South Korea Visa Types
When planning to travel to South Korea, a foreigner should consider different visa types implemented by the government of South Korea. They are adjusted to the purpose of travel, applicant's age, occupation, nationality, and economic status. They may allow to enter the country once or multiple times.
Depending on the type of visa, you can apply online or stationary at Korean diplomatic missions abroad.
Below you can find the main characteristics of South Korean Visas. Get familiar with them and prepare for your travel by applying for the visa that corresponds to your situation best.
K-ETA (Korean Electronic Travel Authorization) is an online visa implemented by the authorities of South Korea to simplify travel procedures for foreign visitors from eligible countries. The visa allows for multiple entries for tourism and business-related reasons like holidays, family visits, business meetings, etc.). The possible stay duration results from the applicant's citizenship and age and ranges between 30 and 90 days. The approval process takes up to 3 business days and is held entirely online. The visa is delivered directly to the traveler's mailbox.
If you are a tourist and plan to visit South Korea for tourism, transit, sightseeing, or to visit a family, you must apply for a tourist visa. This short-term visa allows visitors to stay in South Korea for a maximum of 90 days. No money-making-related trips are permitted with this entry and stay permit.
Another visa type is related to business activities. Travelers holding a business visa may enter South Korea for business meetings, negotiations, consultations, signing contracts, or advertising activities.
A work visa is addressed to those who intend to travel to Korea to earn money. Under this visa, people with different professions apply for its various subtypes. Engineers, doctors, technicians, and people looking for a job, apply for a work visa according to their situation. The main subtypes of a work visa include:
- E-3 Scientific Visa
- E-4 technology guidance vision
- E-1 Professor Visa
- E-2 foreign language instructor visa
- E-5 special professional visa
- Cultural and artistic visa E-6
- E-7 designed visa for classes
- D-5 long-term information visa
Suppose you are a student who wishes to study at any South Korean university. In that case, you may apply for a student visa, making both short-term and long stays for the entire studies duration period possible.
Before applying for this visa type, students should research business visa categories and requirements every applicant must fulfill to select the right one.
As for short travel, the stay limit is 90 days, and it may be used for completing the studies. Long stays are possible for entire courses or studies.
Working Holiday Visa
Working holiday visas are given to young people to allow them to travel and work in South Korea. Students often use this visa type to spend a gap year in this country. However, employment serves only to cover travel and stay expenses.
The government implemented the working holiday visa to allow young people 18 to 30 years old from eligible countries to spend a year in South Korea to visit the country, meet the culture, language, and history and have money to stay.
The main requirements are a clean criminal record and money needed for the beginning of travel.
Only young travelers from the following countries may apply for a working holiday visa.:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- The U.K.
Special immigration policy for Jeju Island
Foreign travelers who want to visit Jeju Island should ensure they have proper travel authorization to enter and stay on this island.
If you are a visa-exempt national, you can use a visa waiver program to register your stay in South Korea. Over 100 countries are allowed visa-free travel to South Korea. Depending on a traveler's nationality, a stay of 30 to 180 days is possible.
Foreigners who are not eligible to apply for Korean Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) must apply for a regular visa at the embassy before going to Jeju Island.
Travelers who want to use K-ETA must fulfill visa waiver requirements like holding a valid passport, coming from an eligible country, and traveling for tourism-related purposes.
APEC Business Travel Card
Another no visa required option for visiting South Korea is the APEC Business Travel Card. This document allows its holders to travel to APEC member countries in the Asia Pacific region with privileges.
Business people using the APEC Business Travel Card do not need to submit a visa application if they have preclearance to visa-free travel to a country fully participating in the ABTC program. This solution helps to save time and money.
The card stays valid for 5 years and may be obtained by an applicant who meets all the requirements.