South Korea Visa Requirements and Application Process
Last Updated : Sep 4, 2023
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In this post, I'll guide you through everything you need to know about the Korea Visa and any questions you might have swirling in your mind, from the requirements, application process, and South Korea visa fees.
Who needs a visa for Korea? Anyone who isn't part of the visa-free countries.Type of visa required: Tourist Visa.Tourist visa cost: USD 40Minimum bank balance required: USD 1000-USD 2000Tourist visa processing time: 7-10 business days.
Do I Need A Visa To Go To South Korea?
Before we move on to the brief overview of the visitor visa, we must first investigate who is eligible to get a visa to South Korea.
The South Korea Visa is also referred to as a visitor visa.
Do US Citizens Need A Visa For South Korea?
No, you don't. US citizens traveling to Korea don't need a visa to enter the country for visits up to 90 days for tourism or business under the Visa Waiver Program.
Do US Green Card Holders Need A Visa For South Korea?
This depends on your passport. If you're a nationality of a visa-exempt country, you don't need to apply for a visa. However, if your country of nationality isn't, you must apply for a South Korean visa.
What Are The South Korea Visa Requirements For US Citizens?
Before applying for your Tourist visa to South Korea, I recommend gathering all the required documents. Your visa may be rejected if these documents aren't in order.
The following documents are needed for your application:
Valid passport with at least 6 months validity.
Minimum of 3 blank pages in your passport.
2 passport-sized photographs.
Personal Covering letter.
Original bank statements of the last 6 months to prove that you have the financial means to cover the costs of your trip.
Confirmed return flight tickets.
Proof that you have hotel reservations.
Payslip to show that you paid the visa fee.
Vaccination certificate for yellow fever if you travel through or come from a yellow fever area.
If you are employed, you need to show proof of leave.
If you are retired, you must provide your pension book or statements.
If you are visiting a friend or a relative, you need to provide an invitation letter, the inviter's ID proof like a passport, and proof of address.
Passport Photo Requirements For A Korean Visa
The passport photo requirements for a Korean visa are as follows:
The photo must be 3.5cm x 4.5cm in size.
The photo must be a color passport-style photo taken within the last 6 months.
The photo's background must be plain white or light-colored.
Your face must be centered in the photo.
Your expression must be neutral, with your mouth closed, eyes open, and visible.
You should not wear glasses or headwear obscuring your face except for religious purposes.
The photo should be high-quality and clear, without blurring, shadows, or red-eye.
It is important to carefully follow these requirements to ensure your visa application is not delayed or rejected. In addition, it is recommended to have your photo taken by a professional photographer familiar with the requirements for Korean visas.
How Do I Apply For A Tourist Visa?
You must apply for a South Korea Tourist Visa from one of the Diplomatic Missions of the Republic of Korea abroad, like an embassy or a consulate.
If you have a sponsor or host in South Korea, they can request a visa on your behalf through the Visa Portal of the Korea Immigration Office.
How Do I Apply For My Visa At A Korean Embassy?
Suppose you don't have a sponsor in South Korea that can request a visa on your behalf. In that case, you will have to find the South Korean Embassy or Consulate responsible for your area and apply there. The Korean Embassy will also give you all the travel information you need.
The application process is as follows:
Book Your Appointment: First, check if you need to schedule a consular appointment beforehand. Then, you can book an appointment online on the Korean Embassy website.
Complete The Application Form: Then, once you schedule your appointment, you must complete the application form. You can get the form at the Embassy or online. Make sure you complete the form truthfully. If you provide false or incorrect information, your visa will be rejected.
Gather The Documents And Submit Your Application: Next, you need to gather all the required documents listed above. Then, attend your visa appointment. Finally, you might need to answer a few questions about your travels. Once that's done, you can submit your application (documents and application form) and pay the visa fee.
Wait For Your Visa: All you have to do then is wait for them to process your visa. After your application is processed, you must return to the Diplomatic Representation office. If the visa is approved, it will be affixed to your passport, and you can then use it to enter South Korea.
They will notify you via email or any other contact number you provide when your visa is processed.
How Can My Sponsor Submit My South Korea Visa Application?
Suppose you have a sponsor in South Korea, and you fall under any of the categories mentioned below. In that case, your sponsor can apply for a Confirmation of Visa Issuance on your behalf.
The categories that make you eligible for a Confirmation of Visa Issuance are:
If you are traveling for business, you are invited by a South Korean company.
If you travel for medical reasons.
If you travel for academic purposes.
If you are an investor and have been invited by a promotion agency of the Immigrant Investor Scheme for Public Business of South Korea.
If you travel with a tourist group, Chinese citizens only.
