Visa Requirements for South Korean Citizens
Visa requirements for South Korean citizens are rules and regulations that establish whether or not citizens of South Korea need a visa to enter a selected country. Each destination states who can enter their territory and what rules.
South Korean passport holders have an extremely significant international travel liberty with over a hundred countries that offer visa-free entry. Moreover, nearly 30 additional destinations welcome South Korean citizens with an electronic visa on hand, and over 40 offer a Visa on Arrival possibility.
A traditional visa is only required when South Korean citizens visit about 20 destinations, including Nigeria, Turkmenistan, and China. Regular visas are obtained only upon visiting an Embassy and going through a complicated application process.
South Korea has one more travel category, and that is the list of countries that South Korean citizens cannot currently visit. 7 destinations are out of reach of South Korean passport holders, including Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Yemen.
All short-term travel, i.e., with eVisas, Visas on Arrival, and visa-free entry, allow South Korean passport holders to stay abroad usually up to 90 days (three months). Another commonly seen option of stay is 30 days. However, the exact length of the maximum stay differs depending on the selected country.
Further information on each visa type and its requirements for South Korean citizens is available below.
Electronic visas or eVisas are part of the new online visa system that aims to ease travelers' lives and the whole visa obtaining process. eVisas can be applied for entirely online; thus, eliminating the need for any Embassy visits.
List of countries offering eVisas for South Korean citizens
- Ivory Coast
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
28 countries are currently offering an eVisa option to all South Korean passport holders, listing them as eligible. Traveling to any of the above-listed destinations is now possible without any prior Embassy visits or going through lengthy and complicated visa application processes!
eVisas are obtainable entirely online after following a quick and intuitive 3-step application process. South Korean citizens must simply fill out an application form online, cover the issuing fee using any online payment method, and wait for the approved document to be delivered via email.
Once one receives the approved eVisa onto their email inbox, it's best to print it out and take on the planned travel. Electronic visas serve for short-term stays relating to leisure, business, and transit, which means that travelers from South Korea can enjoy going on vacation, handling business duties abroad, and transit while reaching another destination.
Visa on Arrival
Visa on Arrival is the second-easiest visa option for South Koreans to obtain. VoAs are obtainable upon arriving at the selected destination after filling an application form at the border control checkpoint.
List of countries that offer a Visa on Arrival for South Korean citizens
- Cape Verde
- The Maldives
- The Marshall Islands
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Sri Lanka
42 countries make a Visa on Arrival available for citizens of South Korea to use. Some of the above-listed countries have two visa options: a Visa on Arrival and an eVisa obtainable online before the planned trip.
It's best to check if the destination to be visited offers an additional eVisa option to be able to omit the waiting lines upon arrival and travel prepared with less stress when crossing the border.
If there's no eVisa option, travelers from South Korea are forced to get their visas after arriving at the selected destination. To do that, it's necessary to go to the nearest border control checkpoint and ask for a Visa on Arrival application form.
Next, citizens of South Korea should carefully fill the VoA application form out, making sure there are no mistakes in the provided data. Some countries require additional steps to be taken, such as covering an issuing fee (even in the local currency) or submitting some supporting documents, e.g., a hotel booking proof or a return ticket.
The approved Visa on Arrival allows its holders to stay abroad for all tourism, professional, or transit-related activities within a short period of time, usually 30, 60, or 90 days.
An Embassy visa is one of the most difficult visas to obtain since it requires travelers to apply via an Embassy. Traditional visas require applicants to provide numerous supporting documents, attend an official institution, and sometimes undergo a visa interview.
List of countries that require an Embassy visa from South Korean citizens upon arrival
- Burkina Faso
- The Central African Republic
- The Republic of the Congo
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
22 countries require a valid Embassy visa to be presented by South Korean citizens upon arrival at its borders. Thus, visiting any of the above-listed destinations from South Korea requires travelers to apply for a regular visa even a few weeks in advance of the planned departure date.
One of the most crucial steps in applying for an Embassy visa, no matter the selected destination, is preparing the required documents. The paperwork to be submitted must be complete and contain no errors in the provided data for the application to be successfully approved.
After completing the required paperwork and having a filled out Embassy visa application form, it's time to submit everything to an Embassy of the selected country to be visited. Some countries require Embassy visa applicants to cover an issuing fee and go through a visa interview to further validate the reason for the planned trip.
Even though the application process for an Embassy visa may be complicated, it can serve for more than just a short-term vacation stay abroad. Regular visas come in different types and are sometimes offered for long-term stays, even those relating to working, studying, or joining a significant other abroad.
112 destinations welcome South Korean citizens visa-free, making visiting the following countries effortless!
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- The Czech Republic
- The Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- The Netherlands
- North Macedonia
- Papua New Guinea
- The Philippines
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- South Africa
- Trinidad and Tobago
- The United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City
Visa-free travel is the most convenient way to explore foreign countries since it does not require any visa handling. The only thing that's usually needed from travelers is either a valid passport or a valid ID.
However, some countries may need to further validate the purpose of one's visit and require additional supporting documents, such as proof of having booked hotel accommodation, proof of having sufficient funds for the trip, or a return ticket.
Traveling visa-free allows South Koreans to engage in leisure, professional, and transit-related activities. This means that short-term stays to go on vacation, business trips, and reaching another final destination with a need to layover is now effortless upon visiting over a hundred countries!
Although South Korean citizens have significant international travel liberty, with over a hundred destinations welcoming them visa-free, there are a few destinations that citizens of South Korea cannot visit.
List of countries that South Korean citizens cannot visit under the imposed travel ban
The South Korean Government has imposed a travel ban on seven countries due to the safety concerns of its citizens.