South Korea welcomes a growing number of visitors as both tourism and business flourish in the country.
The Korea Electronic Travel Authorization or K-ETA is the travel authorization needed to be obtained by foreign nationals eligible to enter South Korea visa-free. Over 100 countries are eligible to apply online for the K-ETA in order to enter South Korea. The K-ETA usually allows for a 90 or 180-day stay within a 2-year validity period, but stay durations can vary, as they are determined according to the applicant’s nationality.
Foreign nationals who are not eligible to apply for the K-ETA, should apply for a South Korea visa at their nearest South Korea embassy or representation office abroad. A South Korea visa can be issued as a single, double or multiple entry, valid for 3 or 6 months, or 1, 3 or 5 years, depending on the traveler’s nationality and visit purpose. Foreign nationals staying for less than 24 hours in the transit areas of a South Korea airport are not required to apply for a transit visa.
Depending on the purpose of your visit, the following are the types of South Korea visas that can be applied for:
The following visa types are for long-term purposes, including taxable employment, educational enrollment, investment and start-up, family visits, medical treatment, and other long-term activities. Depending on the visitor’s purpose and intended stay duration, these visas are usually issued as single, double or multiple entry and valid for longer periods ranging from 3 months to 5 years.
Each South Korea visa type is classified under the following sub classes:
These are the requirements to apply for South Korea visa.
A passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of submitting the visa application, plus one copy of the passport biometric page
A completed visa application form via the Korea Visa Portal
A recent personal photo, natural color, 3.5x4.5cm in size
Visa fee payment in USD or the equivalent
Depending on your nationality and the purpose of travel to South Korea, additional documents may be required for the respective visa type you are applying for. It is advisable to contact your nearest South Korean embassy or representation office to inquire about their specific visa requirements and application procedures.
The following documents are required to fulfill the South Korea K-ETA requirements:
Valid for at least 6 months from the date of submitting the visa application
A completed visa application form via the K-ETA Portal
A recent personal photo, natural in color, 3.5x4.5cm in size
A valid credit/debit card
Foreign nationals required to apply for a South Korea visa through embassies, consulates or VAC must follow these steps:
• Fill out and print the Korea Visa application form
• Attach the required documents to application form
Contact South Korea embassy or representation office to set a date and time
• Submit south Korea visa application and documents
• Pay South Korea visa application fee
• If approved, visit the Korea Visa Portal to print out your Visa Grant Notice
• Confirm all information is correct and matches passport.
It is important to note that South Korea does not issue stamped visa stickers on passports anymore. Accordingly, applicants should visit the Korea Visa Portal to print out their approved Visa Grant Notice.
• Fill out and submit the application form
• Upload the required documents
• Record the application number
• Pay online with credit/debit card
• Check status by entering application number or personal information
• If approved, receive K-ETA to the email you provided
• Confirm visa information is correct and matches your passport
You can check K-ETA results by entering the application number or the passport number and the date of birth. When entered, click on check status to check your South Korea visa status.
Foreign nationals not eligible to apply for a South Korea K-ETA should initiate their sticker visa application online at the Korea Visa Portal, where they will fill out, print and sign their application form before visiting their nearest South Korean embassy or representation office abroad in order to submit their visa application.
Foreign nationals eligible to apply for a South Korea K-ETA should fill out the South Korea K-ETA application form on the K-ETA portal or the K-ETA mobile application.
The processing time for a South Korean K-ETA is 72 hours after application submission, while South Korea sticker visas are normally processed and issued within 4 working days. It is important to note that South Korea diplomatic missions have varied application procedures and processing times, which can be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.
South Korea K-ETA takes 72 hours after submitting the application, while South Korea sticker visas take 4 business days. In all cases, it is advisable to begin the application process early, in case of delays or exigent circumstances.
The cost of the South Korea K-ETA is 10.000 KRW per person, the equivalent to USD $7.30. A single-entry South Korea visa valid for up to 90 days costs USD $40 and for 91-days or longer costs USD $60. A double-entry South Korea visa costs USD $70, and a multiple-entry South Korea visa costs USD $90.
Please note that additional charges may apply in the case of online payments, credit card fees, exchange rates, or other payment considerations. Fees paid are not refundable in denied visa cases.
Foreign nationals from over 100 countries are eligible to apply online for the South Korea K-ETA through the K-ETA portal or K-ETA mobile application.
If you are not eligible to apply for a K-ETA, you must apply for a South Korea sticker visa by filling out and printing the South Korea visa application from the Korea Visa Portal, after which you will continue the process by submitting the required documents and making payment at your nearest South Korean embassy or representation office abroad.