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South Korea – Visas

Visa Regulations for Entering South Korea

South Korea requires a visa for entry for most nationalities. To successfully navigate the visa regulations, it is important to be aware of the most important rules and requirements.

Important Rules to Be Aware Of

  • Purpose of visit: The purpose of the visit should be clearly stated and supported by relevant documentation such as invitation letters, confirmations of accommodation and flight tickets.
  • Validity: The visa must be valid for the duration of the stay in South Korea. Overstaying a visa can result in penalties and affect future visa applications.
  • Financial means: Visitors must prove they have sufficient financial means to support themselves during their stay in South Korea.
  • Health insurance: Visitors are required to have health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay.
  • Criminal record: Visitors with a criminal record may be denied a visa.
  • Supporting documents: Supporting documents such as passport, photographs, and proof of financial means must be provided in the required format and complete.

Types of Visas in South Korea

Tourist Visa: This visa is for travelers visiting South Korea for leisure or to meet with friends or family. A tourist visa is typically valid for 3 months and requires a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the date of entry, a completed visa application form, and supporting documents.

Business Visa: This visa is for travelers visiting South Korea for business purposes such as attending meetings, conferences or negotiations. A business visa is typically valid for 3 months and requires a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the date of entry, a completed visa application form, and supporting documents.


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Student Visa: This visa is for international students who will be studying at a recognized educational institution in South Korea. A student visa is typically valid for the duration of the course of study and requires a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the date of entry, a completed visa application form, and supporting documents.

Working Visa: This visa is for foreign nationals who have secured employment in South Korea. A working visa requires a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the date of entry, a completed visa application form, and supporting documents.

Visa Exemptions in South Korea

Citizens of certain countries are exempt from obtaining a visa for short-term stays in South Korea. These countries include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States among others. The length of stay and purpose of visit will determine if a visa is required.

Relation between Visas and Residency Status in South Korea

Visas are temporary permits to enter and stay in South Korea, while residency status refers to a person’s permanent or long-term right to live and work in the country. To obtain residency status, a foreign national must apply for a long-term visa such as a working or student visa. The length of residency status varies depending on the type of visa and the individual’s circumstances.

Reliable Information on Visas for Entry Into South Korea

Expats looking for reliable information on visas for entry into South Korea can refer to the following websites for up-to-date information:

Applying for a Visa

In order to enter South Korea, you will need to obtain a visa. To apply for a visa, you should start the process at least one month before your intended arrival date. The application process may take longer than one month, so it is best to plan ahead.

The first step in applying for a visa is to determine the type of visa that you need. There are several different types of visas available for South Korea, including tourist visas, work visas, study visas, and transit visas.

To apply for a visa, you will need to fill out an application form and submit it along with the required documents to the relevant authorities. The application form can be found on the official website of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Where to Apply for a Visa for South Korea

You can apply for a visa for South Korea at the Korean consulate in your home country. There are Korean consulates located in several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

In the United States, you can apply for a visa at the Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles, the Korean Consulate General in New York, or the Korean Consulate General in San Francisco.

In the United Kingdom, you can apply for a visa at the Korean Embassy in London.

Visa Documents for South Korea

The documents required for a visa application vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for. However, in general, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • A completed visa application form
  • Your passport, which must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into South Korea
  • A recent passport-sized photo
  • Proof of your financial ability, such as bank statements
  • Proof of your reason for visiting South Korea, such as a letter of invitation or a tour itinerary

For more detailed information on the specific requirements for your visa application, you can visit the official website of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is important to note that all documents submitted in support of your visa application must be in English or Korean. If the documents are not in English or Korean, you may need to provide a certified translation.

Visa Processing Time

The processing time for a visa for South Korea varies, but it typically takes about two weeks. However, it is possible for the processing time to take longer, so it is best to apply for your visa well in advance of your intended arrival date.

Visa Costs

The cost of a visa for South Korea varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for and the duration of your stay. The cost of a tourist visa, for example, is typically around $50 to $100.

In addition to the cost of the visa, there may be additional costs associated with the application process, such as the cost of obtaining a certified translation or the cost of obtaining a police certificate.

It is important to check the official website of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the most up-to-date information on visa fees and associated costs.


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