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Visa-Free Entry for Tourists

South Korea offers visa-free entry for tourists from many countries, allowing them to stay for short periods without a visa. Here are the general guidelines:

  • Countries with Visa Exemption: Citizens from countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and most European Union countries can enter South Korea without a visa for tourism purposes and stay for up to 90 days​.
  • K-ETA Requirement: Even for visa-exempt countries, travellers must apply for the Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) before their trip. The K-ETA is valid for two years and allows multiple entries. You can apply online by providing personal information and travel details​.

K-ETA (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization)

Introduced in September 2021, the K-ETA is mandatory for nationals of visa-exempt countries. It enhances security and streamlines the entry process. Here’s how to apply:

  1. Online Application: Visit the official K-ETA website and fill out the application form.
  2. Provide Information: Enter your personal details, travel itinerary, and other required information.
  3. Pay the Fee: A small processing fee is required.
  4. Approval: You will receive approval typically within 24 to 48 hours via email

Short-Term Tourist Visa (C-3 Visa)

If you are not from a visa-exempt country, you will need to apply for a short-term tourist visa (C-3) to enter South Korea. This visa allows you to stay in the country for up to 90 days for tourism purposes. Here’s the process:

  1. Check Requirements: Visit the website of the South Korean embassy or consulate in your country to check specific requirements.
  2. Prepare Documents: Gather necessary documents, including a valid passport, completed application form, passport-sized photo, travel itinerary, proof of accommodation, and financial stability.
  3. Submit Application: Submit your application to the nearest South Korean embassy or consulate, either in person or by mail.
  4. Pay the Fee: Pay the applicable visa fee.
  5. Processing Time: Wait for the processing, which can take from a few days to a few weeks​

Application Tips

  • Early Application: Apply for your visa well in advance of your travel dates to allow for processing time.
  • Accurate Information: Ensure all information provided in your application is accurate and complete to avoid delays.
  • Supporting Documents: Provide all required supporting documents, such as proof of return flight, travel insurance, and proof of sufficient funds

Whether you need a visa to enter South Korea for travel depends on your nationality and the specifics of your trip. Many nationalities enjoy visa-free entry for short stays, provided they apply for the K-ETA. For those requiring a visa, the application process is straightforward but requires careful preparation. Always check the latest requirements from official sources before planning your trip to ensure a hassle-free entry into South Korea.