Over 30,000 Europeans visit South Korea per month, many of them visa-free thanks to the current system in place, which allows several travelers to visit South Korea for tourism without applying for and receiving a visa before they arrive.
Belgium is one of the many countries whose citizens currently do not require a pre-approved visa from South Korean travel authorities. However, because of an update in the Korean visa policy system, the government will be introducing the South Korean eTA by the end of 2021, which will be offered to travelers from over 100 countries across the world.
Find out all about the new South Korean eTA for Belgian travelers below.
How Can Belgians Apply for a Korean eTA
Once the Korean eTA is launched, towards the later stages of 2021, the application process will be entirely online. This means that Belgian nationals will not have to visit a consulate or embassy. The eTA to Korea will act as a visa waiver, meaning border authorities will check that eligible Belgian citizens have obtained authorization for entering South Korea prior to arrival.
It is also important to remember that the South Korean eTA for Belgium will only apply to travelers who are visiting South Korea for 90 days or fewer. Should passengers require a work or other type of visa, the eTA does not cover their needs.
Belgian passport holders who are looking to apply for the South Korean electronic travel authorization can do so by filling out an application online and submitting it for review. The application will require each traveler from Belgium to provide basic personal information as well as some other details regarding security and travel history.
Below is a list of the information that Belgian travelers should be prepared to present while filling out the application form for the South Korean eTA.
- First and last name as it appears in the Belgian applicant’s travel documents
- Date of birth
- Passport number, date of issue and expiration date
- The purpose of the trip to South Korea
- Current place of residency
- Hotel accommodation for Belgians’ stay in South Korea
- Travel arrangements and flight plans
- Contact details
It is of the utmost importance that each passenger double-checks every item and piece of information that they have provided the South Korean travel authorities before submitting their application.
South Korean visa waiver: processing times for Belgian applicants
The expected turnaround time for a successful application for a South Korean eTA ranges from a few hours to a few days. During this wait, there is nothing Belgian applicants can do to expedite the process, so it is best to apply with plenty of time before the intended departure.
In the event that a piece of information is wrong, including an errant keyboard strike, South Korean travel officials will have the grounds to either deny or delay issuing the eTA. To avoid having any issues, it is recommendable that Belgian travelers take their time and double-check each section to avoid any delays.
Korea’s eTA Visa Waiver Requirements for Belgium
In addition to the information listed above, during the application process, each traveler from Belgium must be in possession of the following Korean visa waiver requirements in order to be issued a valid eTA and gain access to South Korea upon arrival in the country.
- A valid Belgian passport with a minimum of six months of validity from the date that the traveler enters South Korea. The passport must also have a minimum of two blank pages
- A valid debit or credit card to pay the application fee
- A passport-style photograph that was recently taken
- An accessible email address as all correspondence, including the issuing of the South Korean eTA, will be carried out over email
Belgians must note the Korean visa waiver application fee is non-refundable so it is important to submit correct, verifiable information.
In the case of Belgian children traveling to Korea, they will also need a visa waiver. However, it is important that travelers from Belgium are informed about possible changes in the requirements since the eTA to Korea might suffer new modifications to its eligibility criteria before its official launch date.
After the electronic visa waiver has been issued, citizens of Belgium must print out a hard copy and carry it with them to the border. South Korean border officials will want to verify that their information matches the one provided by Belgian visitors in an effort to stamp out fraud.
It is also recommended to carry print outs that verify Belgians’ accommodation and travel plans should border officials ask to see this information.