• Countries under visa waiver agreements.
  • Designated visa-free entry.
  • Transit tourists bound for another country.
  • Europe bound Chinese transit tourists.
  • No-visa Entry for foreigners in Transit.
  • Japanese tourists / travelers.
  • Special Entry arrangements for the Jeju island.
  • Re-entry Permit holders.
  • Holders of Passport issued by recognized international organizations(LAISSEZ-PASSER).
  • APEC Business Travel Card(ABTC) holders.
  • Notice on Frequent Visitors Policy.

Countries under Visa Waiver Agreements

  • Nationals of visa waiver countries can enter Korea without a visa as long as the purpose of their visit is tourism or temporary visit. If they want to engage in profitable activities such as employment, they must apply for a Korean visa suitable for their purpose.

Designated visa-free entry

  • Considering international convention, mutuality doctrine, national profit and other such factors, certain countries are granted visa-free entry permissions. (1 September 2018. Currently, 48 countries)
  • Nationals of the following countries are allowed up to 30 days of visa-free sojourn for tourism or visitation
    Exceptions: Canada is allowed up to 6 months, and United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Slovenia, and Japan are allowed up to 90 days.
  • Countries that are granted visa-free entry for diplomatic, government official, and general passport holders
ContinentCountries/ regions
AsiaMacao(90 days), Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Japan (90 days), Qatar, Taiwan(90 days), Hong Kong (90 days), Kuwait(90 days), Bahrain[10 countries]
North AmericaUnited States(90 days), Canada (6 months) [2 countries]
South AmericaGuyana, Argentina, Ecuador(90),Paraguay, Honduras [5 countries]
EuropeMonaco, Vatican, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Cyprus, San Marino, Serbia(90), Montenegro, Slovenia (90 days), Andorra, Croatia(90) [11 countries]
OceaniaGuam, Nauru, New Caledonia, Micronesia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Fiji, Australia (90 days), Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Tonga [13 countries]
AfricaSouth Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Swaziland, Botswana (5 Countries)
  • Countries that are granted visa-free entry for diplomatic and government official passport holders (2 countries)
ContinentCountries
AsiaIndonesia, Lebanon

Transit tourists bound for another country

Eligibility

  •  Nationals of countries, except for the 24 excluded countries (Syria, Sudan, Iran, Macedonia, Cuba, Kosovo, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Ghana, Yemen, Gambia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Egypt) that are not granted visa free entry into Korea

Applicable to the following:

  •  Persons holding a visa (re-entry permit, permanent residency) to enter the U.S. (including Guam and Saipan), Canada, Australia, or New Zealand (hereinafter referred to as "the four advanced countries")
    • who transit through Korea to go to one of the four advanced countries.
    • who stay in one of the four advanced countries and take a flight from the country to Korea to go to a country of origin or a third country.
      • A person who has an entry visa for one of 30 European countries, and wishes to travel to 30 European countries through South Korea, or departs from one of 30 European countries, and wishes to travel one’s home country or the third country through South Korea.
        Eligibility
    • A person who has a departure ticket to the countries above within 30 days from South Korea, for who has not been an illegal alien and non endorsable offences.
    • In the past 3 years, A person who had not been denied entry into Korea within the past 3 years preceding the date of entry.
    • A person who had not been fined of more than 5 million KRW or not have been forcibly evicted or received a deportation order for violation of law.
    • A person who stayed in transit country or stopover country within 3 days.
    • For e Visa holders, visa must be attached to traveler’s passport and who is traveling from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand through South Korea are allowed to enter Korea without a visa.
  • If you are a Chinese group tourist holding a group-tourist visa to Japan and meet certain requirements (e.g. using a travel agency that only attracts Chinese group tourists), you are permitted to enter Korea without a visa.
  • If you hold an e-visa to Australia and a visa label is attached to your passport, you are permitted to enter Korea without a visa. However, if the label is not on your passport, you are granted no-visa entry only when you depart from Australia and transit through Korea.

* Japanese individual visa holders are excluded as of 1 May, 2016

Requirements

  • Must have a confirmed onward flight ticket for departure within 30 days after entering Korea, in addition to having no record of criminal offence in the five countries mentioned above.

