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Korea Travel Tips

Getting to Korea     Passport and Visa     Transportation Info


Passport and Visa

Any foreign visitors wishing to enter the Republic of Korea must have a valid passport and obtain a Korean visa before coming. But people of 99 countries who want to visit Korea temporarily are permitted to enter without a visa according to visa-exemption agreements (Table 1), or in accordance with principles reciprocity or national interest (Table 2).

Table1 : Countries under Visa Exemption Agreements

Country/Period(days) Country/Period(days) Country/Period(days)
 Austria / 90  Belgium / 90  Bulgaria / 90
 Czech Republic / 90  Denmark / 90  Estonia / 90
 Finland / 90  France / 90  Greece / 90
 Germany / 90  Hungary / 90  Iceland / 90
 Ireland / 90  Italy / 60  Liechtenstein / 90
 Luxembourg / 90  Malta / 90  Netherlands / 90
 Norway / 90  Portugal / 60  Poland / 90
 Romania / 90  Spain / 90  Slovak Republic / 90
 Sweden / 90  Switzerland / 90  United Kingdom / 90
 Asia and Oceania
 Bangladesh / 90  Israel / 90  Malaysia / 90
 New Zealand / 90  Pakistan / 90  Singapore / 90
 Thailand / 90  Turkey / 90  
 Antigua and Barbuda / 90  Bahamas / 90  Barbados / 90
 Brazil / 90  Colombia / 90  Costa Rica / 90
 Common wealth of Dominica / 90  Dominican Republic / 90  El Salvador / 90
 Grenada / 90  Haiti / 90  Jamaica / 90
 Mexico / 90  Nicaragua / 90  Panama / 90
 Peru / 90  St. Lucia / 90  St. Kitts and Nevis / 90
 St. Vincent & the Grenadines / 90  Surinam / 90  Trinidad and Tobago / 90
 Lesotho / 60  Liberia / 90  Morocco / 90
 Tunisia / 30    

Table2 : Countries or Regions under principles of reciprocity and national interest

Country/Period(days) Country/Period(days) Country/Period(days)
 Brunei / 30  Hong Kong / 90  Japan / 30
 Kuwait / 30  Macao / 30  Oman / 30
 Qatar / 30  Saudi Arabia / 30  Taiwan / 30
 United Arab emirates / 30  Yemen / 30  
 North America
 Canada / 180  United States / 30  
 South America    
 Argentina / 30  Chile / 30  Guatemala / 30
 Honduras / 30  Paraguay / 30  Uruguay / 30
 Venezuela / 30    
 Albania / 30  Croatia / 30  Cyprus / 30
 Latvia / 30  Lithuania / 30  Monaco / 30
 Slovenia / 90  Vatican / 30  
 Ausralia / 90  Fiji / 30  Guam / 30
 Kiribati / 30  Marshall Islands/ 30  Palau / 30
 Naura / 90  New Caledonia / 30  
 Republic of South Africa / 30  Swaziland / 30  

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Visa Type
Tourist & Business Visas

Visitors from countries not under Visa Exemption Agreements must apply for a visa extension if planning to stay for more than 30 days. Depending to the situation of the consulate, the visa extension will be issued 1 to 3 days from the day of application. Applicants require a completed application form, a recent passport-size colour photo and application fee. Visitors do not require the outbound flight ticket. Visa extensions are usually for 90 days.

All visas including long-term visas are for a single visit. Therefore anyone who wishes to leave the country and re-enter later on during the allowed period of stay should obtain the Re-entry Permit from the Ministry of Justice prior to departure. For business visas, the intention of activities must be clearly stated on the visa application form. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Homepage:

Work Visa
Visitors may obtain work visas in their home country with the endorsement of the employer in Korea. If the visitor is already in Korea, he/she must obtain the work visa from an embassy or consulate in a country outside Korea. Work visas are usually valid for 1 year from the date of issue and take about 2-4 weeks to process. Work visa extensions are possible if visitor remains with the same employer. Visitors with work visas must obtain a residence permit from the Immigration Office. Visitors engaging in remunerative activities without a work visa can be subject to fines and deportation.

