Many countries around the world have visa-free travel agreements with South Korea. However, as of May 31, 2022 tourists from 103 countries visiting South Korea must receive a K-ETA before departure. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about the K-ETA system.
What is K-ETA?
K-ETA stands for Korea Electronic Travel Authorization. According to the official website, The Korea Electronic Travel Authorization is so that visa-free foreign visitors can travel more conveniently by obtaining a K-ETA in advance.
Before, when visitors arrived at the airport they would go to an immigration counter. You would fill out an arrival card. Then, an officer would verify your information and you would have your picture taken. With K-ETA, all of this is done online before departure.
Most Importantly: It is mandatory and you must apply at least 72 hours before your flight.
Who Needs a K-ETA?
Anyone who is planning to come to South Korea without a Korean visa or citizenship will need K-ETA in order to board their flight. This includes tourists, those attending events, and people visiting friends and relatives.
There are currently 103 countries with visa-free entry agreements with South Korea whose citizens may need this authorization. Most EU countries, the United States, Canada, and Singapore are just some of the countries on the list. You can find a full list of countries by Clicking Here.
How to Apply
You Must apply for K-ETA entry approval at least 72 hours before boarding your flight!
To apply for K-ETA Click Here.
- 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.
- After submitting your application, you cannot change your information. If your information does not match your passport information exactly, your application will be rejected.
- If there is a public holiday or weekend, it might take more than 72 hours for your application to be approved. It’s better to apply early!
- There may be changes in policy, so stay updated before your flight. Click Here for the K-ETA notice board.