South Korea visa process

Kanan Isazade29 May 20211188 views8 min. read
South Korea visa process

Famous Korean writer and activist Lee Hyeon-Seo said: "Breathing in South Korea, even though life here is not easy, makes me so happy. I feel that sitting in a coffee shop, having a cup of tea, and looking out of the window at the blue sky - this is happiness. Truly happiness". Lee Hyeon-Seo showed how she is happy in her country, and we can say that most South Koreans think like that. We can even see it on the list of the happiest countries in Asia. South Korea is one of the top countries on the list. 

If you have a desire to visit this happy, beautiful country and want to get information about the South Korea visa policy, then you are in the right place. In this blog, you will get answers to these questions and more: which are South Korea visa types, how long is South Korea visa processing time, what are requirements for South Korea visa, how to get a visa for South Korea, what is South Korea visa policy, how much is South Korea visa fee. 

General information about Korea

capital of south korea

Probably, most of you have already been informed about South Korea. Still, before starting to talk about South Korea visa and the South Korea visa process, I would like to give some basics. South Korea is a country in East Asia, forming the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and having a land border with North Korea. 2021 data shows that the population of South Korea is almost 52 million and approximately one-fifth of the population lives in the capital of the country, Seul. Other most populated and important cities of the country are Busan, Incheon, and Daegu. The official language is Korean, and most of the population identifies themselves as nonreligious (almost 56% of the population has no religion). What about the number of tourists? More than 17 million people visit South Korea per year. 

South Korea visa policy

flags of south korea

After getting some basic details about South Korea, it is time to talk about South Korea visa. Today, 110 countries can visit South Korea without a visa. On the other hand, 87 countries should apply for a South Korea visa to travel to this mesmerizing land. There are several South Korea visa types, and you can choose one of them depending on your purpose of the visit. We will mention all of them in the following parts. 

South Korea visa types

open passport

As we said before, citizens of 87 countries should take part in the South Korea visa process to visit the country. There are three types of visas depending on your purpose of the visit to South Korea. They are:

  • ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization)
  • Short-term visa
  • Long-term visa

Short-term visa also has nine various types. First of all, let's talk about ETA. It is for travellers from visa-free countries, and tourists will have a chance to apply for this since this year through the website. The documents that the applicant should provide are:

  • Application Form (via the Visa Portal)
  • Scanned Photograph Files of Passport Pages
  • Photo ( 3,5 x 4,5)
  • Travel Program

Also, you will pay a 40 USD ETA fee (it can change depending on nationality).

South Korea Short-term Visa


South Korea Short-term Visa is for people who want to stay for a limited time for various purposes (visiting friends, investing in public service, engaging in non-official sports games, attending events or gatherings, performing in performing arts, taking part in school, and so on). South Korea visa types (short-term) are:

  • South Korea Tourist Visa (For applicants planning to visit South Korea for tourism and sightseeing)
  • South Korea Business/Congress/Trade Fair Visit Visa (It allows its owner to join in business-related projects such as visiting meetings, conferences, and more)
  • South Korea Visiting Family and Friends Visa (Allows applicant to trip to South Korea to visit family or friends for a maximum of 90 days)
  • South Korea Cultural, Scientific, Sports Events Visa (Permitsapplicant to enter South Korea for cultural, scientific, sports events, and more)
  • South Korea Medical Treatment Visa (Allows an applicant to enter South Korea, ask, and receive medical treatment for their health condition maximum 90 days)
  • South Korea Official Visit Visa (Allows official visits to South Korea)
  • South Korea Journalist Visa (For people who are looking to gather news materials for a short period)
  • South Korea Employment (Short-term) Visa (For short-term work activities, which requires staying in South Korea momentarily)
  • South Korea Study (Short-term) Visa (Take part in trips to South Korea for study or educational training, requiring staying in Korea up to 90 days per half a year)

There are some general and specific details of all visa types. We will mention only common parts, and if you want to know more about them, you can check the visa policy section on our website. Requirements for South Korea visa include some documents and fees. The documents that the applicant must provide during the South Korea visa process are:

  • Application Form. Should fill in English or Korean and signed by the applicant (Parents should sign for people under 18. No need for parent sign in some types)
  • Passport. Valid for at least three months beyond the return date with at least two free pages.
  • Twp photos. Must be in the size of 3.5x4.5, colored with a light background. Do not smile in the photo. 
  • National Identity Card and Resident Permit/Visa Copy (if your residence and citizenship are different)
  • Photocopies. You should give a copy of the main page of your passport and earlier visas.
  • Flight Ticket Reservation. Ticket reservation should show your entrance date to South Korea
  • Proof of Accommodation. Valid hotel/accommodation booking/reservation with the full address (name, street, city, zip code, contact information, booking ref.
  • Means of Subsistence. Bank statements of the last three months, including cover letter, credit card, car registration, and so on (can be different depending on the purpose of the visit)
  • Some extra documents for people under 18
  • Some additional documents depending on your stay purpose (Invitation Letter, Guarantee Letter, Proof of Civil Status, Medical Certificate, Proof of Professional Status, Certificate of Journalism, and more)

What is the South Korea visa fee for the short-term? The payment for a short-term visa is between 15-55 USD. The charge can vary depending on your country. South Korea visa processing time for this type can last 5-30 days. 

South Korea Long-term Visa


Even if you are from one of the visa-free countries, you need to apply for a long-term visa to stay in South Korea for a long time. It will give you a chance to be a resident of the country in the future. There can be several reasons(working, studying, marriage) for such kind of applying. Types of long-term visa are:

  • South Korea Employment (Long-term) Visa
  • South Korea Study (Long-term) Visa
  • South Korea Family Reunion Visa
  • South Korea Marriage Migrant Visa

Also, if you want to receive a long-term visa, you must answer the requirements for South Korea visa and provide the necessary documents. Document kinds can vary depending on your purpose of staying in the country, but generally, you will be expected to provide these documents:

  • Application Form. Should fill in English or Korean and signed by the applicant (Parents should sign for people under 18. No need for parent sign in some types)
  • Twp photos. Must be in the size of 3.5x4.5, colored with a light background. Do not smile in the photo
  • Passport and Copy of the Main Page. Valid for at least six months beyond the return date with at least two free pages
  • National Identity Card and Resident Permit/Visa Copy (if your resistance and citizenship are different)
  • Flight Ticket Reservation
  • Proof of Financial Means (A personal bank statement indicating your financial movements at least three months, credit card, cash, traveler’s cheques, proof of employment, payslips)
  • Some specific documents depending on your purpose of applying (Proof of civil status, original employment letter from the applicant's company, medical insurance, knowledge of the language, documents attesting previous education, alien registration card copy of inviter, and more)

As there are four different long-term visa types, each of them has some special requirements. You can get more detailed information about all of them in the visa policy section of our website). 

How much is the South Korea visa fee for the long-term? The charge for long-term visa changes between 50-200 USD ( payment may differ depending on your origin ). Also, South Korea visa processing time for long-term lasts 10-60 working days. 

How to get a visa for South Korea?

visa application

Finally, it is time to answer the main question of our topic: How to get a visa for South Korea? First of all, you should decide which kind of visa you want to receive. After that, you can go to the nearest South Korea visa application centres, embassies, or consulates, whichever receives visa applications in your country of residency. Followingly, you can begin to collect the required documents. If there are not any of them in your country, you need to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate to your location.

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