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Foreign nationals entering the Republic of Korea are generally required to have a valid passport and a Korean visa. However, many are permitted visa-free entry for a limited time under certain conditions following the "Citizens of the Countries under the Visa Exemption Agreement" (see Tables 1, 2, & 3). (As of August 19, 2013)

[Table 1] Countries under Visa Exemption Agreement
Country (Period)
Europe - 30 countries
Austria (Diplomatic/Official: 180 days, Standard: 90 days) Belgium (90 days) Bulgaria (90 days)
Czech Republic (90 days) Denmark (90 days) Estonia (90 days)
Finland (90 days) France (90 days) Germany (90 days)
Greece (90 days) Hungary (90 days) Iceland (90 days)
Ireland (90 days) Italy (60/90 days)** Latvia (90 days)
Liechtenstein (90 days) Lithuania (90 days) Luxembourg (90 days)
Malta (90 days) Netherlands (90 days) Norway (90 days)
Poland (90 days) Portugal (60 days) Romania (90 days)
Slovakia (90 days) Spain (90 days) Sweden (90 days)
Switzerland (90 days) United Kingdom (90 days) Russia (90 days within a 180 day period; up to 60 days consecutively)
Asia & Oceania - 6 countries
Malaysia (90 days) New Zealand (90 days) Singapore (90 days)
Thailand (90 days) Israel (90 days) Turkey (90 days)
Americas - 25 countries
Antigua and Barbuda (90 days) Bahamas (90 days) Barbados (90 days)
Brazil (90 days) Chile (90 days) Colombia (90 days)
Commonwealth of Dominica (90 days) Costa Rica (90 days) Dominican Republic (90 days)
El Salvador (90 days) Grenada (90 days) Guatemala (90 days)
Haiti (90 days) Jamaica (90 days) Mexico (90 days)
Nicaragua (90 days) Panama (90 days) Peru (90 days)
Saint Kitts and Nevis (90 days) Saint Lucia (90 days) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (90 days)
Suriname (90 days) Trinidad and Tobago (90 days) Venezuela (Diplomatic/Official: 30 days, Standard: 90 days)
Africa & Middle East - 4 countries
Lesotho (60 days) Liberia (90 days) Morocco (90 days)
Tunisia (30 days)    
※ Visa period applies to diplomatic, government official, and standard passport holders, unless otherwise specified.

** Italy: 60 days under Visa Exemption Agreement / 90 days under Reciprocity Principles (Effective June 15, 2003)
[Table 2] Countries & Regions Granted Visa-Free Entry to Korea under Principles of Reciprocity and National Interest
Country (Period)
Asia - 6 countries
Brunei (30 days) Hong Kong (90 days) Japan (90 days)
Macao (90 days) Taiwan (90 days) Indonesia (Diplomatic/Official: 30 days)
Americas - 7 countries
Canada (6 months) United States (90 days) Guyana (30 days)
Argentina (30 days) Ecuador (90 days) Honduras (30 days)
Paraguay (30 days)    
Europe - 11 countries
Albania (30 days) Andorra (30 days) Bosnia and Herzegovina (30 days)
Croatia (90 days) Cyprus (30 days) Monaco (30 days)
Montenegro (30 days) San Marino (30 days) Serbia (90 days)
Slovenia (90 days) Vatican (30 days)  
Oceania - 13 countries
Australia (90 days) Fiji (30 days) Guam (30 days)
Kiribati (30 days) Marshall Islands (30 days) Marshall Islands (30 days)
Nauru (30 days) New Caledonia (30 days) Palau (30 days)
Samoa (30 days) Solomon Islands (30 days) Tonga (30 days)
Tuvalu (30 days)    
Tuvalu (30 days)
Egypt (30 days) Mauritius (30 days) Republic of South Africa (30 days)
Seychelles (30 days) Swaziland (30 days) United Arab Emirates (30 days)
Yemen (30 days) Saudi Arabia (30 days) Qatar (30 days)
Kuwait (30 days) Oman (30 days) Lebanon (Diplomatic/Official: 30 days)
Bahrain (30 days)    
[Table 3] Countries under Visa Exemption Agreement: Diplomatic/Government Official Passport Holders
Country (Period)
Diplomatic Passport Holders - 4 countries
Turkmenistan (30 days) Ukraine (90 days) Uzbekistan (60 days)
China (30 days)    
Diplomatic/Government Official Passport Holders - 33 countries
Algeria (90 days) Argentina (90 days) Azerbaijan (30 days)
Bangladesh (90 days) Belarus (90 days) Belize (90 days)
Benin (90 days) Bolivia (90 days) Cambodia (60 days)
Croatia (30 days) Cyprus (90 days) Ecuador (Diplomatic: Unlimited, Gov. Official: 90 days)
Egypt (90 days) India (90 days) Iran (3 months)
Japan (3 months) Kazakhstan (90 days) Kyrgyzstan (30 days)
Laos (90 days) Mongolia (90 days) Myanmar (90 days)
Pakistan (3 months) Paraguay (90 days) Philippines (Unlimited)
Russia (90 days) Uruguay (90 days) Vietnam (90 days)
Gabon (90 days) Moldova (90 days within a 120 day period) Armenia (90 days)
Angola (30 days) Georgia (90 days) Tajikistan (90 days)
* Generally, 3 months = 90 days & 6 months = 180 days

