Every year, many Italians visit the diverse Asian nation of South Korea, whether to enjoy its impressive landscapes, learn about its rich history, or soak in the atmosphere of its capital city, Seoul.
Currently, Korean visa requirements state that Italians visiting the country temporarily, for the purposes of vacation and sightseeing, do not need to obtain a visa for South Korea.
This puts Italy into the same class as a large number of other countries whose citizens may enter South Korea visa-free for either 30, 90, or 180 days.
However, visa requirements for Italian citizens visiting the Republic of Korea will change starting in 2021, with the introduction of a new eTA, or electronic travel authorization system, by the Korean government.
Once this change has been implemented, Italians will need a visa waiver for Korea if traveling for tourism, although the application process will be fully electronic and will be much faster than for a traditional visa for South Korea.
Do Italian Passport Holders Need a Visa for Korea?
At the present time, Korea visa requirements for Italian citizens state that Italians entering the country for a stay of 90 days or less may do so without obtaining a Korean visa.
Italians intending to stay in Korea for longer than 90 days, or to work or study there, are currently required to obtain the appropriate visa type for their purpose by visiting a South Korean embassy or consulate.
From 2021 onward, however, South Korea will change its visa policy to require Italian tourists to obtain electronic travel authorization for Korea prior to departing on their trip.
South Korea’s eTA system has yet to be rolled out, and comprehensive details of the South Korean eTA conditions and terms for Italian citizens have not yet been provided.
Consequently, Italians considering an upcoming visit to South Korea should stay informed of new developments regarding the Korean eTA as they prepare for their trip.
Documents Required for the South Korean Visa From Italy
The primary item of documentation needed to fulfill the Korea requirements is a valid Italian passport, which must be valid not only when applying for the visa waiver, but also for no less than 6 months following the holder’s planned visit to Korea.
In addition to this prerequisite, anyone wishing to submit a Korean eTA application from Italy must also be able to provide the following:
- A valid email address (approved eTA confirmations will be delivered electronically)
- A functioning debit or credit card (necessary to pay the processing fee attached to the eTA application)
Italians who have fulfilled this documentation will simply need to complete a short, straightforward application form. Unlike the application process for other categories of South Korean visa, the eTA application can be completed entirely from the comfort of the Italian applicant’s own home or office and does not require a trip to a physical embassy or consulate.
Korean eTA Visa Waiver Application for Italian Nationals
The Korean eTA application for Italians is a simple form that requires applicants to enter a few basic items of personal information such as their name, address, and date of birth, along with their passport details, including passport number, date of issue, and expiry date.
There will also be some questions that ask for information connected to health and security. When filling in this form, applicants from Italy are encouraged to double-check the information they provide, as entering incomplete or inaccurate information can lead to a delay in the application being processed.
Once this application form has been successfully completed, Italian applicants will simply need to pay the processing fee in order to submit it.
South Korea eTA: Processing times for Italians
The processing time for the Korean eTA application for Italians is expected to be very short in most cases, and confirmation of approved applications will be delivered by email.
In rare circumstances, some applicants may be asked to provide additional supporting information for their eTA application. This can cause the processing of the application to take longer than usual.
As a result, travelers from Italy should plan to obtain their South Korean eTA visa waiver well before they depart for Korea, ideally, at least 2 weeks beforehand.
Applicants who successfully receive this confirmation should print a physical copy of the email in case they are asked to present it by Korean immigration officers when entering South Korea.
Italian nationals traveling to Korea with minors are advised that all travelers must obtain an individual electronic travel authorization in order to enter Korean territory, regardless of age.
Italian citizens who submit Korean eTA applications can trust that the application system itself is very secure and that neither their personal data nor their financial details will be visible to third parties at any point.