Travel to South Korea Temporarily Eased for 22 Countries

Travel to South Korea Temporarily Eased for 22 Countries

South Korea has expanded its list of nationalities that can visit the country without having to apply for the Korean Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA).

South Korea has paused its K-ETA requirement for 22 nationalities starting 1 April to boost travel until 31 December 2024.

“Starting from April 1, 2023, South Korea will temporarily extend travel exemptions for citizens of 22 regions under the K-ETA system. This expansion will last until December 31, 2024,” the press release reads.

K-ETA is an online electronic travel authorisation that visa-free foreign visitors must obtain before entering the Republic of Korea for tourism, visiting relatives, participating in events or meetings, and business trips.

Nationals from countries who are not exempt must continue to obtain the K-ETA at least 72 hours prior to departure to South Korea and be approved ahead of travel. The result will be emailed after 24 hours.

Easier Access To South Korea

Citizens from 89 countries must apply for K-ETA before travelling to South Korea and once they have a K-ETA, it is valid for multiple trips for two years.

The K-ETA fee is 10,000KRW (approximately USD9 to 10, additional fee excluded) and is non-refundable, paid by credit card online.

Citizens from the following 22 countries do not need a K-ETA temporarily.

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Macau, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and the US (including Guam).

The travellers still need a valid passport or travel document for entry. 

Thing To Know Before You Travel To South Korea

According to reports, South Korea is one of the top destinations for foreign tourists, especially among Asians.

Tourism contributes 4.16 percent of the country’s GDP, with the total spending by visitors being $21.5 billion.

Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’re flying there for the first time.

  • Cultural Differences – No country is completely the same and there will be cultural behaviours you’re used to that might not sit well with other nationalities. So learn some basic customs and etiquette before your trip.
  • Transport Card – Purchase a T-Money card for convenient and cost-effective transportation on buses, subways, and taxis.
  • Experience Tradition –  Make your trip unforgettable by trying South Korea’s traditional dress called hanbok. You can also go on a walking tour to historical sites and you can join tours for free. Notable free walking tours include the Sky Park and street food tour, the Gyeongbokgung Palace Tour, and the Bukchon Tour where you get to see traditional Korean homes. 
  • Utilise reliable navigation apps – It is important to equip yourself with reliable navigation applications when travelling. Download app like KakaoMap and Naver Map. 

Do you have plans to visit South Korea? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or a visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

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