A passport is the key to traveling abroad. However, some passports are considered to be “stronger” than others. The world’s most powerful passports are those that offer the greatest travel freedom. The strongest passports are those that allow the holder to enter the most countries easily, without extra entry requirements, such as visas. There are
The government of South Korea has announced the launch of the K-ETA Electronic Travel Authorization in September 2021. (The pilot period for some countries started on May 3) The next article contains updated information: South Korea confirms the launch of K-ETA in September 2021
Visa Policy for South Korea
The visa policy of South Korea determines the regulations, rules, and requirements that a foreign citizen must meet in order to travel to the country.
South Korean visa requirements state that all travelers entering the country, whether they have a visa or not, need to have a passport valid for at least 6 months that contains between one or two blank pages.
Upon arrival in the country, it may also be necessary to prove that the visitor has enough funds for the stay to gain entry to South Korea.
According to the South Korean visa law, there are currently around 110 visa-exempt nationalities for the country. These foreign citizens may enter South Korea for differing periods of permitted stay visa-free.
Depending on nationality, visa-exempt citizens may stay in South Korea from 30 to 180 days. However, from September 2021, travelers from 49 visa-exempt countries must have an approved ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) to visit South Korea for the same periods of stay. The remaining 61 countries cannot yet apply for the ETA due the COVID-19 pandemic.
Individuals from over 130 countries and territories around the world require a visa to travel to South Korea, no matter the period of stay or purpose of travel.
This applies whether the visitor needs a visa for business, tourism, transit, a working holiday, overseas study, corporate investment, foreign language teaching, residency, or other purposes.
South Korea currently only offers the option of obtaining a visa through a government diplomatic office, either an embassy or a consulate, as a visa on arrival is not available for the country.
Therefore, applying for a South Korea visa currently involves having to attend an appointment in person and supplying an embassy with a range of supporting documentation depending on the visa type requested.
Find further information about these different types of visa for South Korea below.