The number of foreigners who visited South Korea for a long-term stay reached 402,000 last year, with Chinese nationals accounting for the largest group, followed by those from Vietnam, Thailand, and the United States, government data showed on Thursday.
According to international migration report announced by Statistics Korea on Thursday, a total of 402,000 foreigners entered Korea last year for a stay of 90 days or longer while 325,000 left the country.
By national, the number of Chinese-passport holders made up the largest share of foreigners visiting Korea with 165,000, followed by 40,000 from Vietnam, 28,000 from Thailand, and 22,000 from the U.S. In total, visitors from these four countries represented 63.6 percent of all aliens that entered Korea for a long-term stay.
Data showed that 27.6 percent of Chinese passport-holders remained in Korea with qualification of a short-term purpose including travel while 26.7 percent of jobs, 20.7 percent of Korean Chinese, and 14.1 percent of study purpose. The number of Chinese that came to Korea for a job went down 8.6 percentage points compared to a year earlier while for studies increased 3.1 percentage points.
Statistics also showed that 28.5 percent of Vietnamese passport-holders arrived in Korea for marriage immigration, while 27.7 percent for a short-term purpose, and 22.3 percent for overseas studies. Compared to a year ago, the number of Vietnamese who entered the country for a short-term purpose dropped 9.0 percentage points while for studies went up 11.2 percentage points.
Experts note that the number of Chinese and Vietnamese nationals visiting Korea for study purposes has recently increased thanks to growing popularity of hallyu, or Korean Wave, contents such as K-pop and Korean dramas that has encouraged them to come to Korea to learn Korean language.
By Na Hyun-joon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]