If your sponsor wants to apply for a Confirmation of Visa Issuance, they have to:
Complete the online Visa application form.
Pay the fee.
Attach the required documents for the visa.
Wait for the Confirmation of visa Issuance.
Print out the confirmation (if your application is confirmed) and send it to you.
What Should I Do After My South Korea Visa Issuance Is Confirmed?
After the Korean Immigration Office confirms your visa, you have to send the letter of Confirmation of Visa Issuance to the nearest South Korean Consulate or Embassy and receive a Visa on your passport.
Which Countries Can Travel To South Korea Without A Visa?
Citizens from several countries can visit South Korea without a visa for short-term visits. However, foreigners entering the visa-waiver program are not allowed to work or engage in remunerated activities.
If you are from one of the countries exempted from a visa but want to stay longer than the visa exemption allows, you must apply for the corresponding visa before you travel.
South Korea Visa Exemption For Up To 180 Days: Citizens of Canada can enter South Korea without a visa for a stay of up to 180 days.
South Korea Visa Exemption For Up To 90 Days: Citizens of the following countries can enter South Korea without a visa for up to 90 days:
European Union Countries, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Chile Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Serbia, Singapore, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
South Korea Visa Exemption For Up To 60 Days: Citizens of Lesotho and Russia can enter South Korea without a visa for up to 60 days.
South Korea Visa Exemption For Up To 30 Days: Citizens of the following countries can visit South Korea without a visa for up to 30 days:
Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Cyprus, Eswatini, Fiji, Guam, Guyana, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Caledonia, Oman, Palau, Paraguay, Qatar, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Tonga, Tunisia, Tuvalu, and Vatican City.
Other Exemptions From South Korea Visas: You're also exempt from a visa if you have a visa for the US, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand and you're traveling directly from one of those countries or intend to travel there afterward.
You also don't need a visa for South Korea if you're part of a Chinese group tourist and have a group tourist visa to Japan.
A Quick Overview Of The South Korea Visa
This section briefly discusses everything you need to know about South Korea visas.
What Is A South Korea Tourist Visa?
A South Korea Tourist Visa is a visa that is issued to passport holders who want to enter South Korea for tourism or recreational purposes. You can receive a tourist visa if you're traveling for one of the following reasons:
To receive medical treatment in a hospital in South Korea.
To visit a family member or a friend.
To attend a religious, cultural, music, or sporting event.
Another short-term reason.
A South Korea Tourist Visa allows you to stay in South Korea for 90 days.
When you are in South Korea on a tourist visa, you are not allowed to work or engage in any other remunerated activities.
What Are The Costs for A South Korea Tourist Visa?
The single entry visa that allows you to stay in South Korea for up to 90 days is USD 40.
What Is The Minimum Bank Balance For South Korea Visa?
The exact amount can vary, but it is typically recommended to have at least USD 1000-USD 2000 in your bank account, depending on the length of your stay. Generally, you must provide proof of sufficient funds to cover your travel expenses and support yourself while in Korea.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Korean Visa?
7-10 business days. However, it can take up to 2 weeks. The South Korea visa processing time changes depending on which Consulate or Embassy you apply at.
The processing time does not include weekends or public holidays. So, make sure you submit your application at least 15 days before you plan to travel, but no earlier than 3 months.
How Can I Extend My Visa?
If you want to extend your South Korea Visa, you can apply for a visa extension at the Immigration Office in South Korea. However, you must apply for the visa extension with your travel document 4 months before your visa expires. In addition, you will have to meet all the visa requirements.
There you go! Everything you need to know about applying for your very own South Korea Tourist Visa. Travel your heart out, and then eat it with some Korean barbecue. Seriously it's excellent! For further information, you can check out the FAQ section.
The detailed information in the post is from reliable sources:
Frequently Asked Questions
Visa applicants can apply for one of the following visa types:
Visit Visa (B-2): This visa allows individuals to visit the United States for tourism, vacation, or to visit family or friends. The stay is typically limited to six months but can be extended under certain circumstances.
Business Visa (B-1): This visa is intended for individuals traveling to the United States for business purposes, such as attending conferences, negotiating contracts, or conducting other business-related activities. It does not allow for any employment in the United States.
Student Visa (F-1): This visa is for individuals who wish to pursue a full-time academic program in the United States. It is also available to those participating in language training programs or vocational studies.
Work Visa (H-1B): This visa is for individuals who have been offered a job in a specialty occupation in the United States. It is typically granted to individuals with at least a bachelor's degree in their specialty.
Transit/Ship Crew Visa (C-1/D): This visa is for individuals traveling through the United States on their way to another country or for those who work on a ship or aircraft and need to enter the United States as part of their duties.
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