South Korea to Add 8 New Countries Eligible for K-ETA

Starting from 1st November 2022, eight new countries can use the South Korean ETA system. The recently added countries include, i.a., Japan, Taiwan and Macau.
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South Korea has extended the list of K-ETA-eligible countries by 8 new countries. These 8 nationalities will be able to use the South Korean Electronic Travel Authorization from November 1, 2022. 

The decision to add new countries was announced by the KDCA and was preceded by numerous consultations with different national institutions, including the Ministry of Justice.

K-ETA was introduced by the Government of South Korea in 2021 and serves as a multiple-entry travel authorization.

Citizens of visa-exempt countries can apply for K-ETA instead of going through the time-consuming and stressful traditional application process. 

The list of eligible countries is systematically extended. The last change applied to Japan, Taiwan, and Macau.

Nationals of these 3 countries were temporarily added to the list in August 2022. This way, South Korea wanted to enable them to participate in Seoul Festa

List of new countries eligible for the K-ETA system from November 2022

Starting from 1st November 2022, nationals holding a valid passport from the following countries will be able to use the K-ETA system:

  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Macau
  • Micronesia
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Taiwan
  • Tonga

Japanese, Taiwanese, and Macanese citizens had been previously allowed to use the K-ETA system temporarily in August 2022.

Their eligibility, however, ended with the Seoul Festa. Now, the South Korean Government granted them permanent eligibility. 

Apart from the recently added 8 new countries, the complete list includes 104 other countries that can already apply for the South Korean K-ETA, including EU member states, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, the US, and many more. 

Visa-free travel to South Korea

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted global tourism. As a result, the governments of many countries are now trying to encourage more and more foreign visitors.

To attract them, they need to, however, ease restrictions to make traveling easier and reduce paperwork to the minimum.

Along with the improving pandemic situation around the world, South Korea decided to return to its previous visa policy and enable more countries to travel to the country visa-free.

The choice of countries recently added to the eligible for K-ETA is not accidental.

Taking into consideration pre-pandemic data, for example, visitors from Taiwan constituted the third largest group of visitors traveling to South Korea annually.

In turn, a similar number of South Koreans traveled to Taiwan. Japan is yet another example of a country whose nationals most often visited South Korea, with 2-3.5 mln visitors from the country. 

Katarzyna Żyła
2022-10-26

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