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Visa

  • Countries under visa waiver agreements
  • Designated visa-free entry
  • Transit tourists bound for another country
  • Europe bound Chinese transit tourists
  • No-visa Entry for foreigners in Transit
  • Japanese tourists / travelers
  • Special Entry arrangements for the Jeju island
  • Re-entry Permit holders
  • Holders of Passport issued by recognized international organizations(LAISSEZ-PASSER)
  • APEC Business Travel Card(ABTC) holders
  • Notice on Frequent Visitors Policy

Countries under Visa Waiver Agreements

  • Nationals of visa waiver countries can enter Korea without a visa as long as the purpose of their visit is tourism or temporary visit. If they want to engage in profitable activities such as employment, they must apply for a Korean visa suitable for their purpose.
    → Find Countries under Visa Waiver Agreements with Korea

Designated visa-free entry

  • Considering international convention, mutuality doctrine, national profit and other such factors, certain countries are granted visa-free entry permissions.
  • Nationals of the following countries are allowed up to 30 days of visa-free sojourn for tourism or visitation
  • Exceptions: Canada is allowed up to 6 months, and United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Slovenia, and Japan are allowed up to 90 days.
  • Countries that are granted visa-free entry for diplomatic, government official, and general passport holders
    Continent Countries / regions
    Asia Macao(90 days), Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Japan (90 days), Qatar, Taiwan(90 days), Hong Kong (90 days), Kuwait(90 days), Bahrain[10 countries]
    North America United States(90 days), Canada (6 months) [2 countries]
    South America Guyana, Argentina, Ecuador(90),Paraguay, Honduras [5 countries]
    Europe Monaco, Vatican, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Cyprus, San Marino, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia (90 days), Andorra, Croatia [11 countries]
    Oceania Guam, Nauru, New Caledonia, Micronesia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Fiji, Australia (90 days), Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Tonga [13 countries]
    Africa South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Swaziland, Egypt, Botswana [6 Countries]
  • Countries that are granted visa-free entry for diplomatic and government official passport holders (2 countries)
    Continent Countries
    Asia Indonesia, Lebanon

Frequent visitors

  • Eligible countries
    Applicable to all countries (save for China, Cuba, and Macedonia) that are not granted visa-free entry into Korea.
  • Applicable to…
    Those who made more than 4 visits to Korea in the past two years, or more than 10 visits overall may enter Korea without a Korean visa as long as they have no Immigration offence or other criminal records.

※ Chinese nationals meeting the above requirements will be issued appropriate visas as per discretion of the Head of the local foreign office.

Transit tourists bound for another country

  • Eligible countries Applicable to all countries (save for Macedonia, Cuba, Syria, Sudan and Iran, Republic of Kosovo, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Ghana, Yemen) that are not granted visa-free entry into Korea.
  • Applicable to…
    • Persons holding a visa (re-entry permit, permanent residency, etc.) to enter the U.S. (including Guam and Saipan), Canada, Australia, or New Zealand (hereinafter referred to as "the four advanced countries")
      1) who transit through Korea to go to one of the four advanced countries.
      2) who stay in one of the four advanced countries and take a direct flight from the country to Korea to go to a country of origin or a third country. 

      i) A person who has an entry visa for one of 30 European countries, and wishes to travel to 30 European countries through South Korea, or departs from one of 30 European countries, and wishes to travel one’s home country or the third country through South Korea. 
      Eligibility

