If you’re planning a trip to South Korea, you’ll need to go through the South Korean visa application process. The requirements and procedures can seem daunting, but with the right information, it can be a straightforward process. In this article, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about the South Korean visa process in 2023, so you can better prepare for your upcoming trip. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, understanding the visa requirements is essential to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. So let’s dive in!
Who must require a South Korean Visa?
Most foreign nationals who wish to enter South Korea for any purpose, including tourism, business, work, or study, will need a visa. However, there are some countries whose citizens are exempt from obtaining a visa for short stays.
For up to 180 days
For up to 90 days
- European Union countries (except Cyprus)
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
For up to 60 days
For up to 30 days
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Marshall Islands
- New Caledonia
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- Vatican City
Other Visa waiver programs
- Individuals have a Chinese group tourist and have a group tourist visa to Japan.
- Individuals have the US. visa, Canada visa, Australia visa, or New Zealand visa, and they are traveling directly from one of those countries.
- Individuals have a booked flight leaving the country within 30 days of entry.
- Only citizens of the following countries are eligible to apply for a South Korean working holiday visa;
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- The U.K.
South Korean Visa Types
Here are the main types of South Korean visas for South Korea:
- Short-Term Visit Visa: For tourists or business travelers planning to stay in South Korea for up to 90 days. This visa can also be used for attending conferences or cultural events, but it does not allow for employment or long-term stays.
- Work Visa: For foreign nationals who have secured a job in South Korea and plan to work there for some time. This visa requires sponsorship from the employer in South Korea, and the visa may be valid for up to 3 years, depending on the job and other factors.
- Student Visa: For foreign nationals who plan to study at an educational institution in South Korea. This visa requires proof of admission to a recognized school or university in South Korea and may be valid for up to 2 years or the duration of the study program.
- Family Visa: For foreign nationals who are married to a South Korean citizen, or who are a dependent family member of a South Korean citizen. This visa allows for long-term stays in South Korea and may be valid for up to 2 years.
- Working Holiday Visa: For young people aged 18-30 from select countries who wish to experience living and working in South Korea for a short period. This visa allows for temporary work, usually for up to 1 year, and is not tied to a specific employer.
- Valid Passport: Must have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining.
- Completed Application Form: Must complete and submit the appropriate visa application form, available on the website of the South Korean embassy or consulate in your home country.
- Passport Photos: Must provide two passport-sized photos that meet the embassy’s specifications, such as size and background color.
- Visa Application Fee: Must pay the appropriate visa application fee, which varies depending on the type of visa and the applicant’s nationality.
- Proof of Travel Arrangements: Must provide evidence of travel arrangements, such as a flight itinerary or hotel reservation.
- Financial Documents: Must provide proof of financial means to cover the cost of the trip, such as bank statements or pay stubs.
- Health Certificate: May be required to provide a health certificate, depending on the type of visa and the length of stay.
- Criminal Background Check: May be required to provide a criminal background check, depending on the type of visa and the purpose of the trip.
Here are some additional documents that may be required based on the purpose of your visit to South Korea:
- Itinerary of your trip to South Korea
- Proof of hotel reservations
- Copy of your round-trip flight itinerary
- Letter of invitation from a South Korean company or organization you will be doing business with
- Letter from your employer stating the purpose of your trip and guaranteeing that you will return to your home country after your visit
- Proof of business registration or tax documents from your employer
- Letter of acceptance from the school or university in South Korea you will be attending
- Proof of payment of tuition fees
- Transcripts of your academic record
For family visits
- Proof of relationship, such as a birth or marriage certificate
- Proof of the sponsor’s financial ability to support your stay
- A copy of the sponsor’s ID or passport
Application Process for South Korean Visa
- Review the visa requirements and determine which type of visa is appropriate for your purpose of travel.
- Collect all the required documents.
- Submit your application and pay the visa fee at the South Korean embassy or consulate in your home country.
- Wait for your visa application to be processed, which can take up to several weeks, depending on the type of visa and the embassy’s processing times.
- If your visa application is approved, collect your visa and passport from the embassy or consulate.
- With your visa in hand, you can travel to South Korea and enjoy your stay.
