Visa & Passport
Visa restrictions: The Korean Immigration Service collects the biometric data (digital photo and fingerprints) of foreign visitors at ports of entry (international airports and seaports). Entry will be denied if any of these procedures is refused. Children under the age of 17 and foreign government and international organization officials and their accompanying immediate family members are exempt from this requirement.
- Citizens of Canada are allowed visa free entry for up to 180 days.
- Citizens of the European Union (except Cyprus, Portugal, and French territory of New Caledonia), Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Serbia, Singapore, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United States/American Samoa (Except Guam), Uruguay, and Venezuela can visit visa free for up to 90 days.
- Citizens from Lesotho, Portugal, and Russia can visit visa free for up to 60 days.
- Citizens of Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Cyprus, Fiji, Guam, Guyana, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, F.S. Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Oman, Palau, Paraguay, Qatar, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tonga, Tunisia, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates, and Vatican City can stay visa free for up to 30 says.
Hence, the citizens of most countries will receive a visa on arrival valid between 30 to 90 days. The official 'Hi Korea' site has the latest details.
Note that Jeju island is an autonomous province with more relaxed entry conditions than the South Korean 'mainland', allowing in everybody except citizens of 11 countries. Citizens from Afghanistan, Cuba, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Macedonia, Nigeria, Palestine, Sudan, and Syria can visit the Autonomous province of Jeju visa free for up to 30 days. Subsequently leaving Jeju for the mainland will automatically require you to have a visa for the rest of South Korea.
South Korea is really good at keeping electronic track of everyone coming and going, so do not overstay your visa. Violations will at best likely result in you being banned from re-entering, and prosecution is a possibility.
Military personnel traveling under the SOFA for South Korea are not required to possess a passport for entry, provided they hold a copy of their travel orders and a military ID. On the other hand their dependents must hold a passport and A-3 visa for entry.
Most foreigners staying longer than 90 days must register with the authorities within 90 days of entry and obtain an Alien Registration Card. Contact your local authorities for further information.