Entering South Korea for a short-stay

Travelling to South Korea
Updated 2017-10-05 11:41

Citizens of some hundred countries can travel to South Korea visa-free with a valid passport. They can stay in the country between 30 and 90 days depending on their nationality. Canadian citizens can remain in South Korea up to 6 months. You can also request an extension of your stay once you are in the country. For more details, check out the exact requirements and conditions on the Korea Tourism website.

Visas for South Korea

If you are not entitled to a visa exemption, you are required to apply for a tourist visa at the South Korean Embassy or Consulate nearest to your residence in your home country. You will have to fill out and submit an application form along with your passport, a valid photo and any other documents that may be required for the type of visa you are applying for. Once all the documents have been submitted, you will have to pay a visa application fee and wait up to several weeks to receive your visa.

Usually, tourist visas for South Korea are single-entry. This means, your visa will no longer be valid once you leave South Korea and you are not permitted to come back on the same visa but need to apply for a new one. If you are planning to leave South Korea several times during your stay, for work or travel, you can request a multiple-entry visa before departure or ask for a re-entry permit from the Ministry of Justice.

Travel insurance

Before travelling abroad, it is always a good idea to purchase travel insurance. If you already possess travel insurance, be sure to check if South Korea is among the covered destinations. Should you not already have travel insurance, you should purchase one a few weeks before your holiday. There are several insurance providers worldwide offering attractive options to travellers. We recommend April International as they offer both long-term and short-term travel insurance as well as specialised healthcare plans for international students and people travelling as a group.

Flight information

Most large airlines fly directly between major cities and Seoul. There are two international airports in Seoul, Incheon International Airport and Gimpo International Airport. Incheon Airport is the largest airport in South Korea and wins the Skytrax World's Best Airport Award year after year and is also named the world's cleanest airport and the world's best international transit airport by Skytrax. The airport opened in 2001 and replaces Gimpo International Airport, which now mostly flies to domestic destinations and several East Asian destinations such as Tokyo, Osaka, Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei. Flying to South Korea, passengers receive an arrival card and a customs form. Both need to be filled out, signed, and handed over to the authorities at immigration.

Useful links:

Visit Korea
South Korea Embassy in US
South Korea Embassy in UK
South Korea Embassy in Australia
April International Travel Insurance

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