Every year, around 140,000 British nationals visit South Korea. British passport holders who would like to stay in South Korea for less than 90 days are not required to apply for a visa. The purpose of shorter travels is typically tourism, family visits, and participating in business conferences or short courses. Paid work in Korea is not permitted during a visa-free trip.
Similarly to many other countries, South Korea is currently in the process of introducing a new electronic visa system that will come into effect in the coming months. Detailed visa requirements for UK citizens to the Republic of Korea will be announced on the Korea Online Visa website shortly.
Do UK Passport Holders Need a Visa for Korea?
British passport holders are required to apply for a visa if they intend to stay in Korea for more than 90 days, to study or teach English for example. These travelers must visit the Korean Embassy in London or the consulate in Edinburgh in person in order to apply for a visa. However, the system is about to change with the introduction of an electronic visa. This brand new type of visa will eliminate any need for an embassy or consulate visit since the application will be done entirely online.
Full details of eVisa requirements, visa validity, and the list of eligible countries have not been published yet. Travelers to South Korea from the UK are, therefore, advised to regularly check the Korea Online Visa website for updates.
Documents Required for South Korea Visa from United Kingdom
Korea visa requirements for UK citizens include having a valid British passport, an active email address for obtaining information about the visa, and a valid payment card (either debit or credit) for paying the online visa fee. At the time of launching the eVisa, further South Korea visa requirements for UK citizens may be added to this list.
Korea Visa Application for British Citizens
Once the online visa is launched, the visa application procedure will be significantly simplified and shortened. The online application will take only a few minutes to complete. In addition, it will be easier to complete and submit applications for families or groups traveling together. Please note that each candidate, including minors, will still need to fill out a separate form.
The eVisa candidates will simply have to access an online Korean visa application form in English, fill in their personal and passport details, along with some basic information on their trip, and answer several security-related questions.
British citizens are required to travel to Korea on the same passport that they used for the application. That is why if the passport is bound to expire before the planned trip, the traveler must obtain a new one before applying for a visa.
After the information on the application form has been confirmed as accurate, the applicant will be asked to send a payment through a secure online system. All the payment and personal details provided are stored on a secure server and not accessible by third parties.
The visa approval will be sent to the email address indicated in the application form. Therefore, it is important to make sure that this email address is active. It is also essential that all the information the applicant provides is accurate to the best of his/her knowledge in order to avoid unnecessary delays in visa approval. British travelers to Korea are advised to apply for the visa at least 2 weeks prior to the travel in case any additional information is needed.
Although the new Korea visa will be electronic, it is recommended to print it out and present it along with the passport upon arrival in South Korea. It is important to note that Korean eVisa in itself does not guarantee entry into the country. This decision is up to the immigration officer at the Korean border.