South Korea Travel & Entry Restrictions (Updated March 8, 2022)
South Korea is one more the most popular travel destination in the world. Even though it is influenced the global COVID pandemic, there are many people planning to visit South Korea and other Asian countries. In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the South Korean government worked out several restrictions for entry. Foreign nationals and any people who would like to enter or return to South Korea must meet the South Korea visa requirements and obtain the relevant permit before traveling. Then who can enter South Korea and under what conditions? Continue to learn about current South Korean travel restrictions and travel bans in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Korean citizens, holders of ABTC/APEC CARD, holders of Foreigner Registration Card/Residence Card in South Korea, holders of valid South Korean visas (including holders of issued K-ETA) are allowed to enter Japan.
Currently, those who travel to South Korea for any non-emergency purpose, such as tours (including medical tours) and relative visits are not allowed to enter South Korea.
① Diplomatic or official purpose
② Necessary corporate activities such as investment, technology provision, etc. (including important business purposes)
③ Change shifts of mariners
④ Temporary interview and short-term employment
⑤ Family members of South Korean citizens (including foreign spouses, children, parents, or parents-in-law)
※ When inviting parents or parents-in-law: Only accept those who enter South Korea to take care of personal or spouse’s pregnancy, childbirth or take care of children under 7 years old
⑥ Family members of foreigners long-term living in South Korea (including spouse and minor children)
※ However, according to relevant policies, those who live in South Korea because of technical training (D-3), seasonal labor (E-8), non-specialized employment (E-9), crew employment (E-10), tourism employment (H) -1), and others (G-1) are not qualified to invite their family members.
⑦ Humanitarian purpose which has been approved
South Korea is a versatile country, known for both the modern cities like the capital Seoul, as well as the traditional temples, the unique traditional culture, and the picturesque countryside.
To visit or travel in South Korea, citizens from several countries have to apply for a South Korea visa, although a fair number of countries are exempt from visa requirements for short-term purposes. But currently, the travel visa application is suspended due to COVID-19.
Foreigners from 50 eligible countries can apply for a K-ETA to travel to South Korea without a visa. The ETA for Korea (K-ETA) is a kind of permit for visa-free entry into South Korea.
50 Countries Can Apply for the K-ETA
To be eligible for the South Korea ETA, travelers must have a passport issued by one of the eligible countries. Citizens of the following nations can apply for a K-ETA. How long the visitor can stay in South Korea with an ETA instead of a visa is indicated.
|Albania (30 days )||Guyana (30 days)||Poland (90 days)|
|Andorra (30 days)||Hungary (90 days)||Portugal (90 days in 180-day period)|
|Austria (90 days)||Iceland (90 days in 180-day period)||Romania (90 days)|
|Barbados (90 days)||Ireland (90 days)||Saint Kitts-Nevis (90 days)|
|Belgium (90 days)||Italy (90 days)||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (90 days)|
|Bulgaria (90 days)||Latvia (90 days)||San Marino (30 days)|
|Croatia (90 days)||Liechtenstein (90 days)||Singapore (90 days)|
|Cyprus (30 days)||Lithuania (90 days)||Slovakia (90 days)|
|Czech Republic (90 days)||Luxembourg (90 days)||Slovenia (90 days)|
|Denmark (90 days in 180-day period)||Malta (90 days)||Spain (90 days)|
|Dominica (90 days)||Mexico (90 days)||Sweden (90 days in 180-day period)|
|Estonia (90 days in 180-day period)||Monaco (30 days)||Switzerland (90 days)|
|Finland (90 days in 180-day period)||Netherlands (90 days)||United Kingdom (90 days)|
|France (90 days)||New Caledonia (30 days)||United States (90 days)|
|Germany (90 days)||Nicaragua (90 days)||Vatican City (30 days)|
|Greece (90 days)||Norway (90 days in 180-day period)||Venezuela (90 days)|
|Guam (30 days)||Palau (30 days)|
How to apply for a South Korea Viasa
You have to apply for a South Korea visa from one of the Diplomatic Missions of the Republic of Korea abroad (i.e. an Embassy or Consulate). If you have a sponsor or host in South Korea, you can request a visa on your behalf through the South Korea Visa Portal of the Korea Immigration Office.