      (1) A person who has a departure ticket to the countries above within 30 days from South Korea, for who has not been an illegal alien and non endorsable offences. 
      (2) In the past 3 years, a person who has not been denied entry to Korea, who has not given deportation order from Korea and a person who has not been an illegal alien and a person who has not violated laws. 
      (3) A person who stayed in transit country or stopover country within 3 days. 
      (4) For e Visa holders, visa must be attached to traveler’s passport and who is traveling from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand through South Korea are allowed to enter Korea without a visa.
    • If you are a Chinese group tourist holding a group-tourist visa to Japan and meet certain requirements (e.g. using a travel agency that only attracts Chinese group tourists), you are permitted to enter Korea without a visa.
    • If you hold an e-visa to Australia and a visa label is attached to your passport, you are permitted to enter Korea without a visa. However, if the label is not on your passport, you are granted no-visa entry only when you depart from Australia and transit through Korea.
      ※ Japanese individual visa holders are excluded as of 1 May, 2016
  • Requirements
    Must have a confirmed onward flight ticket for departure within 30 days after entering Korea, in addition to having no record of criminal offence in the five countries mentioned above.

Europe bound Chinese transit tourists

  • Eligible foreigners
    Chinese citizens with an entry visa (including permanent residency visa) for 1 of the 30 nations listed below and connecting flight tickets to the final destination. Example) China -> Korea -> Europe, Europe -> Korea -> China
  • 30 European countries
    • Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Rumania, Luxemburg, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Malta, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia, United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Czech, Cyprus, Portugal, Poland, France, Finland, Hungary

※ Not applicable to the following:

  • Those being forcefully relocated back to China from Europe
  • Those traveling through Europe as a part of a group tour

No-visa Entry for foreigners in Transit (Transit Tours)

  • Purpose
    The Government of the Republic of Korea has established a policy of no-visa entry for foreigners in transit in order to promote the transit tourism industry through a vitalization of the Transit Tourism Program. Policy Summary
  • Policy Summary
    The policy allows foreigners satisfying certain requirements who transit through the Incheon International Airport to a third country or through the Incheon International Airport, Gimhae International Airport, Yangyang International Airport, Cheongju International Airport or Muan International Airport to Jeju Island to enter Korea without visa.
  • Eligibility for No-Visa Entry for Foreigners in Transit
    1. No-Visa Entry for Transit Tourists (Existing Policy)
      • Eligibility
        • A national of one of the countries prohibited from no-visa entry into Korea, except for a national of Macedonia, Cuba, Syria, Sudan and Iran; and
          (1) Who holds an entry visa for, and is bound for one of the following countries via Korea: United States, Japan, Canada, Australia or New Zealand (excluding Japanese group visa); or
          (2) Who follows under A-i-(1) and is bound for the country of nationality or a third country via Korea, through direct flight from the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia or New Zealand to Korea after staying in these respective countries.
        • A Chinese national
          (1) Who holds an entry visa for, and is bound for one of the 30 European countries (Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Romania, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Malta, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Portugal, Poland, France, Finland, Hungary) via Korea; or
          (2) Who returns to China via Korea departing from the above-mentioned countries.
      • Criteria for Permission
        The person must hold a reserved airline ticket for a flight that departs within 30 days.
      • Status of Stay and Period: Tourism & Transit (B-2) visa, 30 days
    2. No-Visa Entry for Transit Tourists Participating in the Transit Tourism Program
      • Eligibility
        • A foreigner who transfers at the Incheon International Airport to the country of nationality or a third country and participates in the Transit Tourism Program, except for a national of one of the 11 countries prohibited from no-visa entry for Jeju Island (Ghana, Nigeria, Macedonia, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Kosovo, Cuba, Palestine); or
        • A foreigner who holds a Japanese group visa and participates in the Transit Tourism Program.
      • Criteria for Permission
        • The person must hold an airline ticket for transit within 72 hours.
        • The person must stay only in the possible destination for tourists of Seoul (Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi Province)
      • Status of Stay and Period : Tourism & Transit (B-2) visa, Within 72 hours
    3. No-Visa Entry for Chinese Group Tourists in Transit to Jeju Island
      • Eligibility
        A Chinese group tourist arriving at the Incheon International Airport, Gimhae International Airport, Yangyang International Airport, Cheongju International Airport or Muan International Airport, departed from China (including Hong Kong and Macao), who intends to stay, respectively, in the possible destination for tourists of Incheon (Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi Province), in the possible destination for tourists of Gimhae (Busan, Daegu, Ulsan, North Gyeongsang Province, South Gyeongsang Province, Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi Province), in the possible destination for tourists of Yangyang (Gangwon Province, Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi Province), in the possible destination for tourists of Cheongju (Daejeon, North Chungcheong Province, South Chungcheong Province, Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi Province), or in the possible destination for tourists of Muan (Kwangju, North Jeolla Province, South Jeolla Province, Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi Province) within 72 hours under a condition to travel to Jeju Island
      • Criteria for Permission
        • The person must hold a passport issued by the People’s Republic of China
        • The person must join a Chinese group tourist program hosted by Korean or Chinese travel agents recognized by the Korea- China memorandum
        • The person arriving at the Incheon International Airport must depart from Korea through the Incheon International Airport, Gimpo International Airport or Jeju International Airport
        • The person arriving at the Gimhae International Airport must depart from Korea through the Gimhae International Airport, Incheon International Airport, Gimpo International Airport or Jeju International Airport
        • The person arriving at the Yangyang International Airport must depart from Korea through the Yangyang International Airport, Incheon International Airport, Gimpo International Airport or Jeju International Airport
        • The person arriving at the Cheongju International Airport must depart from Korea through the Cheongju International Airport, Incheon International Airport, Gimpo International Airport or Jeju International Airport
        • The person arriving at the Muan International Airport must depart from Korea through the Muan International Airport, Incheon International Airport, Gimpo International Airport or Jeju International Airport
      • Status of Stay and Period: Tourism & Transit (B-2) visa, 15 days Date of Initiation: April 6st, 2014

