South Korea Tourist Visa – Application and Requirements
South Korea is a fascinating country with a rich culture and history. Tourists from all over the world are drawn to the country’s beautiful scenery and unique attractions. If you are planning a visit to South Korea, you must first obtain a South Korean tourist visa.
Tourism activities in South Korea will be exciting and fulfilling if you can fluently speak English, Japanese, Chinese, or Russian.
However, there are requirements you should fulfill to enable you to apply for a tourist visa. Therefore, this article is put together with details that will expose you to all that is needed to get a South Korean tourist visa quickly.
About South Korea
South Korea is a peninsula in East Asia that borders the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea. Seoul, the capital city, has a population of over 51 million people. The country is well-known for its diverse culture, history, and modernity.
It also has many tourist attractions, including Busan, the world’s largest amusement park. Other popular tourist destinations include Jeju Island, its beautiful beaches and stunning mountain ranges, and Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla Dynasty.
It is a developed state with a high living standard.
What is a South Korean tourist visa?
It is a document that allows foreign nationals to visit South Korea for tourism purposes for a specified duration. It is issued by South Korean immigration through its various embassies or consulates abroad.
The tourist visa is available for single-entry stay and multiple entry access; it can also be extended before it expires.
Meanwhile, there are countries whose citizens can visit South Korea without a visa for up to three months. Also, there are a few countries whose citizens do not need a South Korean visa throughout their stay in the country.
Nevertheless, citizens of all the visa-exemption must hold a South Korean electronic travel authorization (ETA) approval to visit the country.
So let’s briefly take you through a South Korean electronic travel authorization before listing the visa-free countries.
South Korea ETA is an online approval document issued by the South Korean immigration authority to countries with visa-free or exemption to the country.
The ETA was initially on a trial basis with some selected countries. But it was made compulsory for all countries eligible to apply for it in September 2021.
Its application process is fast and easy to complete because you need a few details like a valid email address, traveling passport details, and basic information.
Holders of the ETA can attend business seminars, meetings, or conferences. They can also visit friends and family; multiple entries are permissible. It is valid for two years from the date you get the approval.
Countries eligible for South Korea ETA
If you are a foreign citizen of any of the following countries, you must have a South Korea ETA to visit the country.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and,
- Brunei Darussalam
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- Marshall Islands
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Republic of Cyprus
- Russian Federation
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint of
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Trinidad and Tobago
- The United Arab Emirates
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
- Vatican City
South Korea Visa-exemption countries
Interestingly, citizens of the countries outlined below do not need a South Korean visa to visit the country regardless of their stay.
- The Federated States of Micronesia
- Solomon Islands
So if your country doesn’t make a list above, you need to apply for a South Korean tourist visa to visit the country.
South Korea Tourist Visa Requirements
Generally, you must present the following documents to the embassy to process your tourist visa application.
- A traveling passport with a validity of at least six months should also contain a minimum of two empty pages for official use.
- A South Korean tourist visa application form that is duly completed and signed
- Financial documents to cover your financial expenses throughout your stay in the country. Documents like a Bank cheque, a recent bank statement, or a credit card can serve as proof.
- Proud of round-trip flight tickets or reservations
- Evidence of accommodation in South Korea
- A Cover letter which entails your trip literary, contact details, and your basic information
South Korea tourist visa application steps
The process of applying for a tourist visa through the South Korean embassy is not difficult, provided instructions are strictly followed. You should follow the steps below to have a smooth tourist visa application at the South Korean embassy in your country.
Firstly you should visit the embassy or consulate to book an appointment with the consular officer. It should be done at least four weeks before your intended travel date to beat any uncertainty.
Secondly, pay the South Korean tourist visa application fee and obtain a receipt.
Thirdly, put all the documents together with the application form and the visa processing receipt inside a self-address envelope.
The next step is to submit your application credentials at the embassy on the scheduled date. Then, you will attend an interview while your biometric data will be captured.
Lastly, you wait up to three weeks for the embassy to process your application and notify you of the outcome.
Cost of South Korea tourist visa
The amounts you will pay for your tourist visa application depend on the duration and the entry mode.
You will pay forty US dollars for a single entry tourist visa with a validity of fewer than ninety days. However, if you intend to stay in the country for an extended period, you will pay sixty US dollars for a single entry.
Applicants seeking a multiple entry visa will pay ninety US dollars for the application fee.
Note that you will pay an additional fee if you have to take anyone along with you to South Korea for tourism purposes.
Top tourist scenes in South Korea
As you warm to visit the beautiful country of South Korea for tourism activities, here are the top tourist scenes to visit when you arrive.
Hallyeo Maritime National Park
Hallyeo Maritime National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the northwestern part of South Korea. The park, which covers an area of 1,839 square kilometers, was established in 1995. The national park is home to a diverse range of marine life, such as dolphins, whales, seabirds, and fish. The park also features coral reefs, dunes, and mangroves.
The Bulguksa Temple is an important Buddhist temple in Seoul, South Korea. The temple was built in 998 AD during the tenth-century reign of Emperor Sejo and is located in Jongno-gu. UNESCO has designated the temple as a World Heritage Site, one of Seoul’s most popular tourist attractions. The temple’s Main shrine, the Main Hall, houses a Large gold statue of the Buddha.
The Blue House is a well-known tourist attraction in Seoul, South Korea. However, it is also known for being haunted by the ghost of a woman who jumped to her death from the third floor after an argument with her husband. It was built in 1887 and was used as a residence by the Japanese governor of Seoul during the colonial period. The Korean government later purchased the house and restored it to its original condition in 1984.
Also Read: Steps in Applying for South Korea Family Visit Visa
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When is the best time to travel to South Korea?
The best time to visit South Korea for tourist activities is during the spring and summer months of the year.
What are the Major means of transportation in South Korea?
There are a variety of means of transportation in South Korea, including buses, trains, taxis, bicycles, and cars.
How secure are the tourist scenes in South Korea?
South Korea is a very safe country to travel in, with a low level of crime and a well-developed infrastructure. So the tourist sites are well equipped with security facilities to secure lives and properties.
Can I reunite with a family member in South Korea using the South Korean tourist visa?
You should apply for a South Korean family visit visa to reunite with your family. The tourist visa in South Korea is designed to allow foreigners to visit the country for tourist activities.
If you must apply for a South Korean tourist visa to visit the country, you should have all the required documents ready and start the process early enough.