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South Korea ETA Requirements for US Citizens

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The South Korea ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) is a visa waiver that grants US citizens the possibility to visit the Republic of Korea visa-free for up to 90 days each time.

The K-ETA is a travel permit that can be obtained by Americans from the comfort of their home or office. They only need to abide by the Korean visa waiver requirements and have a stable internet connection to complete an electronic application form.

Do United States Citizens Need a Visa to Visit South Korea?

American citizens can visit South Korea for a maximum of 90 consecutive days without a visa. And when they are traveling for leisure, visiting friends/family, and/or attending meetings and events.

Nevertheless, in those cases, US applicants do need a visa waiver named K-ETA, which is available online.

Any trip to South Korea that surpasses the 90 consecutive days and/or that has other purposes than the ones mentioned before requires a Korean visa from US travelers. In those cases, visitors must schedule an appointment in their nearest Korean consulate or embassy.

South Korea ETA Requirements for US Citizens

In order to successfully complete Korea’s Electronic Travel Authorization application process, United States passport holders should carefully go through the specific visa waiver requirements.

Currently, American applicants need to meet certain criteria, which includes having the following:

  • A United States passport, which is valid for a minimum of 6 months
  • A passport-sized photograph of the American citizen
  • An active email address, which will be used for K-ETA correspondence
  • A credit or debit card to pay the ETA Korea fee

In addition to these documents, US nationals must share information about their trip (e.g., travel plans, proof of onward travel and accommodation), and their current occupation, and answer health-related and security-related questions.

Since the US passport is automatically linked to the K-ETA once this is granted, American travelers must carry the same passport used during the application process to their trip to the Republic of Korea.

Important: Americans are advised to check the general visa conditions for US citizens in case they have further questions about the application process and the eligibility criteria when traveling abroad.

How to Apply for South Korea K-ETA from the United States?

The South Korea ETA online application is quite easy, simple, and straightforward. Usually, it does not take more than 20 minutes to be completed.

American visitors must submit the following information when applying online for the K-ETA:

  • Personal data such as full name, gender, date of birth, and country of citizenship
  • Contact details such as a home address, email address, and phone number
  • Travel details such as trip itinerary, proof of onward travel & accommodation
  • Passport information such as country, number, expiry date, and issue date

The application form may have some additional questions about health, security, and other aspects.

Then, US travelers have to complete the payment of the Korea visa waiver processing fee. This can be done with a debit card or a debit card. All major bank cards are accepted.

It is important to note that incomplete information or inaccuracies may lead to delays in the approval process. In some instances, the Electronic Travel Authorization may also get denied. Therefore, it is important that Americans make sure that the information provided matches the US passport and any other data submitted.

K-ETA processing time for US visitors

Citizens of the United States will receive approval of the K-ETA in up to 48 hours. However, in most cases, a notification is sent in 24 hours.

The actual K-ETA travel permit is sent to the US applicants’ email address as an attached document and in PDF format. Although the document can be presented in digital format once in South Korea, it is recommended to print a hard copy to have it with them during the entirety of the trip.

In certain cases, the approval of the Korean visa waiver for the US can take longer. This usually happens when there are mistakes, typos, or absence of key information in the application form. This is why US candidates must revise all the data provided at least twice to ensure this is accurate, truthful, and correct to the best of their knowledge.

Traveling from the US to South Korea

When arriving in South Korea, nationals from the United States must show their US passport along with the K-ETA. Once the border and immigration officials have checked all the information, they will grant entry to all eligible passengers.

American citizens must note they are not allowed to overstay a Korean visa waiver. If this happens, they can be denied entry in future trips to the country.

Application Steps

Complete online application
Confirm Payment
Receive approved Visa

Country policy

South Korea Visa Policy


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