do more harm to the foreigner’s personal life than benefits to the public constitutes an abuse of discretion and therefore cannot be sustained.

For example, in a case where an American English teacher was given a deportation order based on his unlicensed driving and DUI convictions, the Court held that the order was an abuse of discretional power and, therefore, void.  The grounds for the Court to vacate the deportation order in that case were, among others, (i) the individual had lived in Korea for several years as an English teacher and (ii) he committed no crime other than those convictions before in Korea.

This case is a good example which shows that the validity of deportation by the immigration office is decided not merely by the wording of the laws but by the consideration of various fact details surrounding the foreign individual.  Even though the deportation oder does correspond to the specific clause of law, it could sometimes entail a harsh outcome and cause irreparable harm to the individual.  The Korean court has tried to protect foreigners in that very situation, as shown in the foregoing case.

We hope this short article could be of assistance to anyone who wants to know how the deportation order works in Korea.  If you have more question, please email us by clicking here.

© Wonil Chung. All rights reserved.

Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may or may not reflect the most current legal development at the time of view, nor is it applicable in all situations nor should be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations. 

Author: Korean Qualified Lawyer

Korean Licensed Lawyer 韓国の弁護士

17 thoughts on “Introduction to the Deportation or Removal Order and How to Appeal the Order in Korea

  1. Mr Chung,

    I was deported from Korea in March 2015. I was given a five year ban for domestic violence! against my then ex South Korean wife. The sentence I received was 4 years probation.

    However, we did have a child together, who was born in South Korea, he is now three years old. I have also paid all child support every month, which my ex wife will attest to and I speak to my son three times a week via Kao Kao talk.

    Korean immigration advised me to apply to the South Korean Embassy, in the said country I am living in, to get permission to gain entry into South Korea.

    However, under Korean immigration law number 11 section 1 (Prohibition of Entry). What is the likelihood that Korean immigration will wavier this rule to allow me to see my son?

    I would also point out that my ex wife and I are now on good terms and she is quite willing to act as sponsor for me.

    Thank for your time.

  2. Hi, I was deported from SK on 28 Feb 2016 due to overstayed. I had a red stamp 46-1 on my passport. I would like to know how long is the ban as I would love to visit Korea as tourist again.

    Thank you.

    • Hello MH and rosemarie
      You should check your entry ban duration with the Korean immigration office first.
      And eventually you may need to apply for a removal of entry ban to the immigration office.
      Best Regards

  3. i was now deported from korea… they say that i just attach my E6-2 visa from philippines. they not let me and my company explain or to fight for my rights thats its not happen…how can i still come back korea after this happen??

  4. i was deportedsept.2012 ,i was thereoct.2011..i still have a chance to apply for a tourist..or how many years can i apply for a tourist..thanks ..

    • Hello, an email reply was sent to you. Thanks

      • Hello sir good morning i have some question to you can u help me to answer this please??i was banned in korea and
        I got 46-(1) stamp in my passport from korea is it possible me to go back to korea or how long does it takes to wait before i will be able to go back??? Please im hoping your reply thanx…

        • Hello
          You should contact by yourself or through an attorney the Korean immigration office to check your re-enrty status. You will have to file a petition for a removal of your entry ban.
          Hope this to be of assistance
          Best regards

  5. Hi sir. I’m a foreigner and now working in korea but unfortunately about 2years overstayed is there any chance that I can pay my penalty and went back from my country and be ban only in korea for a couple of years?

  6. I was 4 months pregnant i overstayed for 4 months, when i was going home and im already in incheon airport they didnt let me get to the plane instead i stayed in incheon prison for a night then police escorted me to ulsan immigration i stayed there for three days after that i was put on cheongju immigration for a week, i thought it will be fine to go home because i read the laws, my friend is 5 years pulpop but she come home without a problem.

  7. If someone is deported what happens to their bank accounts/pension/etc?

  8. what is your email address sir?

    • You can find it here.

      • Sr. Grettings from Colombia.

        How long can a person be enabled to come back to South Korea after being deported…? Actually I,m the one that was deported 10 years back (by the way I got a 46-(1) red stamp beside the stamp of departure) and I want to come back to S. Korea a couple of weeks as a tourist…. Can you give me your opinion about it?… I´d appreciate your help! Thank You Very Much!

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