No-visa Entry for Foreign Transfer Passengers

  • Eligible Applicants
    • (General Transfer Passenger)
      In addition to existing eligible persons for the no-visa entry for transfer tourists bound for a third country, a foreigner who transfers at Incheon International Airport to their home country or a third country, and those who participates in the Transit Tourism Program (hereinafter referred to as ‘General Transfer Passenger’)
      ※However, nationals of 12 countries with visa requirements for Jeju Island are not included. (Ghana, Nigeria, Macedonia, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Kosovo, Cuba, Palestine, Yemen)
      Condition for Admission Must possess a transfer ticket and stay in the metropolitan area within 72 hours
      Eligibility and Period of Stay Tourist/Transit (B-2), 72 hours (Metropolitan Area, within 3 days)

    • (Chinese Group Tourists holding a Japanese Group Visa)
      Chinese group tourists holding a Japanese Group Visa, transferring through Korea, and are arriving from China bound for Japan, or arriving from Japan bound for China
      Condition for Admission Must possess a transfer ticket and stay in Korea within 15 days
      * List of the tourists must be submitted 24 hours in advance, must have a transfer ticket within 15 day of departure.
      Eligibility and Period of Stay Tourist/Transit (B-2), 15 days

    • (Jeju Transfer Group Passengers)
      Chinese group tourists arriving from China (including Hong Kong and Macao), admitted at the Incheon, Gimpo, Gimhae, Cheongju, Yangyang, Muan, or Daegu International Airport are allowed to stay for up to 5 days (Yangyang International Airport allowed to stay for up to 10 days) and are intending to travel to JejuIsland
      Condition for Admission Must participate in the transit tour programs operated by the appointed travel agenciesand hold a confirmed ticket (flight or ferry/boat) for Jeju within 5 days (Yangyang airport: 10 days)
      Eligibility and Period of Stay Tourist/Transit (B-2), 15 days
      ※ Allowed to stay for up to 5 days (Yangyang, 10 days) within the possible travel regions on the condition that the passengers intend to travel to Jeju Island and also agree on the operation of Transit Tour Guides

