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South Korea Entry and Travel Requirements

Korea's entry requirements determine the rules that foreign nationals must follow in order to enter Korea smoothly. These requirements outline the documents that need to be obtained in advance of a planned trip as well as the temporary Covid-related restrictions in place due to the ongoing pandemic.

According to Korean immigration regulations, all visitors must have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the intended date of arrival in the country. Passport must have at least one blank page. Additionally, those coming to Korea may also need to prove that they have enough money for the entire period of their stay. South Korea's visa policy determines which nationalities can travel on a regular visa, e-visa, or enter the country without a visa. The South Korean government allows tourists from about 50 different countries to visit the country without a visa if they apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA). Travel with K-ETA includes short-term tourist or business trips. The authorized visa-free stay period depends on the traveler's nationality and varies from 1 to 3 months.

Travelers whose nationality is not among those eligible for K-ETA will need to apply for a regular visa from the nearest Korean embassy. They should consider making an appointment at the embassy before their trip to ensure there is enough time for visa approval.

Currently, only citizens of certain countries and territories can visit Korea without a visa. These countries include the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Taiwan, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Macau, Japan and Kiribati.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, South Korean authorities have introduced a number of additional restrictions, including testing, vaccination and quarantine requirements. Currently, there are no longer any quarantine measures on arrival, regardless of the vaccination status of arrivals. Additionally, travelers entering Korea are not required to provide their vaccination information to the Q-Code system.

Important! Covid-19 regulations can change rapidly. Please stay tuned for the latest update on Korea's entry requirements to ensure a smooth travel and stay in Korea. The latest change has the effect of removing Covid-19 tests. As of September 4, 2022, travelers no longer need to present a negative test result to enter South Korea.

Who can enter Korea?

South Korea welcomes all international visitors, including vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Regardless of their vaccination status, Covid-19 entry restrictions are the same.

Document checklist for entry into Korea

  1. valid passport
  2. Valid visa to Korea
  3. negative Covid-19 test report (as of September 4, 2022, not required)
  4. Travel insurance (optional)

visaguide

https://visaguide.world/online/

Testing, Vaccination, and Quarantine Requirements

Check before departure

Despite relaxing some entry requirements, South Korea still requires all arriving travelers to provide a Covid-19 test before departure. Acceptable tests include a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours before departure or one of the following types taken within 48 hours before scheduled departure:

  1. RAP
  2. RT-PCR
  3. NAAT
  4. CLOSE
  5. LAMP
  6. TMA
  7. SDA

The negative test report must be issued in English or Korean or any other language with a certified translation into English or Korean.

All people arriving in Korea are encouraged to provide testing information through the Q-Code system before their planned trip. Paper test results are also accepted but border controls may be extended.

Check in after arrival

All travelers must also take a PCR test within 72 hours of arriving in Korea. Testing appointments can be booked upon arrival at Seoul Airport. Tests can also be performed at a medical facility near the traveler's residence in Korea.

Foreign visitors coming to Korea for a short period of time must pay for testing at their own expense, while Korean citizens and long-term visa holders can go to a local public health center and get tested for Covid-19. 19 free. There is no requirement to quarantine while awaiting test results.

Testing requirements for recovered Covid-19 patients

Travelers who have recently recovered from the coronavirus must still meet the pre-departure testing requirements that apply to all travelers arriving in South Korea. They must also carry an official doctor's note stating when they tested positive, the treatment they received and details of their quarantine. South Korean authorities are the decision-making body in the event of a positive or indeterminate test result upon arrival.

On the other hand, there is no separate provision for those who tested positive and recovered within the past year. They must follow the same procedures as all tourists.

Until recently, vaccination certificates helped avoid quarantine upon arrival in South Korea. Since the lifting of quarantine, entry conditions are now the same for both vaccinated and unvaccinated arrivals.

South Korea recognizes all Covid-19 vaccines approved by WHO, including:

  1. Modern
  2. Pfizer
  3. Sinovac
  4. Jansen
  5. Sinopharm
  6. Covishield

Quarantine required

Quarantine upon arrival in South Korea is no longer required for unvaccinated travelers. This means all quarantine requirements have been lifted in the country. Before June 8, 2022, arriving foreigners who have not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will have to be quarantined for 7 days. Fully vaccinated travelers will be exempt from quarantine requirements if they register their vaccination details through the country's Q-Code system. Please note that the 7-day quarantine still applies if your post-arrival Covid-19 test is positive, regardless of your vaccination status.

Make sure you have a cell phone with roaming functionality as well as an emergency contact (your friend or relative) who can notify authorities of your health condition if needed set.

Traveling from South Korea

The Korean government did not specify any specific exit conditions that must be met to leave Korea. All travelers leaving the country should familiarize themselves with the entry requirements that apply to their next destination country.

