Foreign nationals entering the Republic of Korea are required to hold a valid passport and visa. Under certain conditions, travellers may be permitted visa-free entry for a limited time. Please visit your local Korean Embassy or Consulate for further information.
Tourist & Business Visas
Up to 90-days visa free with a valid passport and a confirmed outbound ticket.
Citizens of the countries excluded from the Visa Exemption Agreement or the Principles of Reciprocity and National Interest must obtain a visa prior to entering Korea. Citizens of the countries granted visa-free entry in accordance with the Principles of Reciprocity must also apply for a visa if planning to stay longer than allowed. The Korean visa application process usually takes about three to four days, but may change due to unforeseen circumstances or seasonal variations.
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All visa applicants are required to submit a completed application form, a valid passport, a passport-sized (3.5cm x 4.5cm) colour photo taken within six months of the application date, other documents as determined by the status of their country, and a visa processing fee. Applicants may be asked to submit additional documents if necessary. Applicants are not required to show an outbound ticket. Furthermore, visas may be extended for up to 90 days. All visas, including long-term visas, are for a single visit (single-entry visa). For business visas, the intention of visit must be clearly stated on the visa application form.
Foreign nationals must have a work visa in order to work in Korea. Work visas are usually valid for up to three years, starting from the date of issue. Work visas can be obtained in the applicant’s home country with a sponsorship of the employer in Korea. Foreign nationals residing in Korea must obtain the work visa from a Korean embassy or consulate outside Korea. The work visa application process usually takes about one to two weeks, but may vary depending on the applicant’s visa status.
Furthermore, foreign nationals residing and working in Korea must obtain a residence permit from the immigration office. Those who engage in remunerative activities without a work visa may be fined or, in some cases, deported.
Non-professional employment work visas are valid for up to three years, and may be extended for another year and 10 months (total of four years and 10 months) at the request of the same employer. Professional or technical employment work visas are valid for 2, 5, or 7 years, depending on the job.
Tourist visas can be extended in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as an accident, health problem, flight cancellation, etc. Visitors must apply for a visa extension at a local immigration office. Visa extension applications must be submitted online at Hi-Korea (http://www.hikorea.go.kr) or at an immigration office two months prior to the expiration date of the current visa.