Type of Visa

- Tourist & Business Visas
Citizens from a country excluded from the Visa Exemption Agreement but granted visa-free entry and intending to stay in the country for 30 days or more must apply for a visa. (Generally, visa-free entry is possible for tourism or visiting purposes for up to 30 days. Canadian citizens can stay up to six months without a visa. Those from Macau, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Slovenia, Japan, Taiwan, and Bahrain can stay up to 90 days.) It usually takes about three to four days for a visa to be issued, but it may take longer depending on unforeseen circumstances or the season. All visa applicants are required to submit a completed application form, a valid passport, a passport-sized (3.5cm x 4.5cm) color 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 required for examination. 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 the visit must be clearly stated on the visa application form.

- Work Visa
With the sponsorship of an employer in Korea, a visitor may obtain a work visa in the applicant’s home country. Foreign nationals already residing in Korea must obtain a work visa from a Korean embassy or consulate outside Korea. Work visas are usually valid for up to three years, starting from the date of issue. The work visa application process usually takes between one and two weeks, but may differ depending on the applicant’s visa status. A foreign national can get his or her work visa extended if he or she continues to work for the same employer. 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.

Visa Application

- Application for a Korean visa must be made at a Korean embassy or consulate outside Korea.
- All visa applicants are required to submit a completed application form, a valid passport, a passport-sized (3.5cm x 4.5cm) color photo taken within six months of the application date, other documents as determined by the status of their country, and a visa processing fee. For detailed information, please visit the Hi Korea website:
- The visa processing fees are as follows:
a. Single-entry visa (less than 90 days): US$ 30
b. Single-entry visa (more than 90 days): US$ 50
c. Multiple-entry visa: US$ 80
d. Chinese group tourist visa: US$ 10 per person

* Citizens from a country with a visa fee exemption agreement with Korea are exempted from the visa fee. For detailed information, please visit the Hi Korea website:
** Countries that have not signed a visa fee exemption agreement with Korea but have an agreement with the Korean government that includes a provision of visa fee exemption are also exempt from payment of the visa processing fees.

Visa Extension

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 to an immigration office two months prior to the expiration date of the current visa. There is a fine if the visa extension is applied for after the period of sojourn has expired.

Sample of Republic of Korea Visa

Muster eines Visums für Korea

  1. ① Visa Number: Visa issuance serial number
  2. ② Status: Classification of visa holders by activity or status while in Korea
  3. ③ Period of Sojourn: Permitted term of stay starting from the date of entry into Korea
  4. ④ Visa Type: Type of visa such as single-entry, multiple-entry, etc. (S: single-entry visa, M: multiple-entry visa)
  5. ⑤ Issue Date: The date the visa was issued
  6. ⑥ Expiration Date: Valid term of visa, i.e. the date until the visa remains effective. The visa holder must depart Korea before this date. Visa is automatically rendered void after this date.
  7. ⑦ Issuing Place: Information on the location where the visa was issued

Last updated on January 7, 2014

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