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Revised law on special support for Afghan evacuees takes effect

National 15:17 January 25, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- A revised law on foreign residents in South Korea took effect Tuesday, granting Afghan evacuees administrative and financial support on par with recognized refugees, the justice ministry said.

A total of 390 Afghans, mostly local helpers for South Korea and their families, arrived here in August to flee their country after it was seized by the Taliban.

They were designated as "persons of special merit" and provided with long-term residency and chances to get a job under a revised immigration act.

This photo, provided by the justice ministry, shows young Afghan evacuees undergoing a psychology consultation program at the education ministry in Seoul in September 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

In a follow-up measure, the ministry amended the framework act on foreign residents to provide them with government support roughly equivalent to that for refugees.

Under the revision, they will be granted the same level of social security benefits as citizens. Minors will receive school education, language programs and vocational training.

Unlike refugees, the special contributors will also get financial support for initial settlement, whose amount will be determined through consultations with related ministries, the ministry said.

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