Foreign residents of Korea who wish to travel outside of the country from June 1 will face stricter regulations on reentry.
The Ministry of Justice on May 23 announced that to prevent imported cases of the coronavirus pandemic, registered foreign residents of the country must get re-entry permits and medical certificates when traveling abroad.
Since 2010, such residents who reentered Korea within a year after leaving were exempt from such permits. The new measure to take effect next month, however, will make it compulsory for them to obtain such permits before departing the country.
Those with the visas A-1 (diplomat), A-2 (government official), A-3 (U.S. military personnel) and F-4 (overseas Korean) are exempt from the new rule and can reenter without permits within a year after leaving the country.
Foreign residents can apply for reentry permits at any immigration office, including those at airports and ports. From mid-June, the ministry will also start an online service on www.hikorea.go.kr to allow such residents to apply for the permits without needing to visit a government office.
Those screened for reentry permits must also submit a medical certificate for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The certificate must be issued from an authorized medical institution in Korea within 48 hours prior to the date of departure, and must be in either Korean or English.
The certificates must include the date of examination, the name of the examiner and if the resident has COVID-19 symptoms such as coughing or fever.
Those with A-1, A-2, A-3 or F-4 visas and foreign investors or entrepreneurs with the so-called isolation exemption certificate issued by a Korean embassy or consular office are exempt from this requirement and can reenter Korea without medical certificates.
More information is available at www.hikorea.go.kr.