Korea is growing in popularity as a vacation destination. The country is on the cutting edge of modern trends, yet still features well-preserved examples of the society’s ancient roots. From Buddhist temples and lush countryside to high-tech cities, there is so much to discover about South Korea.
In stark contrast to their northern neighbor, South Korea offers a pretty open policy for tourists. At the moment, the United States is one of the countries with a ‘visa exempt’ status. That means that American citizens can enter South Korea for up to 90 days without a Korean visa.
Do U.S. Citizens Need a Visa for South Korea?
United States passport holders are able to visit South Korea for up to 90 days without a visa. However, American citizens will need to obtain a Korean tourist visa for longer trips.
Currently, American travelers who wish to stay longer than 90 days in Korea will need to visit their nearest Korean embassy or consulate to apply for a longer-term Korea visa for U.S. citizens. However, the Korean Government plans to launch the Korean online visa process for visa applications later this year.
The entire process to obtain a Korea visa for US citizens will soon be possible online. The Korea visa application for U.S. citizens will require basic details such as passport information and trip itinerary. It will be essential that travelers apply for the Korea Visa from the US before they travel.
Korea Visa Requirements for Americans
In order to use the online Korea visa process, U.S. passport holders should review the Korea visa requirements for American citizens. At the moment, applicants should meet the following requirements:
- They must hold a passport which is valid for at least 6 months
- Travelers must submit a completed Korea visa application for U.S. citizens
- They must have a current email address where the approved electronic visa can be sent
- They must have a debit or credit card to pay the online visa fee
Korea Visa Application for U.S. Passport Holders
The Korea visa online application form will only take a few minutes to fill out. Once the online visa is available, travelers will not need to visit an embassy, wait in line, or fill out lengthy paperwork. The entire process will be handled online in a secure format.
There are three simple steps involved in obtaining a Korean online visa:
- Submit the online application form for the Korean visa for U.S. citizens
- Pay the visa fee online using a credit or debit card
- Receive the electronic travel document at the email provided on the application
The Korea visa application form is very simple. The traveler will need to fill out their basic information, such as name, address, and date of birth. The Korea visa application for American citizens also requires details about the passport such as passport number, date of issue, and date of expiration. There may be some additional questions on the application form once it is made available to the public.
Make sure all the information on the Korea visa application form is accurate. Any mistakes could lead to a delay in the approval process or even a denial of a visa. It is very important that the information on the visa and the information on the passport match each other exactly.
For trips lasting longer than 90 days, be sure to apply for the visa before traveling to Korea. It is a good rule of thumb to apply for the visa at least 2 weeks before the start of the trip.
What Happens During the Korean Visa Process for American Citizens?
Once the application has been approved, the traveler will receive their Korea Visa for U.S. citizens via email. Print the document on letter-sized paper and bring a few copies on the trip. It is possible that the immigration authorities will accept a digital version of the visa, but it is best to have a hard copy on hand. Travelers will be asked to show their visa upon arrival in Korea as well as upon departure.
Other Requirements for Americans Traveling to South Korea
Keep in mind that American citizens do not need a visa for trips to Korea which are shorter than 90 days. For longer trips, Americans must apply for a visa.
As long as travelers have the appropriate visa for their trip and a valid passport, and as long as the information on the visa matches the passport information, Americans are welcome to travel to South Korea.