South Korea Eases Entry Restrictions and Resumes K-ETA
Starting from June 1, South Korea will restore the issuance of short-term visas and electronic visas. The news was announced more than 2 years after the suspension of all visa applications due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the justice ministry, this decision is hoped to encourage more foreign visitors to South Korea.
The country’s authorities also plan to increase the number of flights per week on overseas routes from 532 in May to 762 in June to boost tourism in the country. South Korea made this decision amid declining daily infections in recent weeks.
South Korea entry requirements
South Korea remains open to tourism. On April 1, 2022, the country lifted the quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers. Restrictions may vary slightly depending on the traveler's nationality and vaccination status.
Nevertheless, all travelers must have a negative PCR test (in English or Korean) taken 48 hours prior to departure to South Korea. The test requirement does not apply to transit travelers.
Starting May 23, the country will also recognize negative rapid antigen tests. Currently, only PCR tests are acceptable for travelers to board flights to South Korea.
Depending on the traveler’s vaccination status, some travelers may be subject to on-arrival testing and a 7-day quarantine.
All travelers must also obtain Q-code by providing travel and vaccination details via the Q-code website.
South Korean visas
A short-term general C-3 visa is issued to foreigners who plan to travel to South Korea for transit or tourism purposes and stay in the country for up to 90 days.
Until now, short-term visas have only been granted to diplomatic travelers or government affairs, as well as humanitarian reasons.
The South Korea ETA was introduced in 2021, but due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the issuance of electronic visas was suspended.
Since June 2022, citizens of 49 visa-exempt countries will be able to apply for K-ETA online. K-ETA is a multiple-entry electronic visa issued for 2 years.
Its holder may enter South Korea numerous times for tourism or business purposes staying between 30 and 90 days (depending on the traveler's nationality).
Eligible travelers should remember to apply for K-ETA at least 3 business days prior to departure to South Korea to receive the visa on time and without any hassle.