Turkish passport holders who want to travel to South Korea do not need to apply for a visa beforehand. That is set to change by the end of 2021 with the introduction of the Korean electronic visa authorization (eTA) for Turkey.
The Korean eTA is a visa waiver that will be mandatory for all the countries that are currently visa-free, including Turkey.
Although more details are yet to be revealed, it is known that Korea’s visa policy is making these changes to provide stronger, safer processed for both border authorities and international passengers traveling to the Republic of Korea.
How Will Korea’s eTA Work for Turkish Nationals?
The South Korean eTA will require Turkish citizens to fill out a quick and simple application form online and receive pre-approval before traveling. The application will ask that applicants provide basic information they would normally submit during a typical tourist visa application process.
The Korean eTA will only be available as a visa waiver for stays of up to 90 days and is not applicable for citizens of Turkey wishing to relocate to South Korea in the long term. Should any Turkish traveler wish to stay longer, they will need to apply for a South Korean tourist visa.
Although the new online visa program is intended to be straightforward, Turkish visitors must take their time when filling out the application.
Korean eTA’s application form for Turkish nationals
The South Korean electronic travel authorization application form, which will be filled out entirely online, asks travelers from Turkey a variety of questions regarding their personal details, as well as further questions related to their security and travel histories.
Some of the details that Turkish passengers will need to submit are the following:
- First and last name as it appears on the Turkish passport
- The reason for the trip to South Korea
- A current address
- An active phone number
- A valid email address
- A passport number, as well as its expiry and issuance date
- Proof of travel through the submission of hotel accommodation bookings and/or travel arrangements such as flight tickets and the intended date of entry and exit from Korea
- If any, information about criminal records and/or health issues that can cause a problem within South Korea and its citizens
Then, the Korean visa waiver processing fee must be paid by Turkish visitors. This step can be completed by using a credit or debit card.
The usual processing time for nationals of Turkey to receive their Korean eTA is a few days, and even hours depending on the number of requests received by South Korean authorities.
South Korean eTA Requirements for Turkish Travelers
Visitors from Turkey will need to abide by the eligibility criteria imposed by the Korean government, which means complying with the Korean eTA entry requirements. These are a set of prerequisites, conditions and/or documents that Turkish nationals need to have when applying and entering the country:
- Having a Turkish passport that is valid for at least six months following the travel date
- Submitting a Korea-appropriate photo of the applicant in passport size
- Demonstrating proof of sufficient funds through a bank statement or equivalent document
- Possessing a credit card or debit card to pay the processing fee
- Having a valid, accessible email account where all the information regarding the Korean visa waiver will be sent
Every Korean application needs to be accompanied by an application fee, which must be paid with either a credit or debit card online. The application fee is non-refundable, so Turkish travelers must be vigilant and double-check the information provided to ensure that all is correct.
Note: there are some vaccines recommended by Korea that Turkish nationals might consider to get before their journey.
Final checklist before visiting South Korea from Turkey
Once the South Korean eTA for Turkish travelers has been granted, each visitor must print out a hard copy from their email and carry it with them to the border in case the officials at their South Korean port of entry ask to verify the information they have on file.
Turkish nationals should also be kept up-to-date on which items are prohibited to bring into South Korea to avoid any unforeseen issues at the border. Weapons, agricultural items, and illicit drugs will not be tolerated.
Finally, for travelers from Turkey who enter South Korea without a firm plan on when they intend on leaving, they must understand that anyone who overstays their allotted 90 days could face fines and further sanctions upon exiting South Korea.
Turkish applicants who follow all the indications provided on this page should have a hassle-free trip to the Republic of Korea.