Europe bound Chinese transit tourists

Eligible foreigners

  • Chinese citizens with an entry visa (including permanent residency visa) for 1 of the 30 nations listed below and connecting flight tickets to the final destination.
    Example) China -> Korea -> Europe, Europe -> Korea -> China

30 European countries

  • Those being forcefully relocated back to China from Europe
  • Those traveling through Europe as a part of a group tour

No-visa Entry for Foreign Transfer Passengers

Eligible Applicants

  • (General Transfer Passenger)
    In addition to existing eligible persons for the no-visa entry for transfer tourists bound for a third country, a foreigner who transfers at Incheon International Airport to their home country or a third country, and those who participates in the Transit Tourism Program (hereinafter referred to as ‘General Transfer Passenger’)
    ※However, nationals of 24 countries with visa requirements for Jeju Island are not included. (Ghana, Nigeria, Macedonia, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Palestine, Yemen, Gambia, Senegal, Kosovo, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Egypt)
    • Condition for Admission - Must possess a transfer ticket and stay in the metropolitan area within 72 hours
    • Eligibility and Period of Stay - Tourist/Transit (B-2), 72 hours (Metropolitan Area, within 3 days)
  • (Chinese Group Tourists holding a Japanese Group Visa)
    Chinese group tourists holding a Japanese Group Visa, transferring through Korea, and are arriving from China bound for Japan, or arriving from Japan bound for China
    • Condition for Admission - Must possess a transfer ticket and stay in Korea within 15 days* List of the tourists must be submitted 24 hours in advance, must have a transfer ticket within 15 day of departure.
    • Eligibility and Period of Stay - Tourist/Transit (B-2), 15 days
  • (Jeju Transfer Group Passengers)
    Chinese group tourists arriving from China (including Hong Kong and Macao), admitted at the Incheon, Gimpo, Gimhae, Cheongju, Yangyang, Muan, or Daegu International Airport are allowed to stay for up to 5 days (Yangyang International Airport allowed to stay for up to 10 days) and are intending to travel to Jeju Island.
    • Condition for AdmissionMust participate in the transit tour programs operated by the appointed travel agencies and hold a confirmed ticket (flight or ferry/boat) for Jeju within 5 days (Yangyang airport: 10 days)
      * Allowed to stay for up to 5 days (Yangyang, 10 days) within the possible travel regions on the condition that the passengers intend to travel to Jeju Island and also agree on the operation of Transit Tour Guides
    • Eligibility and Period of StayTourist/Transit (B-2), 15 days

Regarding Jeju Transfer Group Passengers

Japanese tourists/travelers

  • An agreement was made between Korean and Japanese governments on March 1st, 2006 in the interest of reciprocity and encouraging individual interchanges between Korea and Japan. Based on this agreement, nationals of both countries whose purpose of travel is short term visit or tourism are granted visa exemption, so long as the following conditions are met.
  • Duration of stay: Up to 90 days
  • Purpose:
    - Tourism, business, attendance of a conference, private visit (relatives, friends, etc), or any such non-profit activities.

Special Entry arrangements for the Jeju island

  • Eligible foreigners
    - Nationals of all countries not allowed visa-free entry into Korea (save for the exceptions listed below) that enters via Jeju airport for tourism or transit.
  • Special entry arrangements for Jeju island is denied to nationals of the following 24 countries.
    -Ghana, Nigeria, Macedonia, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Palestine, Yemen, Gambia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Egypt
  • Duration of stay: Up to 30 days
  • Permitted area / range: Jeju island
  • Conditions of entry:
    - Those that arrive directly into Jeju island by flights or ships.

Re-entry permit holders

  • Registered foreigners with re-entry permit that enters Korea within the given re-entry date are allowed to enter without a visa.
  • Registered foreigners who are nationals of countries that are exempt from re-entry permit (listed below) may enter without a visa as long as it is within their initial period of sojourn.
    - France, Suriname, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Liechtenstein, and Germany

Holders of Passport issued by recognized international organizations

  • A staff of the United Nations or special organization who have a travel document, namely, LAISSEZ-PASSER issued by U.N. office is allowed to enter Korea without a visa and is granted to stay for 30 days.

APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC)

  • In order to facilitate smooth economic operations of economists, visa-free entry is permitted to those that meet the following conditions.
  • Eligible countries (18 countries as of October, 2009)
    - Korea, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Mexico.
  • Eligibility
    - APEC Business Travel Card holders are given Short Term Business (C-2) visa status, and are allowed to stay for up to 90 days.

Notice on Frequent Visitors Policy

The Frequent Visitors Policy will be revised as follows:

  • Application
    - Visit Diplomatic Mission (Need to submit the application form)
  • Eligibility
    - Nationals of countries (except for China, Cuba, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Syria) that are not granted visa-free entry into Korea, and have made more than 4 visits to Korea in the past 2 years, or more than 10 visits overall (must have 1 record of entry within the last 2 years)
    - Those who have not been fined more than 5 million KRW or received exit or deportation order in the past 3 years immediately preceding the date of application for overstaying or violating other National Law
  • Visa Issuance
    - Visa Type/ Duration of Stay: Short-Term General (C-3-1), 30 days, 5 year multiple-visa
    - Fee: Free of charge
  • Ineligible Countries : China, Cuba, Macedonia, Kosovo, Syria
  • Enforcement Date : 1 March 2017

* Foreigners who wish to enter the Republic of Korea under the Frequent Visitors Policy are required to visit a Diplomatic Mission and apply for the visa.