List of Diplomatic Missions by South Korea
Here is a list of South Korean diplomatic missions around the world, including embassies and consulates:
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- Algiers, Algeria
- Amman, Jordan
- Ankara, Turkey
- Antananarivo, Madagascar
- Apia, Samoa
- Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
- Astana, Kazakhstan
- Athens, Greece
- Baghdad, Iraq
- Baku, Azerbaijan
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Beijing, China
- Beirut, Lebanon
- Belgrade, Serbia
- Berlin, Germany
- Bern, Switzerland
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Brussels, Belgium
- Bucharest, Romania
- Budapest, Hungary
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Cairo, Egypt
- Canberra, Australia
- Caracas, Venezuela
- Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Dakar, Senegal
- Damascus, Syria
- Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
- Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Dublin, Ireland
- Dushanbe, Tajikistan
- Hanoi, Vietnam
- Harare, Zimbabwe
- Havana, Cuba
- Helsinki, Finland
- Islamabad, Pakistan
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Kabul, Afghanistan
- Kampala, Uganda
- Kathmandu, Nepal
- Khartoum, Sudan
- Kyiv, Ukraine
- Kigali, Rwanda
- Kingston, Jamaica
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Kuwait City, Kuwait
- La Paz, Bolivia
- Ljubljana, Slovenia
- London, United Kingdom
- Luanda, Angola
- Madrid, Spain
- Manila, Philippines
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Moscow, Russia
- Nairobi, Kenya
- New Delhi, India
- Niamey, Niger
- Nouakchott, Mauritania
- Oslo, Norway
- Ottawa, Canada
- Paris, France
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Pretoria, South Africa
- Pyongyang, North Korea
- Quito, Ecuador
- Rabat, Morocco
- Rangoon, Myanmar
- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Rome, Italy
- San José, Costa Rica
- Santiago, Chile
- Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
- Sofia, Bulgaria
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Suva, Fiji
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Tallinn, Estonia
- Tashkent, Uzbekistan
- Tehran, Iran
- Tel Aviv, Israel
- Tirana, Albania
- Tokyo, Japan
- Tripoli, Libya
- Tunis, Tunisia
- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
- Vienna, Austria
- Vientiane, Laos
- Warsaw, Poland
- Washington, D.C., United States
- Wellington, New Zealand
- Windhoek, Namibia
- Yangon, Myanmar
- Zagreb, Croatia
- Zanzibar City, Tanzania
- Atlanta, United States
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Barcelona, Spain
- Boston, United States
- Brisbane, Australia
- Busan, South Korea
- Calgary, Canada
- Chicago, United States
- Chongqing, China
- Cotonou, Benin
- Daegu, South Korea
- Dallas, United States
- Denver, United States
- Detroit, United States
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Durban, South Africa
- Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Guangzhou, China
- Halifax, Canada
To see the whole list, visit the given link.
About Confirmation of Visa Issuance
Confirmation of Visa Issuance (COVI) is a system that allows South Korean immigration authorities to check and pre-approve visa applications before an applicant goes to a Korean embassy or consulate to apply for a visa. Here is an overview of the COVI requirements and procedure:
- The applicant must be a citizen of a country where COVI is available.
- The applicant must have a valid passport.
- The applicant must have a clear purpose of travel to South Korea.
- The applicant must complete the online COVI application form and submit it to the Korean embassy or consulate in their country of residence.
- The embassy or consulate will review the application and request additional documents if necessary.
- The embassy or consulate will forward the application to the Korean Immigration Service for review.
- The Immigration Service will review the application and either approve or deny the COVI. If approved, the applicant will receive a COVI number.
- The applicant can then go to the Korean embassy or consulate to apply for a visa with their COVI number and required documents.
- The embassy or consulate will issue the visa if all requirements are met.
Requirements for Jeju-do Region
Jeju-do is a special self-governing province in South Korea, and the visa requirements for visitors to Jeju-do are slightly different from those for the rest of South Korea. Individuals from the following countries are not included in the Jeju-do region scheme:
- Sri Lanka
- Nationals of most countries are eligible for visa-free entry for up to 90 days if they enter Jeju-do directly, without transiting through another South Korean city.
- If you are not eligible for visa-free entry, you can apply for a Jeju-do visa at a South Korean embassy or consulate.
- The Jeju-do visa is only valid for entry to Jeju-do and cannot be used for travel to other regions of South Korea.
- Foreign nationals must have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining.
- Visitors must have a return or onward ticket.
- Visitors must have enough money to cover their stay in Jeju-do.
- Visitors cannot engage in any activities that are prohibited by South Korean law.
South Korean Visa Costs
The cost of a South Korean visa depends on the type of visa you are applying for, as well as the country which you are applying. Here is a general overview of the South Korean visa costs:
- Single-entry visa: approximately $30 to $80 USD
- Multiple-entry visa: approximately $50 to $100 USD
- Student visa: approximately $50 to $80 USD
- Work visa: approximately $30 to $80 USD
- Marriage/family visa: approximately $30 to $80 USD
- Permanent residence visa: approximately $50 to $80 USD
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