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South Korea visa-exempt: Who doesn’t need a South Korean visa or ETA?
iVisa
3 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Travelers around the globe have long been captivated by South Korea's unique blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity.

Fortunately, for citizens of many countries, traveling to South Korea is made easier through visa exemptions and the Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) system.

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South Korea has established visa exemption agreements with several countries, allowing for hassle-free visits for tourism, business, or visiting relatives. This arrangement not only simplifies the travel process but also fosters a spirit of openness and cultural exchange.

Find out if you need a visa or ETA, or are visa-exempt to visit South Korea in this article.

Which nationalities are visa-exempt for South Korea?

Visa exemptions for South Korea are primarily based on bilateral agreements or specific visa policies designed by the South Korean government.

Here's an overview of visa exemptions, offering travelers up to 0, 60, or even 90 days of stay without a traditional visa. However, keep in mind these rules and regulations can change quickly, use our handy visa checker for the latest info.

Visa-free entry for 6 months: Canada*

Visa-free entry for 3 months:

  • Belgium

  • Greece

  • Liechtenstein

  • Luxembourg

  • Malaysia

  • Mexico

  • Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • Suriname

  • Switzerland

Visa-free entry for 90 days:

  • European Union member states, except Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Argentina

  • Australia

  • Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Botswana

  • Brazil

  • Chile

  • Colombia

  • Costa Rica

  • Dominica

  • Dominican Republic

  • Ecuador

  • El Salvador

  • Grenada

  • Guam

  • Guatemala

  • Haiti

  • Hong Kong

  • Iceland

  • Israel

  • Jamaica Japan

  • Kuwait

  • Macao

  • Morocco

  • Nicaragua

  • Norway

  • Panama

  • Peru

  • Qatar

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis

  • Saint Lucia

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Serbia

  • Singapore

  • Taiwan

  • Thailand

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • Turkey

  • United Arab Emirates

  • United Kingdom

  • United States

  • Uruguay

  • Venezuela

Visa-free entry for 60 days:

  • Lesotho

  • Russia

Visa-free entry for 30 days:

  • Albania

  • Andorra

  • Bahrain

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Brunei

  • Cyprus

  • Eswatini

  • Fiji

  • Guyana

  • Honduras

  • Kazakhstan

  • Kiribati

  • Marshall Islands

  • Mauritius

  • Micronesia

  • Monaco

  • Montenegro

  • Nauru

  • New Caledonia

  • Oman

  • Palau

  • Paraguay

  • Samoa

  • San Marino

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Seychelles

  • Solomon Islands

  • South Africa

  • Tonga

  • Tunisia

  • Tuvalu

  • Vatican City

Understanding South Korea's visa-exemption policy

The visa exemption policy is part of South Korea's broader initiative to encourage tourism, business exchanges, and cultural interaction.

Travelers benefiting from this policy can engage in various activities, including tourism, family visits, and business-related travels, without the need for a visa. However, like most countries with visa-free access, you still need a travel authorization, also known as an ETA, to visit the country.

K-ETA: A step towards simplified travel

For nationals of visa-exempt countries, entering South Korea goes hand-in-hand with the introduction of the Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA).

An ETA is a basic travel document, different from a visa, to make sure the country is prepared for your arrival. During the registration process, you’ll have to submit your contact and passport details, travel itinerary, accommodation details, and more.

The pre-entry ETA registration process is quick, user-friendly, and can be completed 100% online, making travel preparations even smoother for eligible tourists.

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When to apply for a South Korea K-ETA?

You’ll usually receive your ETA within a couple of days after application, and you must apply at least 24 hours before departure.

Just to be sure, we always recommend getting all your travel documents in order at least a week before departure.

Do I need a South Korean ETA when transiting in the country?

No, transit passengers not entering South Korea (staying in the international transit side of the airport) don’t need to have a K-ETA.

If you require a visa for South Korea, the rules for transit may differ. Reach out to your nearest South Korean Embassy or Consulate for more info.

Need more info about South Korean visa rules?

Reach out to our customer service team via online chat or WhatsApp. We’re happy to assist!

Disclaimer
  • iVisa is NOT affiliated with any government agency. This site does not provide legal advice and we are not a law firm. None of our customer service representatives are lawyers and they also do not provide legal advice. We are a private, internet-based travel and immigration consultancy provider dedicated to helping individuals travel around the world. You may apply by yourself directly on the various government websites. The source of information: https://www.immigration.go.kr/immigration_eng/index.do
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