    • Regarding Jeju Transfer Group Passengers
      Airport of Entry  Possible Airports for Departure  Possible Travel Regions 
      Incheon Int’l Airport  Incheon, Gimpo, Jeju  Metropolitan area (Seoul, Incheon,Gyeonggi, Gangwon Province) 
      Gimpo Int’l Airport 
      Gimhae Int’l Airport  Gimhae, Incheon, Gimpo, Jeju  Busan, Daegu, Ulsan, Gyeongsang Province, Metropolitan area 
      Daegu Int’l Airport  Daegu, Incheon, Gimpo, Jeju 
      YangyangInt’l Airport  Yangyang, Incheon, Gimpo, Jeju  Gangwon Province, Metropolitan area 
      CheongjuInt’l Airport  Cheongju, Incheon, Gimpo, Jeju  Daejoen, Sejong, Chungcheong Province, Metropolitan area 
      MuanInt’l Airport  Muan, Incheon, Gimpo, Jeju  Gwangju, Jeonlla Province,Metropolitan area 

Japanese tourists/travelers

  • An agreement was made between Korean and Japanese governments on March 1st, 2006 in the interest of reciprocity and encouraging individual interchanges between Korea and Japan. Based on this agreement, nationals of both countries whose purpose of travel is short term visit or tourism are granted visa exemption, so long as the following conditions are met.
  • Duration of stay: Up to 90 days
  • Purpose:
    - Tourism, business, attendance of a conference, private visit (relatives, friends, etc), or any such non-profit activities.

Special Entry arrangements for the Jeju island

  • Eligible foreigners
    - Nationals of all countries not allowed visa-free entry into Korea (save for the exceptions listed below) that enters via Jeju airport for tourism or transit.
  • Special entry arrangements for Jeju island is denied to nationals of the following 12 countries.
    -Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, Syria, Macedonia, Palestine, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Ghana, Yemen
  • Duration of stay: Up to 30 days
  • Permitted area / range: Jeju island
  • Conditions of entry:
    - Those that arrive directly into Jeju island by flights or ships.

Re-entry permit holders

  • Registered foreigners with re-entry permit that enters Korea within the given re-entry date are allowed to enter without a visa.
  • Registered foreigners who are nationals of countries that are exempt from re-entry permit (listed below) may enter without a visa as long as it is within their initial period of sojourn.
    - France, Suriname, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Liechtenstein,and Germany

Holders of Passport issued by recognized international organizations

  • A staff of the United Nations or special organization who have a travel document, namely, LAISSEZ-PASSER issued by U.N. office is allowed to enter Korea without a visa and is granted to stay for 30 days.

APEC Business Travel Card(ABTC)

  • In order to facilitate smooth economic operations of economists, visa-free entry is permitted to those that meet the following conditions.
  • Eligible countries (18 countries as of October, 2009)
    - Korea, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Mexico.
  • Eligibility
    - APEC Business Travel Card holders are given Short Term Business (C-2) visa status, and are allowed to stay for up to 90 days.

Notice on Frequent Visitors Policy

The Frequent Visitors Policy will be revised as follows:
  • Application
    - Visit Diplomatic Mission (Need to submit the application form)
  • Eligibility
    - Nationals of countries (except for China, Cuba, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Syria) that are not granted visa-free entry into Korea, and have made more than 4 visits to Korea in the past 2 years, or more than 10 visits overall (must have 1 record of entry within the last 2 years)
    - Those who have not been fined more than 5 million KRW or received exit or deportation order in the past 3 years immediately preceding the date of application for overstaying or violating other National Law
  • Visa Issuance
    - Visa Type/ Duration of Stay: Short-Term General (C-3-1), 30 days, 5 year multiple-visa
    - Fee: Free of charge
  • Ineligible Countries : China, Cuba, Macedonia, Kosovo, Syria
  • Enforcement Date : 1 March 2017
※ Foreigners who wish to enter the Republic of Korea under the Frequent Visitors Policy are required to visit a Diplomatic Mission and apply for the visa.