South Korea Visa

South Korea Visa

Traveling to South Korea

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.

South Korea visa types

Depending on the purpose of your visit, the following are the types of South Korea visas that can be applied for:

  • Short Term Visit: this visa is usually issued as single entry and allows a 90-day stay. Purposes for this visa include tourism, non-taxable business, family visits, events, press, transit and other short-term activities. The following subcategories fall under the South Korea tourist visa:
    • Ordinary Tourist (C-3-9): also known as the South Korea tourist visa
    • Visa Exempted (B-1)
    • Tourist / Transit (General) (B-2-1)
    • Tourist / Transit (Jeju) (B-2-2)
    • Short-Term General (C-3-1)
    • Group Tourist (C-3-2)
    • Business Visitor (General) (C-3-4)
    • Business Visitor (Agreement) (C-3-5)
    • Business Visitor (Sponsored) (C-3-6)
    • Short term Visitor (Overseas Korean) (C-3-8)
    • Working Holiday (H-1)
    • Direct Transit Visa(Air-side)(C-3-10)

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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.

  • Professional
  • Investment
  • Work and Visit
  • Trainee
  • Medical Treatment
  • Intra-Company Transfer
  • International Trade
  • Family Visitor · Dependent Family
  • Non - Professional
  • Study· Language Training
  • Journalism· Religious Affairs
  • Overseas Korean
  • Marriage Migrant
  • Diplomacy · Official Business

Each South Korea visa type is classified under the following sub classes:

  • Class A1 - A3: For diplomats, government officials, and agreements.
  • Class B1- B2: For visa exemption and tourist/transit
  • Class C1- C4: For temporary news coverage, short-term business, short-term South Korea visit visa and short-term employment
  • Class D1- D10: For artists, students, industrial trainees, general trainees, journalism, religion, supervisors, corporate investors, international trade, and job seekers 
  • Class E1- E10: For professors, foreign language instructors, researches, technology transfer, professional employment, artistic performers, designated activities, training employment, non-professional employment and crew employees. 
  • Class F1 - F6: For visiting or joining family, residents, accompanying spouse or child, overseas Korean, permanent residents (South Korea long-term residence permit) and marriage to Korean citizens.
  • Class G1: For miscellaneous issues such as medical treatment due to industrial accident and family member 
  • Class H1- H2: For working holidays and working visits  
  • Class M1: For the military 
  • Class T1: For tourist handing

South Korea visa requirements

These are the requirements to apply for South Korea visa.

Passport

A passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of submitting the visa application, plus one copy of the passport biometric page

Application form

A completed visa application form via the Korea Visa Portal

Personal Photo

A recent personal photo, natural color, 3.5x4.5cm in size

Payment

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:

Passport

Valid for at least 6 months from the date of submitting the visa application

Application form

A completed visa application form via the K-ETA Portal

Digital personal photo

A recent personal photo, natural in color, 3.5x4.5cm in size

Payment

A valid credit/debit card

South Korea visa application

Foreign nationals required to apply for a South Korea visa through embassies, consulates or VAC must follow these steps:

South Korean visa

  1. Start your application online at the Korea Visa Portal

    • Fill out and print the Korea Visa application form
    • Attach the required documents to application form

  2. Schedule an appointment at your nearest South Korea diplomatic mission

    Contact South Korea embassy or representation office to set a date and time

  3. Attend appointment at South Korea embassy or representation office

    • Submit south Korea visa application and documents
    • Pay South Korea visa application fee

  4. Wait for South Korea visa decision

    • 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.

For K-ETA applications

  1. Apply online at the K-ETA portal

    • Fill out and submit the application form
    • Upload the required documents
    • Record the application number

  2. Pay the visa application fee

    • Pay online with credit/debit card

  3. Wait for K-ETA decision

    • 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. 

Where to apply for South Korea visa

South Korea Visa

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.

South Korea K-ETA

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. 

South Korea visa processing time

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 visa FAQ

How long does it take South Korea visa to be approved?

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.

How much does a visa to Korea cost?

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.

Can I apply for a South Korea online visa?

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.

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