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Americans No Longer Need Travel Authorization To Visit This Popular Asian Destination

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Traveling to South Korea just got a little easier for tourists from a select list of countries, including the United States.

Like most countries, South Korea was hit hard by the pandemic. With its eyes set on the future, the trendy Asian destination wants to boost its tourism numbers in any way it can.

seoul south korea skyline

The country has set a goal to attract 10 million visitors to their country within a year. In order to do so, they have generated new policies, which are set to begin later this week.

Travelers with certain passports will no longer have to go through the process of filling out online documents to be able to enter South Korea.

The country’s Ministry of Economy and Affairs believes removing fees and travel permits is the first step to creating a seamless entry process to become more appealing to tourists.

No More Permits Or Fees For 22 Passports

Travelers from 22 countries chosen by the South Korean government will no longer have to pay a fee or fill out online forms to receive authorization to enter the country.

south korea immigration sign

The following countries are approved to bypass these steps:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Macau
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

South Korea came up with this list of low-risk countries that are typically “quite low” in rejection rates at Customs, according to the Ministry of Economy and Affairs.

Formerly, travelers would have to apply for a travel permit through the Korea Electronic Travel Authorization portal (more commonly known as K-ETA) to receive a passport stamp. 

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traveler with passport and visa application

As of April 1, this will no longer be a requirement for visitors from the above countries as long as their visit is directly related to tourism, such as sightseeing and going to documented events.

This temporary waiver is set to end on December 31, 2024, unless an extension is announced before then.

Travelers from countries who are not included in the list of 22 countries must continue to go through the K-ETA process at least 3 calendar days before entering South Korea.

What These Changes Mean For Transit Visas

Reaching South Korea will continue to get easier as the country plans to increase the number of International flights to match pre-COVID frequencies. 

korean air plane

Passengers from America can already fly there fairly reasonably through major hubs such as Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles, to name a few.

Those who are just passing through, or want to stay a short time, will also benefit from the new entry changes.

The government has selected 34 countries, including the United States and many European nations, to be fully exempt from past transit visa requirements.

This updated policy will allow passengers from all 34 nations to stay up to 30 days in South Korea hassle-free. 

traveler at temple in south korea

Many other Asian countries will also benefit from these changes, but they will not mirror the same results. A visa may still be required with separate eased conditions.

How Else Americans Can Benefit From South Korea’s Tourism Efforts

Exploring vibrant cities like Seoul or going off path to stunning destinations such as Jeju Island are great ways to experience Korea. 

Outside of Korea’s amazing food scene and other-worldly culture, Americans can reap the benefits of their lofty goal of gaining millions of tourists.

jeju island in south korea

Those in charge of boosting tourism want to add some unique cultural experiences by offering a variety of tour packages, which may include:

  • Korean alcoholic beverages, such as sake and soju
  • Food tours, specifically related to beef and seafood
  • Insight into the medical service industry

Foreign visitors should also expect more duty-free shops and discounted deals, especially this May. That’s when various events will be held at the duty-free festival.

pouring soju

For those into the Korean pop music scene (K-pop), there will be multiple noteworthy concerts scheduled between the months of May through October, including the Seoul Festa event in April.

There will also be a large-scale concert held in the city of Busan in May.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Do not put photos ppl wear mask@ enough is enough

Friday 31st of March 2023

Yes, fake pandemic hit very hard!!!


Friday 31st of March 2023

@Do not put photos ppl wear mask@ enough is enough, yup...South Korea is uber nation of dufuses, still mask around.