The Republic of Korea borders North Korea, Japan and China. Separated at the 38th parallel from northern Korea it is a truly remarkable country. The country has four distinct seasons, with a wet summer in the middle of the year, and a very cold winter from November to March. South Korea is a country swathed in green, prodding its stony fingers skyward, and the Koreans are people obsessed with nature.
South Korea is a highly developed, stable, democratic republic. It has a modern economy, and tourist facilities are widely available. English is often not spoken outside the main tourist and business centers and visitors need Korean translation. In the Korean bookstores one can buy a South Korea travel guide (Korean translation) or a Korean phrase-book.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS for visiting South Korea - Passport and onward/return ticket is required. Visa is not required for a tourist stay up to 30 days. For longer stays and other types of travel, visa must be obtained in advance ($45 fee). Tourist visa requires passport, 1 application form, and 1 photo. Business visa requires 1 application form, 1 photo and company letter (English and Korean translation). Fine imposed for overstaying visa holders and for long-term visa holders not registered within 60 days after entry. If applying by mail, enclose SASE or prepaid air bill. Vaccination certificate required if coming from infected area within 14 days of arrival in Korea. AIDS test required for persons working as entertainers and staying longer than 90 days.
VISA: Required by all except the following:
(a) 1. nationals of EU countries for touristic and business purposes for stays of up to 3 months (except nationals of Italy for stays of up to 2 months);
(b) nationals of Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominica (Commonwealth of), Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Grenada, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Romania, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Surinam, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago and Turkey for touristic and business purposes for stays of up to 3 months;
(c) nationals of Lesotho for touristic and business purposes for stays of up to 2 months;
(d) nationals of Tunisia for touristic and business purposes for stays of up to 1 month;
(e) 2. nationals of most countries, travelling for short-term touristic or transit purposes, are allowed to enter visa-free for a maximum duration of 30 days, provided holding confirmed onward or return tickets and proof of sufficient funds. This regulation applies to: Albania, Argentina, Australia (90 days), Brunei, Canada (6 months), Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Fiji, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (90 days), Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, New Caledonia, Oman, Palau, Paraguay, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Slovenia, South Africa, Swaziland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, USA, Vatican City, Venezuala and Yemen.
APPLICATION must be hand in to Consulate or Consular section at South Korean Embassy.
Application requirements: These may vary according to visa required and nationality of applicant. (a) Passport valid for at least 6 months. (b) Completed application form. (c) One recent passport-size colour photo. (d) Fee, payable by cash or postal order (but not cheque). (e) Stamped, self-addressed envelope, if applicable. (f) Proof of sufficient funds (a bank statement for £1000 if not working in the UK and a company letter if working in the UK). Short-term business: (a)-(f) and, (g) Substantiating documents for the activity of the applicant, letter of invitation from the host company in the Republic of Korea, business-related documents etc... (English and Korean translation). Short-term employment: (a)-(f) and, (g) Caree Document. (h) Employment contract. (i) A recommendation, official letter or other documents which prove the necessity of employment by the appropriate Minister of Department. Student: (a)-(f) and, (g) Standard admission letter for students, substantiating the educational ability and coverage of the expense of the applicant, issued by the president or a dean of the University. (h) Substantiating documents for researchers, including a reference, if applicable.
COST OF VISA:
Single-entry (up to 90 days): US$30. Single-entry (more than 90 days): US$50. Multiple-entry: US$80. Prolongation of Re-entry Permit: US$20. The same fees apply for both business and tourist visas. Group visa: valid for temporary visiting diplomats, conference participants, school excursions or other groups administered by the Minister of Justice, whereby a stamp is affixed only in the leader of the group's passport. Travelers are advised to contact the nearest Embassy/Consulate to discern fees and other details regarding the group visa.
Note: In addition to obtaining a visa, a Certificate for Recognition of Visa Issuance may be requested before applying for a visa to a Korean consulate abroad.
Time required for visa issue is 5 working days. The visa is valid for up to 3 months from date of issue, although this may vary. Applications for a residence certificate or for a stay of more than 90 days should be made to the Immigration Office in Seoul.