With its unique blend of history, modernity, and culture, South Korea is a popular tourist destination. More than 15 million foreign nationals visited Seoul, Busan, Jeju Island, and other places in South Korea in 2018.
In order to facilitate visiting the country, South Korea signed a visa waiver agreement with 117 countries, including Canada. Consequently, their nationals do not need a visa to visit South Korea for shorter stays with tourism or business purposes.
Canadian citizens who wish to engage in employment activities during their stay in Korea must obtain a work visa. There are several other types of South Korean visa available for longer stays, including study and residency visas.
In 2018, the South Korean government announced the launch of an electronic visa. It is expected to come into effect in a few months. As soon as the final list of eligible nationalities is published, qualified citizens will be able to apply for a South Korean eVisa.
The South Korea online visa application will be a modernized version of the current application process. It will be introduced in order to enable travelers to obtain a visa without having to visit an embassy or consulate. Visa processing times will also be significantly shortened.
Do Canadian Citizens Need a Visa for South Korea?
At the moment, Canadian nationals are free to visit South Korea for a period of 180 days at a time without a visa. Visa to South Korea for Canadian citizens is only required for longer stays. In order to apply for a Korean visa suitable for the purpose of their travel, Canadian passport holders must visit the Korean Embassy in Ottawa or one of the three consulates in other cities. With the introduction of eVisa, the entire application process will be done online.
Canadian citizens who intend to travel to Korea in the near future should regularly check the Korea Online Visa website for updates and news regarding the online visa.
Korea Visa Requirements for Canadian Citizens
The new online visa system will comprise several visa requirements for a Canadian visit to Korea. Basic Korea visa requirements for Canadian citizens will be the following:
- Have a valid Canadian passport
- Duly fill in the online visa form
- Have a valid debit or credit card for paying the visa fee online
Once the visa becomes available to the public, further Canadian visa requirements for Korea may be added to the above list.
Korea Visa Application for Canadian Passport Holders
Applying for a South Korea visa for Canadian citizens will be an easy online process. It will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Applicants will simply need to access the application form via the Korea Online Visa website and fill in several personal and passport details. These details include but are not limited to:
- First name and last name
- Date of birth
- Contact information
- Passport number
- Passport issue date
- Passport expiry date
It is imperative that all the information provided in the application form is correct and corresponds to that in the passport. If this is not the case, the application may be delayed and, in certain cases, denied.
Once the details are confirmed as correct, the candidate will be asked to pay the visa processing fee online. The traveler can then proceed with submitting the application. If the provided email address is accurate, the applicant will receive an immediate confirmation.
Korean visa approval for Canadian nationals is expected to take a short time. Applicants will, in most cases, receive a response in a matter of days. Although the entire process is electronic, it is advisable to print the visa. A paper copy of the eVisa is to be presented along with a valid Canadian passport at the Korean point of entry.
The validity of eVisa has not yet been determined. Along with other information, it will be available on the Korea Online Visa website in the coming months.
It is important to keep in mind that permission to stay in the country will not be guaranteed by the electronic visa. It is given at the Korean border at the discretion of the immigration officer.