The General Department of Immigration (GDI) deported 3,594 people of 43 nationalities in 2021 for committing crimes, according to a new report.
The report was released at an April 6 meeting, held to review the GDI’s work results of 2021 and plan its work direction for 2022.
Pum Vithya, the GDI’s head of administration, said that although Cambodia had strengthened measures to improve visa checks and the provision of extended stays – as well as conducting thorough entry and exit checks – some foreign nationals had sneaked into the country.
Some of the deportees had stayed in the Kingdom despite an expired passport or visa, while others were fugitives from other countries. Some were originally here legally, but had breached their visa conditions by committing crimes in Cambodia.
In order to ensure that the presence of foreigners has a positive effect on national development and to guarantee social order and public safety, he said the department had increased its information gathering activities and conducted regular investigations to find foreigners who had violated the law.
“In 2021 we arranged the deportation of 3,594 offenders of 43 nationalities from Cambodia. The four largest groups expelled from the country were Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Nigerian,” he said. “From the establishment of the GDI in 2014 to the end of December 2021, we have deported 20,824 illegal foreigners of 102 nationalities,” he said.
To protect Cambodian people from fraud or being trafficking abroad, the GDI – at the request of the One Window Service Office at the Ministry of Interior – had investigated 581 foreigners of 23 nationalities who had requested permission to marry Cambodians in 2021.
He said the GDI collaborated with the National Police and relevant institutions to gather information regarding the activities of foreigners in order to prevent illegal activities. The team had arrested 896 foreigners who violated the law.
He added that the interior ministry had provided permanent residence permits to 65,168 people aged 18 and over. They also had issued 19,561 permits that are to be renewed every two years, of which 15,933 had been renewed for the first time and 3,567 for the second; 52 had been renewed three time; with just nine entering their fourth renewal.
He said holders of permanent residency must renew their permits, but it appeared that 6,614 holders had not done so. The GDI was working to locate them and remind them of their obligations.
GDI director-general Kirth Chantharith said the GDI had also fulfilled core tasks as assigned by the interior ministry. The GDI had achieved good results, and was justifiably proud of its management of foreigners, issuing of visas and renewing of temporary residence visas, he said.