With the lead time for processing South Korean visas being drawn out, people are having to rearrange plans or rush their preparations. The recent change of a few days processing time to a few weeks took a lot of people by surprise but don’t panic, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea recently announced on their website 3 ways for travelers to enter the country without a visa.
The website listed the following as circumstances that would merit a visa-free entry: (1) tourists in transit to third countries, (2) foreign transfer passengers; and (3) visitors to the Jeju area.
For the first, travelers transferring through Korea and holding a visa to enter the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or any of the 30 European countries who transit through Korea are eligible. According to the embassy, the condition of stay is a “confirmed flight ticket for departure within 30 days after entering Korea.”
The second affords travelers who are transferring through the Incheon Airport and taking part in the Transit Tourism Program visa-free entry. They must be on their way to a third country or their country of origin. These travelers will be allowed to stay in the Seoul Capital Area for up to 72 hours granted they are holding a valid transfer ticket.
Last on the list of exceptions are individuals making their way to Jeju Island. A little-known island in South Korea, Jeju does not require any entrance visa from most international travelers. Visitors may stay for up to 30 days without a visa on the island.
However, there are 24 listed countries that are not eligible for any of the aforementioned exceptions. These include Syria, Sudan, Iran, Macedonia, Cuba, Republic Of Kosovo, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Ghana, Yemen, Gambia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Cameron, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Egypt.
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