July 12, 2024

What you need to know before going to South Korea

What you need to know before going to South Korea

South Korea introduced K-ETA, the Korean electronic travel authorization system for foreign visitors entering the country on September 1, 2021.

With most visa exemptions suspended as the pandemic worsened in April 2020, foreign visitors without a visa can obtain electronic authorization before entering the Republic of Korea by submitting relevant information such as their travel information online. The purpose of the trip must be tourism, visiting family members, attending events, meetings or work (visits where profits are made are excluded).

Visa-free foreign visitors need a K-ETA permit to obtain a ROK boarding pass. K-ETA is valid for multiple trips over two years and the application fee is KRW 10,000 per person (US$8.64). A valid passport, email address, fee, and photo ID are required for K-ETA prep materials.

With K-ETA, you are relieved of the need to present an access card and expedite the immigration process.

A beta program has been running since May and the system will be fully implemented on September 1.

K-ETA is mandatory for nationals or citizens of 66 visa-free countries and 46 visa-free countries planning to travel to the Republic of Korea. Due to COVID-19, from September 1st (*1) for citizens of 49 countries/regions visa-free entry is possible and (*2) priority entry (business) from 63 countries whose visa-free entry is suspended for the available K-ETA application.

* 1 List of countries required K-ETA

– 21 countries eligible for K-ETA (from May 3, 2021)

Albania, Andorra, Barbados, Dominica, Guam, Guyana, Holy See, Ireland, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Palau, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Slovenia, United Kingdom, United States American, Venezuela

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– 28 other K-ETA eligible countries (as of September 1, 2021)

Greece, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Romania, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Estonia, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Croatia, Portugal, Poland, France, Finland, Hungary, Norway Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland

* 2 K-ETA Pending Countries List

– Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras , Hong Kong, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lesotho, Macau, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, Morocco, Nauru, New Zealand, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, South Africa , Russia, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay

Preferred Entry applicants use both pre-visa issuance and K-ETA application method: K-ETA website (www.k-eta.go.kr) (available in both Korean and English) or Mobile Application Access (K-ETA) and Application 24 hours before boarding the plane.

For group travelers, representative can order up to 30 people Fee: ~10,000 won (per person)

mandatory quarantine

Mandatory quarantine is 14 days for all travelers coming to Korea.

For all Koreans and foreigners who enter Korea

  • Short-term foreign residents (less than 90 days): Government-designated quarantine accommodations. (1,680,000 KRW ~ 1,000,000 KRW)
  • Long stay abroad (more than 90 days): US TRAVEL KOREA can book a quarantine stay.

PCR required

Due to the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, all foreign passport holders traveling to the Republic of Korea are required to submit a negative PCR test result upon arrival. This policy is effective as of 1/8/2021 12:00 AM KST.

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A negative PCR test result must be published 72 hours prior to the departure date.

Submitting a negative PCR test result on arrival is separate from submitting your visa application. All travelers are required to have the document and carry it with them before departing for Korea.

The authorities submit a negative PCR test result to customs. Anyone who cannot provide the document or submits a document that is not acceptable* will be refused entry to Korea. * For example, a document issued more than 72 hours before the date of departure, etc.