What documents are required for South Korea visa application
When you apply for a South Korea visa, you have to submit several documents to support your application. The South Korea visa requirements change depending on the type of visa you need as well as the country in which you are applying. However, the standard set of documents everyone has to submit includes:
- South Korea Visa Application Form
- Passport (Valid for at least another six months, with two blank pages)
- Passport photo(s) (3.5 cm x 4.5 cm, white background, taken recently, neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead, face and ears are fully visible, without glasses)
- A return or onward flight ticket
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover the duration of your stay (such as through bank statements and income tax returns)
- Proof of accommodation in South Korea, such as hotel reservation
More documents for South Korea Student
- Visa: Reference Letter(s)
- Letter of Acceptance into the school/university
More documents for South Korea Business Visa
- Letter from your employer
- Letter of Invitation from the South Korean company
More documents for South Korea Work Visa
- Employment contract
You may also have to submit
- Cover Letter: introducing yourself and stating the reason for which you are traveling
- Trip Itinerary, which details the activities you’ll be doing in South Korea on a daily basis
Any other additional documents that the Embassy or Consulate request, depending on the purpose of your trip
Do I need A negative COVID test for entry to South Korea – Documents to prepare before entry into South Korea
All foreign nationals arriving in South Korea are required to provide a negative PCR test certificate (Children aged five and under and arrivals for humanitarian purposes and business purposes are exempt.). The test must have been taken within 48 hours prior to departure. You will still need to receive a negative PCR test result as described above before you are able to fly to South Korea. The detection method should be NAATs, PCR, LAMP, TMA, SDA, NEAR, etc. and the test proof should be printed in Korean or English. If your test proof is in other languages, it should be translated into Korean or English and certified by a notary agency or embassy. Besides, the test proof should include name (shown on passport), date of birth or passport number, test method, test date, negative test result, issue date, testing agency, etc.
All arrivals – including children under the age of six, and regardless of nationality and length of stay – are also required to be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) within 24 hours after entering South Korea. If you are resident in South Korea, this can be at a local health center near your residence. If you are not resident in South Korea, you will be taken for testing and must remain at the testing facility until a negative result has been secured.
Other documents to be prepared
- Valid passport (same as the one for visa application)
- Valid visa or Valid K-ETA
- Arrival card
- Baggage declaration form
- Health declaration form
- Special period declaration
All incoming passengers are required to quarantine for 7 days
Exceptions: Passengers with quarantine exemption certificates issued after December 2, 2021 (issued based on the enhanced regulations), passengers departing from Singapore eligible for the VTL program, passengers departing from Saipan who meet the travel bubble conditions
Korean citizens and long-term foreigners
- Quarantine at home in the place of residence
- PCR test at the health center under the jurisdiction of the place of residence
Foreigners for a short-term stay
- PCR test upon arrival and quarantine at government-designated places (at your own expense)
- If you have a long-term stay with a foreigner who has a registered address in Korea, or if you can confirm that you have a family relationship (immediate family, etc.) with a Korean, you can be quarantined at home
Currently, South Korea has not yet opened a travel visa application. Those who have already held travel visas cannot travel to South Korea according to the latest regulations.
For those who can enter South Korea for short-term or long-term stays, they can travel around freely when they finish the quarantine of 7 days after entry and get a negative result of the PCR test. They can take public transportation as Japanese. facial mask-wearing is requested in indoor public places or on public transport.
If you want to plan a trip to the South Korea, feel free to contact us for a free consultation or get our latest information. You can also submit your request directly to create your own South Korea tour.