South Korea
South Korea
Travel requirements
South Korea visa policy

South Korea visa policy

South Korea visa policy specifies the type of visa that an individual should obtain before traveling to the country, including the way of visa application. Depending on the traveler’s nationality, planned length of stay in Korea, and travel purpose, different visas may be required.

Apart from a valid visa, all travelers, whether visa-exempt or not, must also hold a passport that will not expire for the min. of 6 months from the planned entry and that has 1-2 blank pages for stamping purposes.

Visitors arriving in South Korea may also be asked to provide proof of having sufficient funds for the entire stay in the country.

At the moment, the visa policy of South Korea states that there are around 110 countries whose nationals can enjoy traveling to Korea visa-free. The period they can stay without a visa may differ depending on one’s nationality.

Most visa-exempt countries, however, need to have a K-ETA approved before travel. The South Korean ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) can be used for short-term business or leisure-related purposes.

Travelers not eligible for K-ETA, as well as all those whose traveling motives are not covered by the electronic travel permit, will need to obtain an embassy or consular visa. There are around 130 countries and territories that need a regular visa. The Visa on Arrival service is currently unavailable for South Korea.


Who can enter South Korea?

South Korea remains open to all international travelers. They are welcomed regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Although all coronavirus restrictions were removed, visitors should still follow the general requirements to enter South Korea issues-free.


Entry Requirements for South Korea

South Korea has relaxed COVID-19 restrictions. To enter the country, you no longer need to be vaccinated or provide a negative coronavirus test. Travelers are not subject to quarantine upon arrival either.

All visitors, however, need to hold a valid visa or K-ETA (if eligible) approved before travel. Also, it is recommended to register for Q-code 3 days in advance of the planned arrival. The system requires providing the health condition of a traveler to ensure easier and faster entry to the country. Those who are unable to register online will need to manually insert the required information upon their arrival in South Korea.

Foreigners staying in Korea for more than 90 days (regardless of the type of visa they hold) are required to register with the local immigration office in order to obtain the Alien Registration Card.


Documents check-list for entering South Korea

To enter South Korea without any issues, it is essential to have at hand certain documents. Most of them need to be obtained prior to travel and include the following:

  • passport (valid for at least 6 months)
  • valid visa/K-ETA
  • travel insurance (recommended)

Important: All travelers are recommended to consult the latest update to South Korea entry requirements as they may change without prior announcements. It is best to refer to the travel advice published on the official governmental website.

Methods of getting visa to South Korea

According to the visa policy of South Korea, one can obtain a tourist visa either online (K-ETA) or at one of the nearest embassies or consulates.

Applying for a visa for purposes other than tourism or business must also be handled upon an in-person appointment at a diplomatic mission.

Electronic visa (K-ETA)

The South Korean ETA (K-ETA) is an Electronic Travel Authorization available for visa-exempt travelers wishing to travel to South Korea.

Currently, the list of K-ETA-eligible countries consists of around 110 countries and territories.

A holder of valid K-ETA can use it for the purpose of tourism, family and friend reunions, attending various conferences, or handling other business affairs excluding paid employment.

South Korea ETA is issued for 2 years as a multiple-entry permit and is directly linked to the applicant’s passport.


Regular visa

There are over 130 countries that need a visa to travel to South Korea regardless of the traveling motive or desired length of stay in the country. A regular visa is also necessary for all ETA-eligible nationals who wish to visit Korea for the long term or plan to work and/or study there.

The application for an embassy or consular visa should be started well in advance of the traveling plans to South Korea – at least a few weeks prior to a trip. Applicants should ensure that they hold a passport valid for the min. of 180 days from the date they plan to arrive in South Korea and that the document has one or two blank pages.

It may also be necessary to provide certain supporting documents, which may differ depending on the particular visa type.

Note: Holders of a valid K-ETA do not need a visa for Korea as long as their travel plans are covered by the electronic permit.


