As of October 2022, covid tests are no longer required before traveling to South Korea. You may also enter the country regardless of vaccination status. However, if you enter the country and test positive upon arrival, you will be subject to a 7 day quarantine at your own cost. In addition, you must have a Q-CODE and tourists must apply for a K-ETA at least 72 hours before departure.
- No PCR or RAT required
- No Mandatory Quarantine for all international arrivals
- Masks are required indoors
- Q-CODE is Required
- K-ETA is mandatory for all tourists at least 72 hours before departure
Testing and Vaccination
There are no longer any testing or vaccination requirements to enter South Korea. Previously you needed a PCR or rapid antigen test before departure, and a PCR test after arrival. These requirements have been lifted and are no longer in place as of October 2022.
However, if you display symptoms upon arrival, you may be asked to take a covid test during screening.
No quarantine is required for those who do not display symptoms and do not test positive for covid-19 as of October 2022.
If you test positive, you will be taken to a government quarantine facility if you are not an ARC or Korean passport holder. You will be required to stay for 7 days and pay for your stay at the quarantine facility.
*Please note that if you are a tourist traveling to Korea without a visa, you will be required to have a K-ETA. You MUST apply for one at least 72 hours before your flight.
If you are an ARC or Korean passport holder, you can remain in quarantine for 7 days at your home. After 7 days, you can leave self-quarentine without any additional tests.
You will be required to have a Q-Code upon arrival. It is a self-health screening that is required upon arrival in South Korea. You can fill out a self-screening card upon arrival however, the health screening may take a lot of time. To ensure an easy entry, I highly recommend preparing your Q-Code ahead of time.
*As of October 2022, a Q-CODE is recommended, but not required for all passengers.
What is a Q-Code
It is a computerized generated code issued by Korean immigration Border control alongside with the disease control in order to basically alleviate the long queues at the airport trying to authenticate all arrivals PCR tests and vaccination records.
*****Note a Q-Code can ONLY be issued after having your negative PCR results in English or Korean.*****
Prerequisites for the issuance of this code:
- Valid passport (MANDATORY)
- E-mail address (MANDATORY)
- Airline ticket (Mandatory)
- Valid ‘Confirmation of COVID-19 PCR Negative Test Result’ or ‘Confirmation of COVID-19 RAT Negative Test Result’ (Optional)
- ‘Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination’ (Optional)
Then, click on “INPUT” at the top of the webpage.
- Consent to Terms and Conditions: On this page, you will be asked to select your continent. This is referring to the continent of the nationality on the passport you intend to enter Korea with. Note that most Central American and Caribbean countries have been put under the continent ‘ETC’ category.
- Input Your Email: Here you will be asked for your passport number and your email address.
- Input Your Passport Information: In this section, you will need to fill out detailed identifying information. Make sure it matches your passport exactly.
- Entry and Stay Information: The most important information in this section is the address of your stay in Korea and your contact number in Korea. Make sure you have the address and phone number of a friend or your hotel in Korea.
- Quarantine Information: Here, you can fill out your vaccination records (optional) and upload your negative covid test results (optional). For those vaccinated in Korea, you can enter your ARC or Korean ID number to link your records. The documents showing your negative test results will need to be in Korean or English. If they have been translated, they will also need to be notarized.
- Input Your Health Condition: In this step, you will be asked general health questions to see if you are currently showing any covid symptoms.
- Confirm the Input Information: This is the final step where you will be asked to verify that the information you provided is true.
Finally! At number 8, you should have your Q-Code in hand and be ready for your departure to Korea.
K-ETA: ONLY Required for Visa-Free Tourists
The K-ETA is only required for visa-free tourists. So, if you are coming to South Korea and did not have to visit the South Korean embassy beforehand, and you do not have a Korean passport, this is mandatory.
What is K-ETA?
The Korea Electronic Travel Authorization is so that visa-free foreign visitors can travel more conveniently by obtaining a K-ETA in advance.
Essentially, it is a system to register visa-free travelers in Korea. It is intended to help reduce wait times at the airport’s customs and immigration counters. However, it is important to note that as of May 2022, K-ETA is NOT OPTIONAL.
If you are from a country that has a visa-free travel agreement with South Korea, you MUST use the K-ETA service in order to enter Korea without a visa. If you do not apply have K-ETA approval, you will not be able to board your flight.
How to Apply for K-ETA
To apply for K-ETA Click Here.
You Must apply for K-ETA entry approval at least 72 hours before boarding your flight!
- Terms and Conditions Agreement: On this page, you will be asked to select your continent. This is referring to the continent of the nationality on the passport you intend to enter Korea with. Note that only nationalities with visa-free agreements can be found on the list. Once you select your nationality, agree to the terms.
- Email: Enter a valid email address and your passport number. Your K-ETA will be sent to this Email address so make sure it is correct!
- Enter Passport Information: In this section, you will need to fill out detailed identifying information. Make sure it matches your passport exactly.
- Enter Application Information: Here, you will have to upload a picture that will be used for facial recognition. Make sure there is good lighting and that your entire face is visible.
- Check Information: Next, confirm that the information you provided is correct.
- Make Payment: You will need to pay a K-ETA application fee of 10,000 won.
- Application Complete: Once your application has been submitted, it will be sent to Korean immigration for review. In most cases, within 72 hours you will get an email with your results.
Once you have a K-ETA, it is valid for two years.
I hope that this article can help you enter Korea in October of 2022! If your country doesn’t have a visa-free entry agreement with Korea, you may still be able to come to Korea without a visa! Click Here to read about visa-free entry to Jeju and Yangyang.