Details about visa for South Korea and customs information
IMMIGRATION AND VISAS
All travelers need a passport, except for the following:
- Travelers with a Laissez-Passer issued by the United Nations provided they are traveling on duty.
- Travelers with a Seaman Book provided they are traveling on duty issued only to Citizens of Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Liberia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, Spain, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Thailand, and Trinidad & Tobago.
- Travelers with a travel certificate issued to citizens of the Republic of Korea by a Korean embassy abroad.
- Travelers with Kinderausweis, a German identity document issued to children aged less than 16 years old.
- Travelers with documents given to refugees and persons without citizenship or nationality.
- Travelers with an identity document issued by Hong Kong (A Special Administrative Region of China).
- Travelers with a travel permit issued by Macao (A Special Administrative Region of China).
- Travelers with a certificate of identity issued by any country to citizens of any other country usually issued in emergencies.
Passports and alternative papers, or either of them, must be valid on arrival.
Citizens of the Republic of Korea returning to their country from abroad with expired passports should visit a Korean embassy or consulate to extend their passports’ validity or obtain new ones.
Before arrival: Travelers are kindly requested to contact the nearest representation of the Republic of Korea.
All travelers must hold a visa except the following:
1. Citizens of the Republic of Korea.
2. Travelers coming for business or tourism:
- Travelers staying for no more than three months for citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Netherlands, New Zeeland, Nicaragua, Panama, Romania, Slovak Republic, Singapore, Spain, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Peru, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey or the United States of America
- Travelers with British passports endorsed ‘British Citizen’ or ‘British national (Overseas),’ staying for three months.
- Travelers staying for three months for citizens of France except for those with passports issued in New Caledonia
- Travelers staying for no more than 60 days for citizens of Italy, Lesotho, and Portugal;
- Travelers staying for no more than 30 days for citizens of Tonga, Tunisia, and Tuvalu
3. Travelers coming for tourism only and:
- Staying for no more than six months for citizens of Canada
- Staying for no more than three months for citizens of Australia or Slovenia
- Staying for no more than three months for travelers with passports issued by Hong Kong (A Special Administrative Region of China)
- Travelers staying for no more than 30 days provided they
- Citizens of Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Kiribati, Kuwait, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Monaco, man, Palau Islands, Paraguay, Qatar, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Republic of Serbia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela, and Yemen Republic;
- Citizens of France with passports issued in New Caledonia
- Travelers with Chinese Taipei passports
- Travelers with passports issued by Macao (A Special Administrative Region of China) or travel Permit.
4. Citizens of Ecuador with diplomatic passports and traveling on duty.
5. Official or diplomatic passport passengers, provided they are:
- Austrian people remain for no longer than 180 days.
- People living in Pakistan or Vietnam for no more than three months
- Citizens of Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, India, or Ukraine staying for no more than 90 days
- Citizens of Indonesia, Lebanon, or Mongolia staying for no more than 30 days
6. Citizens of Iran with diplomatic, service, or official passports.
7. Travelers with diplomatic, service, or official passports provided they are:
- Citizens of Russia staying for no more than 90 days; extension is possible for another 90 days
- Citizens of Belarus staying for no more than 90 days
- Citizens of Cambodia staying for no more than 60 days.
8. Travelers arriving at Jeju International Airport and staying for no more than 30 days provided they are citizens of countries that are not listed above so long as they are
- directly arriving from abroad and proceeding to the Jeju
area for touristic purposes only; extension to mainland Korea is only allowed
if permission is obtained from the district immigration office at Jeju in
- directly departing from Jeju to a third country on a direct international flight within 30 days; and
- bearing tickets with confirmed reservations and other documents for their next trip abroad. However, this does not apply to:
- Citizens of Afghanistan, Cuba, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan or Syria
- Travelers with documents issued by the Palestinian authorities.
This facility is available provided:
- Travelers are participating in an international event hosted by Jejuâ€™s governor and bearing a letter of invitation issued by the Chief of the Jeju Island Immigration Officer; or
- Travelers are immediate family members of a foreign citizen registered with the Jeju immigration Office letter of invitation issued by the Chief of the Jeju Island Immigration Office; Or
- Travelers have a certificate of invitation issued by the Chief of the Jeju Island Immigration Office for members of a tourist group of more than five people; the Jejuas governor may invite this group; travel agencies chosen by the Korean government, or the Korean Association of travel agents; or by Jeju’s Tourist Association; or
- Travelers have no records of immigration offenses and have visited the Republic of Korea more than three times since January 1, 1996, or one time since January 1, 2006. They have permanent residence in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, or the United States of America.
9. Travelers with a re-entry permit issued by the Republic of Korea
10. Travelers with a Business Travel Card issued by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation accompanied by a national passport provided the back of the card must state that it is valid for travel to the Republic of Korea.
TWOV (Transit Without Visa)
TWOV is permissible for travelers continuing their trip to a third country on the same day, provided they do not leave the transit area.
1. Visa exemptions may be awarded to travelers who have any visa, re-entry permit, or proof of residence issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zeeland, the United States of America provided:
- They are
traveling to or from one of the countries mentioned above; and
- They have not carried out any illegal activities or taken a job within Australia, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zeeland, the United States of America; and
- They have confirmed onward tickets for flights leaving within 30 days; a return ticket to the previous destination is not accepted; and
- They have all documents necessary for their next trip.
