Q: Is it required to apply for a Korean Visa to travel to Korea?
A. As long as you have a valid U.S. passport, you can enter the Republic of Korea without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days if you are a tourist or on business. To stay for longer than 90 days a South Korea visa for U.S. citizens is required. A visa is also needed to visit Korea for reasons not permitted with the K-ETA, such as to work.
As of September 1, 2021, you must have a valid U.S. passport and an approved Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) to enter Korea. Most U.S. passport holders traveling to Korea for tourism or business purposes for less than 90 days can obtain a K-ETA. Apply at the K-ETA website for 10,000KRW. The fee is non-refundable even if the application is denied. Travelers must apply for the K-ETA at least 24 hours prior to boarding a flight or ship bound for Korea.
Note: the application fee is waived during the K-ETA pilot period from May 3 to August 31, 2021.
* K-ETA Website: https://www.k-eta.go.kr
* As of 24 April 2021, an additional Facility Quarantine Agreement form is required for travel.
B. Visa is required for all other purposes, including employment, teaching English, and for stays longer than 90 days.
Additional required documents for applying in all types of visa
- Consent to Quarantine Form
- Health Condition Report Form
* Additional Required Documents: Link
Q: Is quarantine process required when I travel to Korea?
- All travelers to Korea must provide proof of a negative PCR test result issued within 72 hours of their departure.
- There is a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon entry for most travelers. Some exceptions may apply:
- Travelers fully vaccinated in Korea and whose vaccinations are registered in the Korean health care system may be eligible for monitoring instead of quarantine at the discretion of Korean authorities at the point of entry.
- Travelers who received the 1st dose of a two-dose vaccine in Korea and the 2nd dose of the vaccine in the United States may be eligible for monitoring instead of quarantine if the 2nd dose is registered in the Korean health care system. Please consult with the public health office in your Korean jurisdiction for more information. The U.S. Embassy does not certify vaccination records from Korea or the United States.
- Travelers who received all vaccine doses in the United States generally still undergo 14 days of quarantine at their own expense. However, limited categories of vaccinated travelers may apply for a quarantine exemption certificate at an overseas Korean Embassy or Consulate prior to travel. The U.S. Embassy plays no role in quarantine exemption decisions.
- Quarantine facilities are randomly assigned and cannot be changed for personal reasons.
- Transportation from the airport to the government facility will be provided.
- The spouse and lineal descendants of Korean national or long-term residents of Korea may self-quarantine in the Korean national/long-term resident's place of residence instead of government facility by providing official family relations documents.
- Lineal descendants refer to direct line of descent such as grandparents, parents, child. Siblings are not included.
* Guidelines on Quarantine Exemption Application: Link
- Minors under age 6 who are travelling with fully vaccinated parents may also be eligible for monitoring instead of quarantine.
Q: What should passengers provide to airlines to show they are fully vaccinated?
- Both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals who are fully vaccinated should travel with proof of their vaccination status to provide to their airline prior to departure to the United States.
- That proof of vaccination should be a paper or digital record issued by an official source and should include the traveler’s name and date of birth, as well as the vaccine product and date(s) of administration for all doses the traveler received.
Q: Who will need to present their vaccination status to airlines?
- For foreign nationals, proof of vaccination will be required – with very limited exceptions – prior to departure to the United States.
- While vaccination proof is not required for U.S. citizens and LPRs, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and LPRs (and their dependents) will continue to be able to show documentation of a negative viral test from a sample taken up to three days before departure to the United States. They must present proof of vaccination to qualify for the 3-day test window. U.S. citizens and LPRs who are unable to show that they are fully vaccinated will have to show documentation of a negative viral test taken no more than one day before departure.
Q: What stablishment to contact for visa application?
- Apply online (currently suspended due to the pandemic).
- or visit any of the listed Korean Consulates around U.S.
An appointment is required for visitors coming to the consular office of the ROK Embassy. So please make an appointment in advance before your visit.
- Possible appointment time : Monday - Friday 9AM-12PM & 3PM-5PM
* Notary services included, appointments can only be made online. Appointment requests through phone calls and email will not be accepted.
- Senior visitors(aged 65 and older) who have difficulty in making appointments online may be serviced between 1PM-3PM on a first-come, first-served basis.
* Senior visitors who want to be serviced without an appointment will be required to present valid non-expired identification (ex. passport, driver's license).
List of agencies that provide help with visa application
- New Korea Travel
Phone: (213) 383-4988
Fax: (213) 383-5044
Address: 2717 W Olympic Boulevard, #203 Los Angeles, CA 90006
- ItsEasy Passport & Visa
Phone: 1-866-487-3279 (voice) / 1-866-487-3279 (text)
Address: 200 Park Ave - Lobby The MetLife Building New York, NY 10166
- Passport and Visas
General Requirements for ALL Visa Application
- Valid passport (passport must be valid for more than six months at the time of application submission).
- A copy of the biographic data page of the applicant's passport.
- Completed visa application form.
- General Visa Applicants must fill out VISA APPLICATION FORM.
- Visa Issuance Confirmation Number (VICN) holders must fill out VISA ISSUANCE CONFIRMATION FORM.
- 1 passport photo (size 2" x 2", color) must be attached on the form.
- Fee: U.S. Citizens $45 (same amount for the single or multiple entries).
- Non-U.S. citizens may pay different amounts based upon different visa agreements between the applicant's country and Korea.
- General visa fees: $20 ~ $60 (single entry), $90 or more (multiple entries).
Certain single entry visa fees are over $100 depending on the agreements.
Not everyone is eligible to apply for a multiple entry visa.
- No fees for A-1, A-2, A-3 visa applicants.
- Consent to Quarantine Form.
- Non-U.S. Citizens must provide a notarized copy of their U.S. permanent resident card or valid U.S. visa(tourist visas may not be acceptable).
- Confirmed flight itineray, hotel reservation information, and most current bank statements maybe required (A1, A2, A3 visa applicants may not need to submit the bank statements).
- Processing time: Normally takes up to 5 business days. When it requires additional supporting documents or needs further verification, the processing time may take more than a week
* During the Pandemic, processing time may take up to 3 weeks or longer