Countries and regions which require a visa for entry into South Korea

Electronic visa

  • AndorraAndorra
  • United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates
  • AlbaniaAlbania
  • ArgentinaArgentina
  • AustriaAustria
  • AustraliaAustralia
  • Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina
  • BarbadosBarbados
  • BelgiumBelgium
  • BulgariaBulgaria
  • BahrainBahrain
  • BrazilBrazil
  • BahamasBahamas
  • BotswanaBotswana
  • CanadaCanada
  • SwitzerlandSwitzerland
  • ChileChile
  • ColombiaColombia
  • Costa RicaCosta Rica
  • SerbiaSerbia
  • CyprusCyprus
  • Czech RepublicCzech Republic
  • GermanyGermany
  • DenmarkDenmark
  • DominicaDominica
  • Dominican RepublicDominican Republic
  • EcuadorEcuador
  • EstoniaEstonia
  • SpainSpain
  • FinlandFinland
  • FijiFiji
  • MicronesiaMicronesia
  • FranceFrance
  • United KingdomUnited Kingdom
  • GrenadaGrenada
  • GreeceGreece
  • GuatemalaGuatemala
  • GuyanaGuyana
  • Hong KongHong Kong
  • HondurasHonduras
  • CroatiaCroatia
  • HaitiHaiti
  • HungaryHungary
  • IrelandIreland
  • IsraelIsrael
  • IcelandIceland
  • ItalyItaly
  • JamaicaJamaica
  • JapanJapan
  • KiribatiKiribati
  • Saint Kitts and NevisSaint Kitts and Nevis
  • KuwaitKuwait
  • KazakhstanKazakhstan
  • Saint LuciaSaint Lucia
  • LiechtensteinLiechtenstein
  • LesothoLesotho
  • LithuaniaLithuania
  • LuxembourgLuxembourg
  • LatviaLatvia
  • MoroccoMorocco
  • MonacoMonaco
  • MontenegroMontenegro
  • Marshall IslandsMarshall Islands
  • MacauMacau
  • MaltaMalta
  • MauritiusMauritius
  • MexicoMexico
  • MalaysiaMalaysia
  • New CaledoniaNew Caledonia
  • NicaraguaNicaragua
  • NetherlandsNetherlands
  • NorwayNorway
  • NauruNauru
  • New ZealandNew Zealand
  • OmanOman
  • PanamaPanama
  • PeruPeru
  • PolandPoland
  • San MarinoSan Marino
  • SurinameSuriname
  • El SalvadorEl Salvador
  • SwazilandSwaziland
  • ThailandThailand
  • TunisiaTunisia
  • TongaTonga
  • TurkeyTurkey
  • TuvaluTuvalu
  • TaiwanTaiwan
  • United StatesUnited States
  • UruguayUruguay
  • Vatican CityVatican City
  • Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesSaint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • VenezuelaVenezuela
  • SamoaSamoa
  • South AfricaSouth Africa
  • QatarQatar
  • SingaporeSingapore
  • SeychellesSeychelles
  • PalauPalau
  • PortugalPortugal
  • SwedenSweden
  • SlovakiaSlovakia
  • SloveniaSlovenia
  • RussiaRussia
  • Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia
  • Brunei DarussalamBrunei Darussalam
  • Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago
  • RomaniaRomania
  • ParaguayParaguay
  • Solomon IslandsSolomon Islands
  • Antigua and BarbudaAntigua and Barbuda

*From April 1, 2023, until December 31, 2024, all countries marked with ‘*’ do not need to apply for K-ETA to travel to South Korea. This exemption was announced in celebration of Visit Korea Year.
Regular visa