- However, such rules do not apply to Citizens of the People’s Republic of China, Cuba, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
2. Visa exception may be given to travelers who have formerly entered the Republic of Korea at least four times within the previous two years or at least ten times in total (Stamps could prove this in passports or certificates issued by diplomatic representations of the Republic of Korea), and have not committed any immigration offenses. However, such rules do not apply to:
- Citizens of the People’s Republic of China, Cuba, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
3. Visa exemptions may be given to citizens of the People’s Republic of China staying for no more than 30 days provided:
- They have any visa, re-entry permit, or proof of residence issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zeeland, U.S.A. or temporary working visa issued by the United States of America; or
- They have a visa for any European Economic Area member country or Switzerland.
- In both cases, travelers must be traveling to or from one of the countries mentioned above; they have confirmed onward tickets (A return ticket to the previous destination is not accepted) and have all necessary documents for their next trip. Yet, this does not apply to travelers or deportees who returned from Europe.
4. All travelers must have:
- all documents required for their next trip; and
- enough money to cover the expenses of their stay; and
- a contact address in the Republic of Korea.
If travelers do not respect entry regulations, the transporting carrier will have to pay a fine of no more than KRW 10,000,000 or equivalent in USD (6,244). Travelers who will use the TWOV facility due to their fault or that of the transporting carrier will be deported at once, and the transporting carrier will be fined.
CUSTOMS AND FOREIGN EXCHANGE
1. Permitted Goods:
- Travelers aged more than 19 years old are allowed free import of 250 grams of tobacco products; 50 cigars; or 200 cigarettes;
- Travelers aged more than 20 years old are allowed free import of one bottle of alcoholic drinks that does not exceed one liter;
- Travelers are allowed free import of 60 milliliters of perfumes;
- Travelers are allowed free import of gifts up to a value of USD 600, not including the articles mentioned under the items a, b, and c mentioned above. All valuable objects must be reported in a customs declaration form.
2. Prohibited Goods:
- When coming from countries with outbreaks of avian influenza or other infectious animal diseases: chickens, chicken meat, and all other animal goods such as pork, sausages, cattle, etc. The list of countries barred from importing, which differ based on the occurrence of disease.
- Plants and their products require a phytosanitary certificate issued by the plant quarantine office of the home country.
- Import of weapons, firearms, and ammunition, even for sporting purposes, requires permission from the police to be obtained before clearing customs; such articles must be declared on arrival.
All luggage will be examined only via a verbal declaration. Prohibited goods include Korean antiques and distinctive articles unless a certificate issued by the Minister of Culture and Information is attached.
1. Dogs and Cats may be brought in without being kept in quarantine if they are accompanied by a health certificate issued by the Quarantine Authority or by a Veterinarian and if they are only imported from the following countries: Australia, Chinese Taipei, Cyprus, Fiji, Guam, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, New Zeeland, Portugal, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (Hawaii and American Samoa).
Dogs and Cats from other countries may be brought in without quarantine if the following conditions are met:
- Suppose the imported pet is under 90 days old. In that case, the health certificate issued by the quarantine authority or the veterinarian should indicate that the pet is healthy and has shown no infectious disease symptoms.
- Suppose the imported pet is older than 90 days. In that case, the rabies vaccination date should be clearly stated in the quarantine certificate or the certificate of vaccination against rabies issued by a quarantine authority or by the veterinarian. Besides, entry to South Korea should be at least 30 days from the date of vaccination. If the pet enters South Korea after 30 days from the date of vaccination, and no health problems are observed upon examination, there is no need to keep it in quarantine. If the pet enters South Korea within 30 days from the vaccination date, then there is no need to keep it in quarantine until the 30-day immunity formation period has been completed.
- All cats imported from Australia must remain in quarantine for 21 days. The same rule applies to dogs and cats imported from Malaysia. For further information on exemptions and other rules, please contact the Korean Quarantine Office.
- Importing no more than four dogs or cats is allowed without permission in advance. If the traveler wants to bring in more than four animals, he/she should submit an import permit form to the Korean Quarantine Office at the airport of arrival.
2. Birds imported from the People’s Republic of China or Italy are prohibited. Importing birds from other countries are governed by various complicated rules that change from one country to another according to the required health standards. For further details, please contact the Korean Quarantine Office. Pets may enter as traveler’s luggage, as cargo, or in the cabin.
Baggage Clearance regulations
A traveler’s luggage should be cleared at the first airport of entry in the Republic of Korea; this takes one hour on average. Crew members clear their luggage at a separate customs counter.
Travelers are not required to pay any airport tax upon their departure from the airport.
Currency Import regulations
- Residents are allowed to import local currency (Korean Won-KRW) up to KRW 8,000,000, and foreign currencies up to USD 10,000 provided the traveler is aged 20 years old or more.
- Non-residents are allowed to import local currency (Korean Won-KRW) up to KRW 8,000,000, but there are no restrictions on foreign currencies provided the imported sums are declared on arrival. Sums higher than the equivalent of USD 10,000, including traveler’s cheques, must be accompanied by a ‘Declaration of Foreign Currencies’ form. Whether in cash or traveler’s cheques, sums more outstanding than USD 10,000 or their equivalent in international currency can be confiscated if they are not reported. The traveler may be fined by local rule.
No declaration is required from diplomatic missions, United States military personnel, and travelers coming on official duty. Money exchange must be carried out only at an authorized agency approved by the Korean Government.
Currency Export regulations
Local currency (Korean Won-KRW) is granted access to KRW 8,000,000 and foreign currency up to the amount proclaimed.
Additional information on regulations
- Travelers whose luggage will arrive on a later flight must make a declaration to the customs and obtain a ‘Clearance Record of Accompanied Luggage’ upon entering.
- Luggage entering the Republic of Korea can be checked only at the first international airport. It must clear customs first if the final travel continues by a local carrier within the Republic of Korea. The luggage will then have to be checked at the final destination on departure.
Luggage of transit travelers whose destination is outside of the Republic of Korea provided the next flight is on the same day.