Application for Visas
- Visa application should be made at Korean Embassies or consulates abroad.
- It is required for the visa applicants to submit passport, application forms, a recent
passport-style color photograph, and such other documents as determined by the
status of stay.
- Visa fees are as follows:
a. Single entry visa for a stay of no more than 90 days : USD30
b. Single entry visa for a stay of more than 90 days : USD50
c. Multiple entry visa : USD80
d. Prolongation of Reentry Permit : USD20
*For Citizens of United States of America, multiple entry visa fee is USD45 on the basis of
reciprocity since the mutual agreement in 1994.

Visa Extension

Extensions for tourist visas are possible in special cases such as accidents, health problems, flight cancellation, etc. Applications for visa extensions can be made at local immigration office at least one day before the day of expiration.

Re-entry Visas
- Alien Registration
Immigration Bureau :

A Korean embassy or consulate can issue two types of visa: a short-term visa for the visitor who wants to stay up to 90 days and a special long-term visa for periods longer than 90 days. A visitor with a special long-term visa is required to apply for alien registration at a local immigration office within 90 days of arrival.

Migration Offices

Office Telephone Location
Seoul +82-2-2650-6239 319-2, Sinjeong 6 (yuk)-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul
Subway: At Omokgyo (Mok-dong Stadium) Station exit 7. Go straight for about 10 minutes.
Incheon +82-32-889-9903/10 1-17, Hangdong 7 (chil)-ga, Jung-gu, Incheon
Bus: Take Incheon City Bus #3, #12 or #24 to Jungbu Police Station. 10 minutes on foot
Incheon Int'l Airport +82-32-740-7013 ??Incheon International Airport Immigration Office mainly handles procedures pertaining to entry and departure of Korea.
Busan +82-51-461-3030 17-26, 4-ga, Juang-dong, Jung-gu, Busan
Subway: Juang-dong Station (Busan Subway Line No.1) 10 minutes on foot.
Gimhae Airport +82-51-972-1610/5 ??Gimhae Airport Immigration Office mainly handles procedures pertaining to entry and departure of Korea.
Jeju +82-64-722-3494 673-8, Geonip-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju
Directions: Take any city bus to Jeju Girls' Commercial High School.

Alien Registration
Korea Customs Service:

A written baggage declaration must be submitted to a customs officer upon entry. Passengers must clear customs through either green, white, or red channel. Passengers who have no articles to declare should use the green channel. If a passenger declares non-duty-free articles voluntarily, the declared amount will be accepted and the clearance procedure will be expedited.

Duty-Free Articles
Visitor's (non-resident's) goods which will be taken out of Korea upon departure. (The total quantity of the goods should be declared for duty exemption.) Goods which were declared upon departure from Korea and are being brought back. 1 bottle (not over 1 liter) of alcoholic beverages 200 cigarettes (50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco)
2 ounces of perfume For further information on goods subject to declaration and prohibited goods, please contact the Customs Information Office at Incheon International Airport.
Tel) +82-32-740-3100 or +82-80-742-7272

Guidelines for Currency Regulation
Passengers entering Korea who are carrying foreign or Korean currency valuing over USD 10,000 must declare it to Customs official. Departing non-residents of Korea who are carrying foreign or Korean currency (including traveler's or bank checks) valuing more than USD10,000 must obtain permission from the bank of Korea or Customs, not including any amount carried into Korea and declared on arrival, which may be carried out without declaration to Customs. Residents of Korea must declare any currency or negotiable checks more than USD10,000 upon departure. Please be aware that violators of these regulations are liable to be fined and/or otherwise penalized under the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act.

National Veterinary Research & Quarantine Service: National Plant Quarantine Service:

Animal Quarantine
All live animals and animal products entering Korea must be accompanied by valid certificates issued by the exporting country's government. Declare all import animals and animal products upon arrival to the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, where they must be inspected. Cloven-hoofed animals and their products that are shipped from import-restricted areas will be sent back or destroyed. For details, please contact the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service.
Tel) +82-31-467-1923

Plant quarantine
Passengers who carry an plants or soil including fruits (mango, orange, papaya, etc.), vegetables, seeds, orchids, nursery stock or cut flowers, etc., must describe the items on the Customs Declaration Form and immediately declare them upon arrival.

Import restricted items and areas
Fresh fruits, such as mango, orange, papaya, cherry, etc.: all countries
Nursery stock of apple, grape, etc.: most European countries
Walnut fruit and kernel: most countries Soil or plants with soil: all countries

If you have any question about plant quarantines, please contact National Plant Quarantine
Tel) +82-31-446-1926 / +82-31-445-6934

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Information provided by Korea National Tourism Organization.


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