S. Korean island begins refugee process for Yemeni asylum seekers

By Wooyoung Lee  |  June 25, 2018 at 5:54 AM
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SEOUL, June 25 (UPI) -- South Korea's resort island of Jeju started on Monday refugee status reviews for Yemeni asylum seekers fleeing from civil war.

Jeju Office of Immigration chief Kim Do-gyun said a total of 486 Yemeni asylum seekers have applied for refugee status and the office will be reviewing two to three per day, Yonhap reported.

"We are reviewing those who are in emergent situations first. It will be an objective and fair process which would involve personal interviews, reviews conducted by multiple related agencies to prevent any frauds," said Jeju immigration chief Kim Do-gyun in a press conference Monday.

Kim expects the refugee status determination process would take from six to eight months, longer than the usual six-month period, as the resort island has experienced an unexpectedly large number of arrivals of Yemeni asylum seekers this year.

The review process will be undisclosed, and applicants will be informed of a refugee status interview that will be assisted by interpreters designated by the Ministry of Justice.

The immigration office can grant refugee or a humanitarian status. If rejected, applicants can appeal the decision.

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