South Korea Traveling : Entry Requirements (K-ETA or VISA)

** IMPORTANT UPDATE **

(For Foreigners) Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA)

As of Korean time, from April 1, 2023, to December 31, 2024, the application of the Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) will be temporarily exempted for the following 22 countries and regions.

(Exempted countries and regions) Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Taiwan, Denmark, Germany, Macau, United States (including Guam), Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Singapore, United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Japan, Canada, Poland, France, Finland, Australia, Hong Kong.

 

COVID-19 Test (No Longer Required)

Previously, everyone entering Korea had to take a COVID-19 test (PCR, RAT) and provide proof of negative results before their arrival. This requirement was discontinued from September 3, 2022.

In addition, there used to be a rule that entrants must take a PCR test on their first day after arriving in Korea (which means by the day following their arrival). This rule was also discontinued from October 1, 2022.

 


All About Entry Requirements for Traveling South Korea

Introduction

South Korea, a land of ancient traditions and cutting-edge digital technology, is increasingly becoming a popular destination for travelers worldwide. Its vibrant culture seamlessly blends deep-rooted heritage with modern influences, resulting in a rich tapestry that captivates and intrigues. From the dazzling neon-lit streets of Seoul to tranquil Buddhist temples and stunning national parks, South Korea presents diverse landscapes that cater to various travel preferences. The country’s culinary scene, famed for its flavorsome and diverse offerings, adds another dimension to the travel experience, making a trip to South Korea a truly immersive adventure.

However, to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey, it’s essential to be informed about the entry requirements for traveling to South Korea. Depending on your nationality, you might need to secure a visa, a K-ETA (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization), or you might be eligible to enter visa-free. Understanding these requirements is not just a bureaucratic necessity but an important step in your travel preparation, ensuring your trip gets off to a great start. This guide aims to provide an overview of South Korea’s entry requirements, assisting you in effectively planning your Korean adventure.

What Do I Need – a Visa, K-ETA, or Neither?

Depending on your nationality, the entry requirements can be divided into three main groups. For ease of explanation, let’s call them Group 1, Group 2, and Group 3

Group 1 : K-ETA Eligible & K-ETA Required

To find out the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for K-ETA by visiting the official K-ETA website.

• Official K-ETA website : www.k-eta.go.kr (Direct link)
• How to find countries eligible for K-ETA website
1) Change the language on the left side of the webpage to your preferred language.
2) Hover your mouse over ‘K-ETA GUIDE’ located in the middle of the webpage, followed by clicking on ‘K-ETA Application Eligibility Guide’.
3) Type the official name of your country in ‘Check country and period of stay’ Section

If you find your country listed on the K-ETA website, it’s important to double-check if it’s also included in the following list of 22 countries down below

Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Taiwan, Denmark, Germany, Macau, United States (including Guam), Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Singapore, United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Japan, Canada, Poland, France, Finland, Australia, Hong Kong

If your country is only on the K-ETA website and not among the 22 countries listed above, you fall into Group 1.
If your country is on both the K-ETA website and among the 22 countries listed above, please refer to Group 2.
If your country is not listed on the K-ETA website, please refer to Group 3.

For Group 1, you will need to secure a K-ETA at least 72 hours before your departure to Korea.

• How to Apply K-ETA Step by Step (Instruction Link Under Construction)

Group 2 : K-ETA Temporarily Exempted

From April 1, 2023, to December 31, 2024, the application of the Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) will be temporarily exempted for the following 22 countries and regions. This means ‘do not need any visa or ETA to enter for visiting purposes’

Exempted countries and regions : Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Taiwan, Denmark, Germany, Macau, United States (including Guam), Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Singapore, United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Japan, Canada, Poland, France, Finland, Australia, Hong Kong

 

Group 3 : Visa Required

If your country does not fall into any of Group 1 or 2, a visitor visa will be required to enter South Korea.

Please remember that this classification is subject to change based on South Korea’s immigration policies. Always check with the most recent regulations from official resources or your local Korean embassy before planning your journey.

 

In Short

If you belong to Group 1 but not to Group 2: You need to apply for a K-ETA to enter South Korea.

If you belong to both Group 1 and Group 2: you don’t need anything; you can enter South Korea without a visa or K-ETA.

If your country does not fall into any of the above categories: a visitor visa will be required to enter South Korea.

 

Response to COVID – 19

Any requirements were discontinued, with the pre-arrival testing rule ending on September 3, 2022, and the post-arrival testing rule ceased on October 1, 2022.

 

Conclusion

Navigating the visa requirements for South Korea can be complex, but with the right preparation, it can be a straightforward process. Remember to always check the latest information from official sources, plan in advance, and get ready for your exciting journey to the heart of Asia!

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