The Korea Immigration Service's crackdown on illegal immigrants this year has been met with controversy due to allegations its officers are making random checks on those who look like foreign workers.Foreign nationals in South Korea are legally required to carry their ARC (alien registration card, 외국인등록증) or passport, I think, but the government has generally been quite lax about this. Nevertheless, crack down or no, it's always a good idea to know where these things are and have them with you.
Members of the legally residing foreign community are also upset at the failure to stick to a legal set of procedures.
"Immigration officials make raids on the street," said a foreign scholar in Seoul who spoke on condition of anonymity.
She said three Nepalese foreigners were grabbed on their way to get a haircut recently, while a pregnant woman was taken outside of the city last week. Others are caught during routine shopping errands, she said.
But having them so you won't be inconvenienced by a KIS official (as the Immigration spokeswoman suggests) is not a proper answer to concerns that such on-the-spot checks based on appearance (Can you say, "racial profiling"?) are a potential violation of human rights (and ROK law).
[above: "Sŏryu, please!" KIS