  • AfghanistanAfghanistan
  • AnguillaAnguilla
  • ArmeniaArmenia
  • AngolaAngola
  • American SamoaAmerican Samoa
  • ArubaAruba
  • Aland IslandsAland Islands
  • AzerbaijanAzerbaijan
  • BangladeshBangladesh
  • Burkina FasoBurkina Faso
  • BurundiBurundi
  • BeninBenin
  • BermudaBermuda
  • BoliviaBolivia
  • BhutanBhutan
  • BelarusBelarus
  • BelizeBelize
  • Cocos IslandsCocos Islands
  • CongoCongo
  • Central African RepublicCentral African Republic
  • Ivory CoastIvory Coast
  • Cook IslandsCook Islands
  • CameroonCameroon
  • ChinaChina
  • CubaCuba
  • Christmas IslandChristmas Island
  • DjiboutiDjibouti
  • AlgeriaAlgeria
  • EgyptEgypt
  • EritreaEritrea
  • EthiopiaEthiopia
  • Falkland IslandsFalkland Islands
  • Faroe IslandsFaroe Islands
  • GabonGabon
  • GeorgiaGeorgia
  • French GuianaFrench Guiana
  • GhanaGhana
  • GibraltarGibraltar
  • GreenlandGreenland
  • GambiaGambia
  • Guinea BissauGuinea Bissau
  • GuineaGuinea
  • GuadeloupeGuadeloupe
  • Equatorial GuineaEquatorial Guinea
  • GuamGuam
  • IndonesiaIndonesia
  • IndiaIndia
  • IraqIraq
  • IranIran
  • JordanJordan
  • KenyaKenya
  • KyrgyzstanKyrgyzstan
  • CambodiaCambodia
  • ComorosComoros
  • North KoreaNorth Korea
  • Cayman IslandsCayman Islands
  • LaosLaos
  • LebanonLebanon
  • Sri LankaSri Lanka
  • LibyaLibya
  • MoldovaMoldova
  • MadagascarMadagascar
  • MacedoniaMacedonia
  • MaliMali
  • MyanmarMyanmar
  • MongoliaMongolia
  • Northern Mariana IslandsNorthern Mariana Islands
  • MartiniqueMartinique
  • MauritaniaMauritania
  • MontserratMontserrat
  • MaldivesMaldives
  • MalawiMalawi
  • MozambiqueMozambique
  • NamibiaNamibia
  • NigerNiger
  • Norfolk IslandNorfolk Island
  • NigeriaNigeria
  • NepalNepal
  • NiueNiue
  • French PolynesiaFrench Polynesia
  • Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea
  • PhilippinesPhilippines
  • PakistanPakistan
  • Sierra LeoneSierra Leone
  • SenegalSenegal
  • SomaliaSomalia
  • SyriaSyria
  • Caicos IslandsCaicos Islands
  • ChadChad
  • TogoTogo
  • TajikistanTajikistan
  • TokelauTokelau
  • Timor LesteTimor Leste
  • TurkmenistanTurkmenistan
  • TanzaniaTanzania
  • UkraineUkraine
  • UgandaUganda
  • United StatesUnited States
  • UzbekistanUzbekistan
  • British Virgin IslandsBritish Virgin Islands
  • VietnamVietnam
  • VanuatuVanuatu
  • SamoaSamoa
  • YemenYemen
  • MayotteMayotte
  • ZambiaZambia
  • ZimbabweZimbabwe
  • RwandaRwanda
  • SudanSudan
  • South SudanSouth Sudan
  • PalestinePalestine
  • United States Virgin IslandsUnited States Virgin Islands
  • Turks and Caicos IslandsTurks and Caicos Islands
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Isle of ManIsle of Man
  • GuernseyGuernsey
  • Sao Tome and PrincipeSao Tome and Principe
  • Saint MartinSaint Martin
  • Saint HelenaSaint Helena
  • ReunionReunion
  • Puerto RicoPuerto Rico
  • JerseyJersey
  • CuracaoCuracao
  • Cape VerdeCape Verde
  • British Indian Ocean TerritoryBritish Indian Ocean Territory
  • Saint BarthelemySaint Barthelemy
  • Sint MaartenSint Maarten
  • BonaireBonaire

Visa-free entry

  • LiberiaLiberia

Entry requirements for children

South Korean regulations do not clearly state that it is mandatory to have written consent signed by parents or legal guardians if a minor is traveling with a third party. Nevertheless, such a document is advisable and should be notarised and translated into Korean or English.

There are no separate general entry requirements for children entering South Korea. They should follow the same entry rules as adult visitors.


Transit information

Nationals of most countries in the world can transit through South Korea visa-free, provided that their layover is less than 24 hours and a traveler remains within the airport transit area.

Nevertheless, there are five certain countries whose nationals transiting through South Korea must obtain a transit visa regardless of the duration of the planned layover. These countries include Mongolia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and Sudan.

All passengers in transit are subject to thermal screening upon arrival in Korea and the symptomatic travelers can be tested against coronavirus and hospitalized if found positive. Those who tested negative and/or not showing symptoms will be permitted to continue their trip.


Important information

  • Nationals of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program still do need to complete K-ETA before arriving in South Korea.
  • Obtaining a Visa on Arrival in South Korea is currently impossible.
  • All travelers should register for the Q-Code system prior to travel. If not, they will need to complete the post-arrival registration.
  • Transiting through South Korea does not require holding a visa as long as the tranist stop is shorter than 24 hours.
  • Children traveling to South Korea should have a separate K-ETA – the application must be completed by their parents or legal guardians.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I need a visa to travel to South Korea?

As long as you are not a visa-exempt national, you need to hold a valid visa for South Korea. Please also note that eligible visa-exempt countries should still complete the K-ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) at least 3 business days before the planned trip.

What are the methods of getting a visa for South Korea?

Depending on the traveler's nationality, planned length of stay as well as travel purpose, different visas for South Korea may apply. Also, based on nationality, one can get a visa either online, or at the nearest Korean embassy.

Can I get a South Korea visa on arrival?

At the moment, South Korea does not offer the service of Visa on Arrival. Travelers need to get their visas at one of the diplomatic missions or apply for K-ETA (if eligible).

What are the requirements for going to South Korea?

South Korea requires all travelers to hold a passport valid for at least 6 months, and a relevant visa. Visitors should also register for the Q-Code system to ensure smooth entry to the country.

Do I need a visa to transit through South Korea?

As long as your layover does not exceed 24 hours, you can transit through South Korea visa-free. There are only 5 certain countries that require a visa for transit purposes, no matter the duration of their stop (Egypt, Syria, Mongolia, Yemen, and Sudan).

What are the requirements for children traveling to South Korea?

Children should follow the same general entry requirements as adult travelers. They are also recommended to have written consent if traveling with a third party (notarised and translated into Korean or English).