South Korea

South Korea ETA application, requirements, price, and processing time

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Did you know South Korea has the same travel authorization system as the United States of America? While the US has an electronic system of travel authorization (ESTA), the South Korean government offers an electronic travel authorization (K-ETA).

Although you can apply for a regular paper visa to enter Korea, it's recommended to apply for an e-visa instead. This is because getting an e-visa is both convenient and fast. Unlike a traditional visa, foreign nationals can apply for an ETA from the comfort of their home!

What Is An Electronic Travel Authorization?

South Korea has started the visa waiver program that allows foreign citizens to enter the country without a traditional visa. Instead of applying for a regular visa, travelers can now apply online for an ETA or electronic travel authorization!

An ETA is an electronic visa that allows a holder to enjoy all the rights of a regular Korean visa. You can use this document to enter the country whenever you want. From September 2021, the Republic of Korea has made a K-ETA mandatory, meaning travelers won't be allowed to board the place until they have an ETA (unless they have a valid visa).

Validity Period

A Korean ETA is valid for up to 2 years. It is a multiple-entry travel document that allows a holder to stay in the country for 30 consecutive days. An ETA holder can visit the country for both tourism and business purposes, including:

  • Visiting friends and family members

  • Exploring the country

  • Attending business meetings and conferences

  • Meeting with business associates

Required Documents

Before you apply for a K-ETA, you must fulfill some visa requirements. You need a few documents to ensure a smooth visa application process. 4 of the most basic documents that an applicant requires to apply for a Korean ETA include:

  • Valid Passport - A valid passport is mandatory. You need to make sure your passport has at least 6 months of remaining validity period as well as 2 blank pages for stamps.

  • E-mail Address - To get an ETA, you'll need a valid and active email address. Your email address will be electronically linked to your passport. Upon approval, you'll receive your ETA via email!

  • Passport-Type Photograph - Applicants are required to provide their digital passport-style photograph, preferably taken within the last 6 months.

  • Online Payment Option - As this entire process is streamlined, you'll need online payment options to get a Korea ETA. You can use a debit card, credit card, or PayPal account to pay the ETA application fee.

Besides these, foreign passport holders traveling to Korea might require some additional documents, depending on the purpose of the visit, such as an invitation letter, business card, health declaration form, and so on.

Therefore, it's recommended to visit VisaHQ and select your citizenship to determine the Korea ETA requirements for your country!

How To Apply For A South Korea ETA?

K-ETA has been introduced to make the visa application process more convenient and faster. Applying for an ETA is a straightforward process. No need to visit the nearest Korean embassy located in your country. No need to schedule a visa interview. All you need to do is visit VisaHQ and follow the following three steps:

  1. Fill out your ETA application form

  2. Pay the visa fee

  3. Submit your application with supporting documents

The supporting documents vary from country to country. So, make sure you check out the Korean ETA visa requirements for your country. Afterward, you'll get your ETA via email!

K-ETA Application Form

Your visa application form is the most important document to apply for an ETA. If there are issues with your application, your ETA will be delayed or denied. Therefore, double-check all the provided data before you submit your application online.

To fill out the ETA application form, applicants are required to provide personal, contact, travel, and passport details, including:

  • Full name

  • Nationality

  • Date of birth

  • Email address

  • Phone number

  • Home address

  • Passport number

  • Passport issue and expiry date

  • Travel plans

Depending on your purpose of visit or country, you might need to answer some personal and security questions as well!

Processing Time

Generally speaking, the average processing time for a Korea electronic travel authorization is 2-3 weeks. However, if there are issues with your application, your ETA might be delayed.

It's recommended to apply for Korea ETA at least 2 months prior to the intended departure date - especially if you want to visit Korea during high seasons in winter and summer.

Furthermore, keep in mind that an ETA does not guarantee your entry into the country. The final decision will be made by the immigration officials. Currently, 102 countries are eligible for K-ETA. So, make sure to check out the eligibility criteria before submitting your application!

South Korea Visa Policy

South Korea has an active immigration policy that regulates the immigration of foreign nations coming for short or long-term visits and residency. Under the current policy, visitors coming from other countries require visas unless otherwise stated. The country has visa waiver agreements with a host of countries which allows their citizens to visit South Korea for short trips without needing visas. However, those not from visa-exempt countries or all visitors coming for study, employment, diplomatic missions, and residency must obtain a visa before entering the country.

There are two ways to apply for legal entry into the country. One option is to visit the South Korean consulate in your country to apply for a long-stay visa. This option is immigration visas that last for one year or more. The second option is to apply for electronic travel authorization if you are coming for a short visit that will last for six months or less.