Some countries may still only allow fully vaccinated travelers and may be required to provide a negative test report, complete a health declaration or meet other requirements, including applying for the appropriate visa.

Traveling to South Korea

Travel to South Korea requires certain documents and respect for entry restrictions in the country. All travelers should ensure that their passport will not expire until at least 6 months after intended entry into Korea. Most foreigners also have to apply for a visa before traveling. Depending on the traveler's nationality, reason for the trip and expected length of stay in the country, different types of visas may be required.

Currently, all travelers planning to travel to South Korea must still provide a negative Covid-19 test result, a PCR test taken 48 hours before departure, or a supervised rapid antigen test taken displayed 24 hours before departure. South Korea no longer has mandatory quarantine, but all arrivals must take another Covid-19 test upon arrival. All travelers should register their test results through South Korea's Q code registration to receive a Q code that ensures quick entry into the country.

When traveling to South Korea, you should follow all travel advice from local authorities. Covid-19 restrictions can change at short notice so keep an eye on any updates.

Entry Rules for Children

CHILDREN 5 YEARS AND OVER

Children aged 5 and under do not need to take a Covid-19 test before departure and provide a negative report upon arrival in Korea. However, they must still take a post-arrival test within 72 hours of entering the country.

CHILDREN AGE 17 AND OVER

Children 17 years of age and under are subject to the immigration regulations that apply to all visitors entering Korea.

Korean visa

Minor travelers must be added to the application form by a parent or legal guardian. In the case of K-ETA, it is a completely online application. It is the responsibility of the visa applicant to ensure that all data provided is accurate and up to date.

Transit through South Korea

Most foreign visitors can transit South Korea without a visa as long as the transit is less than 24 hours and they stay within the transit area of ​​the airport.

All transit passengers must be prepared to have their temperature checked upon arrival in Korea. Travelers with symptoms will be asked to take a Covid-19 test. Only in case of a negative test result can they continue their journey.

Transit passengers using Seoul Seoul Airport will be required to present a ticket/boarding pass confirming their onward journey to their final destination. They must also confirm with the airline that their baggage has been checked to its final destination. Transit passengers cannot claim and re-check their baggage upon arrival at Seoul Airport.

All long-distance travelers between connecting flights can enter Korea, but they must meet the usual entry requirements established in the country. They may also need a visa to leave the transit area.

Visa requirements

ETA Korea

South Korea introduced an electronic travel permit called K-ETA, which allows holders of certain passports to visit South Korea without a visa. Visitors from about 50 different countries around the world do not need to apply for a visa to enter Korea but must register through the K-ETA system.

The system has been operational since May 2021 and allows eligible visitors to enter the country for tourism or business purposes. K-ETA is issued for 2 years and its holder can use it for multiple items during its validity period.

Travelers must provide certain personal, passport, and travel information, fill out a brief online form, pay a processing fee, and an approved K-ETA will be sent directly to the destination. applicant's email only. Requests must be submitted at least 3 business days before the planned trip, as 72 business hours is the standard processing time for K-ETA requests.

Upon arrival, border officials will check the printout of the approved ETA visa for South Korea.

Regular visa

South Korea's visa policy stipulates that citizens of more than 130 countries must have a visa to enter South Korea, regardless of the reason for travel or desired length of stay in the country. Travelers who qualify for an ETA but need to stay in Korea for a longer period of time and/or for other purposes such as work or study will also need to apply for a regular visa.

Regular visas to Korea must be obtained from diplomatic missions before the planned trip. Making an appointment at the embassy is inevitable. Processing time can even take several weeks.

Visitors applying for a regular embassy visa may be required to submit certain supporting documents, including proof of financial resources and return flights. Documentation may vary depending on the type of visa required, for example business visa, transit visa or residence visa. Please contact your nearest embassy for more detailed information.

Visa exemption

Korea only allows visa-free travel with K-ETA. However, due to the current pandemic situation, not all visa-exempt countries can apply electronically. Once service is restored to all eligible countries, they will need a valid K-ETA to enter Korea.

Additionally, citizens of some countries do not need a visa to enter Korea. The list includes the following countries:

  1. Federated States of Micronesia
  2. Japan
  3. Kiribati
  4. Liberia
  5. Macau
  6. Samoa
  7. Solomon Islands
  8. Taiwan
  9. Tonga

Travel Insurance

When planning your trip to Korea, you may be wondering whether you should buy travel insurance. Although insurance is no longer required to enter the country, you should still take out an insurance policy that covers you in case of illness or injury.

We recommend purchasing an insurance policy that includes coverage for coronavirus-related medical expenses. Make sure you take a copy of your insurance policy with you when you travel as you may be asked to show it to immigration authorities. Taking these precautions can help ensure your trip to Korea is safe and enjoyable.

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