Over 30,000 Spanish citizens visit South Korea each year, the majority being tourists who enter the country for leisure. Currently, they all can stay for as long as 90 days without the need of getting a visa.
However, the Republic of Korea is in the process of introducing an electronic travel authorization (eTA), which is a visa waiver meant to be available by the end of 2021. The Korean eTA will allow Spanish travelers to apply online and get the travel permit in a matter of days or even hours through an electronic application form that does not take more than a few minutes to be completed.
Passengers from Spain thinking of traveling to Korea are advised to learn about the most current South Korean eTA news in case any information is released or in case the visa policy to enter the country has changed.
Do Spanish Nationals Need a Visa to Visit South Korea?
At this moment in time, nationals from Spain can enter and travel around in South Korea without a visa.
However, this will change once the new Korean Electronic Travel Authorization has been introduced as Spanish citizens will then require a visa waiver. This modification in the terms of entry to the country is expected to occur by the end of 2021. More information regarding the Korean visa policy can be found.
In the case of Spanish nationals wanting to stay in Korea for longer than 90 days, they will need to obtain a South Korean tourist visa that allows them to remain in the country for an extended period.
The same occurs if citizens of Spain need to enter and stay in the Republic of Korea for other purposes (study, business, work, permanent residence): they will also need to learn about specific Korean visas that cover those reasons.
How to Apply for a South Korean Visa Waiver From Spain
Spanish applicants will need to fill out an online application form to obtain the Korean eTA, which contains several basic questions regarding nationals of Spain’s personal data, passport details, and routinary security and health-related issues.
Some of the data Spanish travelers will need to provide are the following:
- The reason for the Spanish travelers’ visit
- First name
- Date of birth
- Spanish passport’s date of expiration
- The date on which the passport was issued
- Mobile number
- Email address
- Passport number
- The purpose of traveling to South Korea
- Arrangements regarding their accommodation in the country
- Information regarding their flight
After this online application form has been completed and submitted, and the relevant eTA processing fees paid in full, applicants from Spain will be kept informed via email regarding the status of the visa waiver application.
If the Korean eTA has been successful, it will be sent by email to the address provided by Spanish visitors.
Citizens of Spain are advised to print out a copy of the Korean electronic travel authorization so they can present it when they arrive in the country.
Korean eTA’s Documents, Conditions & Requirements for Spain
Before completing the application form, Spanish nationals will need to abide by the Korean visa waiver requirements established by local authorities.
To do so, applicants from Spain will need to have and present the following information:
- A Spanish passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of arrival to South Korea, and at least two blank pages so there is enough room for stamps
- A Spanish applicant’s picture that follows the Korea eTA photo guidelines
- An accessible email address to receive relevant notifications and, if successful, the Korean visa waiver in PDF format
- A credit or debit card with enough funds to cover the South Korean eTA processing fee
In addition to these basic prerequisites, Spanish travelers should consider several other circumstances, such as:
- Children traveling to South Korea should complete an application also, which can be done by their parents or guardians
- Some vaccinations to Korea are recommended and dubbed optional, although they are not mandatory
- Overstaying a Korean eTA visa waiver can imply sanctions for Spanish travelers
- Not all items are allowed to Korea, which is paramount when facing border controls in the country
With all this information in mind, Spanish passengers can expect to apply for the Korean electronic travel authorization without any problem.
Traveling From Spain to South Korea: Trip Advice
Flying from Madrid, Spain to Seoul, South Korea takes over 10 hours, including transfers. However, before embarking it is necessary to learn more about the country’s culture. For instance, one of the first aspects that travelers from Spain see as different is Korea’s food and cuisine since it has very peculiar flavors and ingredients.
Another quick fact is the Korean cherry blossom phenomenon, which is dubbed special given the colors the pale pink petals provide to the cities and towns. During this time, worldwide passengers plan to arrive in the country, therefore, Spanish nationals are advised to plan their trip in advance.
With all this in mind, Spanish travelers will be ready to enjoy their trip with the appropriate travel authorization in hand.