The South Korean Electronic Travel Authorization

South Korea has an online travel authorization called the South Korean ETA. This program. It was introduced in 2017 by the government for visa-free visitors, and it became mandatory in September 2021 for all visitors from visa-exempt countries coming for tournaments, business, and transit. Currently, there are more than 110 countries on the visa-exempt list, and these nationals are eligible for K- ETA, as it is popularly called.

This travel document is valid for 2 years from the day it is issued and it is a multiple entry visa.  This means that you can travel to South Korea multiple times as long as the ETA is valid but note that it will expire once the passport it is attached to expires.

The number of days you can stay in the country depends on your nationality.  While Canadians can stay for up to 180 days, other nationalities vary from 30 days to 90 days.

Note: South Korea ETA list is ever evolving as new countries are added and some taken out. Always consult the eligibility list before applying.

Temporary Visa Exemptions for South Korean ETA

Starting from April 1st, 2023, until 31st December 2024, the South Korean government has removed the mandatory requirements for selected nationalities to require ETA before entering the country. This exemption is specially put in place for visitors coming to celebrate the Visit Korea Year. The eligible nationalities who can visit South Korea can enter the country without ETAs to celebrate the national feast but after this period, this document will be requested for entry.

Key Information About South Korea ETA

It is Not A Visa: First and foremost, you should know that this travel document is not a visa and should not be treated as such. It is simply a permit that allows eligible visitors to enter the country without the need to visit the embassy for a consular visa. This permit was designed to decongest embassies and ease travel.

Only For Visa Exempt Nationals: The ETA program is designed for nationals who come from recognized countries under the visa waiver program. Although they are visa exempt, they still need an ETA before they can enter the country. If you are still determining your eligibility, consult the eligibility list at the top of this page to be sure.

Not For Residency: Note that, unlike consular visas like work, study, and residency visas, ETAs are nonresidential visas issued for only short visits. If you wish to stay for more than the approved days or you wish to work or study, you should get a Consular visa instead.

Use Approved Routes: South Korea ETA can only be used to rent the country through approved airports. As for the transit visa, international travelers must use Incheon International Airport only, as this is where the document is recognized. You will likely be denied entry if you use a different airport.

Not Transferable: The ETA can’t be used by more than one person. The standard rule is one person per ETA. Minors are also expected to have their own authorizations before they can be allowed into the country. Parents must provide Civil Status documents like a birth certificate to prove their parental status, while guardians must provide a proof of parental consent letter signed and verified by authorities in their countries that they have the permission of the child’s parents to bring them for the trip. These documents are required to combat child trafficking.

Not For Work: The South Korean ETA is not for employment, so you are not allowed to work during your time in the country. This document is only for short-term, tourist, business, or transit visitors. If you want to work in South Korea or have secured employment with an employer in the country, you should apply for a work visa instead by visiting the embassy or consulate in your country. Your employer may also assist you with the process.

Leave Before Your Visa Expires: Make sure you leave before your visa expires. To be on the safe side, mark the date of your visa or the last day of grace for visits and endeavor to leave the country on or before the day. It is a gross violation to overstay, and violators will be fined before they can leave or, in the worst cases, banned from entering the country outright.

Linked To Passport: Your ETA is linked to your passport so endeavor to travel to South Korea with the same passport you used for the application. Your passport number and biometric details is what will be used to generate your ETA data at the port of entry. If you travel with a different passport you will not be allowed into the country on grounds of not having a valid entry document. So make sure you travel with the same passport and if yours will expire soon apply for a new passport before the ETA.

South Korea Visa Online – Get your South Korea e-Visa with VisaHQ

Are you looking to travel to South Korea anytime soon? Do you want a stress-free visa application method? VisaHQ is exactly the platform you need for your online visa applications. If you are eligible for an online visa or electronic authorization, you don’t have to visit the South Korean embassy in your country; from the comfort of your home, you can fill out and submit an online application form, and you are good to go.

How To obtain A Visa With VisaHQ

ETA applicants can apply for an electronic travel authorization for South Korea with Visa in a few steps as outlined below.

Fill out The Form: The first thing you must do is navigate to the application page, select the visa you want, and fill out the form appropriately. This form contains sections for travel Itinerary information, passport, and personal information. Endeavor to complete the form with accurate information.

Upload Documents: Since it is an online application form, you don’t have to submit hard documents, as only soft copies will be required. Upload all the required documents, pay the application fee with your card, and submit for approval.

Get The Visa: The process can take 24-72 hours before you receive it in your inbox.

Why Use VisaHQ?

VisaHQ is the best option if you are looking for a smooth and secure platform for your online visa and ETA applications. As long as you are from an eligible country and your documents are up to date, you can get your application approved. Our platform is

  • User friendly
  • Secure
  • A great option for applying for multiple visas
  • A source of technical support when required

We are present in 6 countries across two continents and have the experience to ensure your application is successful. Visit our application page now to submit yours now.


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