2021 will see the introduction of the first online visa for South Korea for travelers wishing to visit this beautiful country. Currently there are over 100 nationalities who are able to enter and travel around Korea visa-free. However, when the South Korean Electronic Visa becomes available, citizens of all the eligible countries will be able to submit an application and likely be granted an eVisa for Korea, thus avoiding the need to physically visit a consulate or embassy to request a traditional visa.
The South Korean visa waiver agreement list allows citizens from the named countries to enter South Korea without a visa for anywhere from 30 to up to 90 days depending on the nationality.
There are various different visas to suit the needs of each traveler, according to the different activities travelers can participate in while visiting South Korea. These include purposes such as business, religious or medical tourism. This page explains whether you need a visa for South Korea for transit if you are traveling from one country to another with a stopover or passing through Korea.
Do I Need A South Korean Visa to Transit Through Korea?
Depending on your nationality or the length of your stay, you may need to apply for a South Korea transit visa that will allow you to legally enter the country for a limited period to then exit through the same port to continue your journey.
In the case that your visit to Korea is going to last for less than 24 hours and you are going to be arriving at Incheon Airport, it is not necessary for most travelers to obtain a Korea transit visa. If you plan to arrive at a different airport, as long as the departure is planned for the same calendar day as the arrival and you do not plan to leave the transit area, there is also no need for a South Korea transit visa.
However, there are some travelers who will always need a transit visa to travel through Korea. These nationalities that are required to hold a South Korean visa for transit through Korea are:
With the introduction of an electronic travel authorization system, it may be possible in the future for all eligible citizens to apply for a South Korean visa for transit directly online.
Do I Need a South Korean Visa for a Connecting Flight?
The only nationalities that currently need a transit visa, even when remaining in the same airport and leaving on the same day are Egyptians, Sudanese, Syrians and Yemenites.
If your connecting flight takes you to and from Incheon Airport in Seoul and gives you a stopover time of more than 24 hours or takes you to another airport in Korea and does not leave the same calendar day or you wish to leave the transit area during your stopover, you may need to apply for a transit
visa depending on your nationality.
How to Apply for a South Korean Transit Visa
When the electronic visa for South Korea is available in 2021, travelers who are eligible and in need of a transit visa will be able to complete a quick and simple online Korea visa application form that will be screened upon submission by the relevant authorities before sending the approved eVisa to the applicant via email.
For the time being, there is a long list of countries whose citizens do not need to apply for a South Korean Transit visa if they are staying less than 30 days before continuing their journey. This list includes the countries of the EU, the US, Canada and Australia.
Other nationalities may need to visit a South Korean embassy or consulate before traveling.
Requirements for a Transit Visa for South Korea
To be sure of what is required for a South Korean visa for those in transit, all travelers should check the necessary documentation for a visa for South Korea so they can prepare the correct documents such as passport photos, bank statements, inbound and outbound flight tickets, etc.
Each nationality may need to present different documentation in order to be eligible for a South Korea transit visa or general Korea tourist visa, so all travelers are reminded to check out the relevant requirements depending on the type of visa they need to obtain before leaving their home country.