Those that fall in the following categories will be allowed to enter Korea without a visa.
- Countries under visa waiver agreements
- Designated visa-free entry
- Frequent visitors
- 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
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.
→ Find Countries under Visa Waiver Agreements with Korea
Designated visa-free entry
- Considering international convention, mutuality doctrine, national profit and other such factors, certain countries are granted visa-free entry permissions.
- 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
||Macau(90 days), Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman, Japan (90 days), Qatar, Taiwan, Hong Kong (90 days), Kuwait, BAHRAIN(90 days) 
||United States(90 days), Canada (6 months) 
||Guyana, Guatemala, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay 
||Monaco, Vatican, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Cyprus, San Marino, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia (90 days), Andorra, Croatia 
||Guam, Nauru, New Caledonia, Micronesia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Fiji, Australia (90 days), Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Tonga 
||South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Swaziland, Egypt (5)
- Countries that are granted visa-free entry for diplomatic and government official passport holders (2 countries)
- Applicable to all countries (save for China, Cuba, and Macedonia) that are not granted visa-free entry into Korea.
- Those who made more than 4 visits to Korea in the past two years, or more than 10 visits overall may enter Korea without a Korean visa as long as they have no Immigration offence or other criminal records.
※ Chinese nationals meeting the above requirements will be issued appropriate visas as per discretion of the Head of the local foreign office.
Transit tourists bound for another country
- Applicable to all countries (save for Macedonia, Cuba, Syria, Sudan and Iran) that are not granted visa-free entry into Korea.
- Those with a visa (excluding Japanses Group Visa) or a re-entry permit for U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia(A visa label has to be attached to a passport for e-visa holders), or New Zealand (5 countries) and traveling to any one of those countries through Korea.
- Those traveling from any one of the five countries mentioned above, whose final destination is not Korea.
- However, please note that the first bullet points are not applicable to those travelling to/from Guam and Saipan, which are unincorporated territories of the United States.
- 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
- 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
Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Rumania, Luxemburg, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Malta, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia, United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Czech, Cyprus, Portugal, Poland, France, Finland, Hungary ※ Not applicable to the following:
- Those being forcefully relocated back to China from Europe
- Those traveling through Europe as a part of a group tour
- Eligible person
- In addition to the existing eligible persons for the no-visa entry for transit tourists bound for third country, a foreigner who transfers at the Incheon International Airport to the home country or third country, and participates in the transit tourism program (hereinafter referred to as 'ordinary transit passenger'), except for a national of 11 countries with visa requirements for the Jeju Island (Ghana, Nigeria, Macedonia, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Kosovo, Cuba, Palestine)
- Among the existing eligible persons for the no-visa entry for transit tourists bound for third country, a foreigner who holds a Japenese group visa and participates in the transit tourism program
- A Chinese tourist group arriving at the Incheon International Airport or Gimhae International Airport who intends to travel to the designated areas (Incheon International Airport: the proximity of Seoul; Gimhae International Airport: the proximity of Gimhae) within 72 hours and go to the Jeju island afterwards by transferring to the domestic flight. - (Hereinafter referred to as 'group transit passenger to Jeju')
- For a group transit passenger to Jeju, a person must join a tour program of Korean travel agents that serve Chinese tourists groups only and that are designated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, and the Chinese travel agents in charge of a group visa application at the Korean embassy or Consulate General in China. Also, a group transit passenger must hold a domestic airline ticket to the Jeju Island in which a flight departs within 72 hours
- Ordinary transit passengers may stay in the proximity of Seoul for 72 hours at most if they hold airline tickets for transit.
- Eligible Visa and Period
- Ordinary Transit Passenger: Tourism & Transit (B-2) visa, within 72 hours
- Group Transit Passenger to Jeju : Tourism & Transit (B-2) visa, 15 days
* Conditions: (1) Person must enter Jeju within a period after staying in the proximity of Seoul or the proximity of Gimhae not exceeding 72 hours (2) Traveler must depart within the period of the permitted stay (3) Travelers must comply with the directions of the Transit Guide.
* Airport of departure: Transit passengers arriving at the Incheon International Airport must depart from either the Incheon International Airport, Gimpo International Airport or Jeju International Airport. Transit passengers arriving at the Gimhae International Airport must depart from either the Gimhae International Airport or Jeju International Airport.
* The designated areas: The proximity of Seoul refers to Seoul, Incheon and Gyeongi Province. The proximity of the Gimhae refers to Busan, Ulsan, Daegu and North and South Gyeongsang Province.
- 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
- 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 11 countries.
-Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, Syria, Macedonia, Palestine, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Ghana
- 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.
- APEC Business Travel Card holders are given Short Term Business (C-2) visa status, and are allowed to stay for up to 90 days.
< posted : 13/11, 2013 >