Visa free entry Korea for real?
Filipinos and other Southeast Asian tourists will soon be able to visit South Korea easily under special conditions.
According to the recently announced ‘2017 Economic Policy Direction’ by the Korean government, an electronic visa will be issued to Southeast Asian tourists from this year to stimulate domestic demand.
Philippine Ambassador to Korea Raul Hernandez said that the Philippines is included in the plan of the Korean government to issue electronic visas and allow a visa-free stay in mainland Korea for five days to Southeast Asian nationals who are visiting Jeju Island via Incheon or Gimhae airports in order to boost its tourism industry.
“Yes, the Philippines is one of the beneficiaries but only selected tour agencies are included in the program, but based on the latest info, they are still working on the guide for implementation.”
In an email to Manila Bulletin, Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) said it “is still in discussion with relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Justice on this matter, but hopes to implement the detailed plan within May of this year.”
“It is true that at the moment, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia among the Southeast Asian countries are being considered to be included in the electronic visa program,”
Under the electronic visa program, the MCST said, “group tourists will not have to go to the Korean Embassy to get a visa, if your country is eligible for an electronic visa since it can be issued through the accredited travel agency.”
On the other hand, the five-day visa-free entry scheme for group tourists from Southeast Asia will be implemented starting in June.
Under this, those who are bound for Jeju Island but with connecting flights at Incheon or Gimhae Airports will be allowed to enter mainland Korea for five days without a visa.
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As part of the measures for the tourism and leisure industries, this will be expanded to include only ‘euker (Chinese tourists)’. When this system is implemented, Southeast Asian tourists can easily apply for a visa online through a travel agency without having to visit the embassy.
Visa-Free Entry for foreign transfer passengers
1. Eligible applicants
- Besides the passengers for transit mentioned above, those transferring through the Incheon Airport and taking part in the Transit Tourism Program on their way to a third country or the country of their nationality (hereinafter referred to as “general transfer passengers”)
However, citizens of the 11 countries that need visas to enter Jeju island are not included (Ghana, Nigeria, Macedonia, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Palestine).
- Chinese group tourists who depart from China (Hongkong, Macao included) and enter Korea through the Incheon, Gimpo, Gimhae, Cheongju, Muan, *Yangyang, or Daegu airport to visit Jeju Island and stay in designated travel regions for up to 5 days (hereinafter referred to as “Jeju group transfer passenger”).
When admitted through the Yangyang Airport, the entrants are allowed to stay for up to 10 days in the travel regions.
2. Condition of Permission
- General Transfer Passengers: Possessing a transfer ticket and staying in the Seoul Capital Area for up to 72 hours
- Jeju Group Transfer Passengers: Your group is organized by a Korean travel agency participating in the Transit Tourism Program and a Chinese travel agency responsible applying for group tourist visas at Korean diplomatic missions in China, and you have a ticket for a domestic flight/ship to Jeju that is scheduled to depart within 5 days, or in the case of the Yangyang Airport, 10 days.
3. Eligibility and Period for Stay
- General Transfer Passengers: Tourist/Transit (B-2), 72 hours
- Jeju Transfer Passengers: Tourist/Transit (B-2), 15 days
4. Airport of Departure and Designated Travel Regions for Jeju Group Transfer Passengers
|Airport of Entry||Airport of Departure||Travel Regions|
|Entrant at Incheon International Airport||Incheon · Gimpo · Jeju· Yangyang International Airports||Seoul Capital Area(Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi-do),Gangwon-do|
|Entrant at Gimpo International Airport|
|Entrant at Gimhae International Airport||Gimhae · Incheon · Gimpo · Jeju International Airports||Busan, Daegu, Ulsan, Gyeongsang-do, Seoul Capital Area|
|Entrant at Yangyang International Airport||Yangyang · Incheon · Gimpo · Jeju International Airports|
|Entrant at Cheongju International Airport||Cheongju · Incheon · Gimpo · Jeju International Airports||Gangwon-do, Seoul Capital Area|
|Entrant at Muan International Airport||Muan · Incheon · Gimpo · Jeju International Airports||Daejeon, Sejong, Chungcheong-do, Seoul Capital Area|
|Entrant at Daegu International Airport||Daegu · Incheon · Gimpo · Jeju International Airports||Gwangju, Jeolla-do, Seoul Capital Area|
Visa-Free Entry to the Jeju Area
1. Eligible Applicants
People arriving at ports of entry in Jeju without a visa for travel and transit, excluding people from the following countries whose visa free entry is limited:
|Limited for no-visa entry in the Jeju area (11 countries)|
|Ghana, Nigeria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Palestine|
2. Period of Stay/ Permitted Areas of Travel / Range of Activities Allowed: 30 days / Jeju
3. Condition of Permission: You must use a direct international flight or ship to Jeju Island
Address: 1-dong, Government Complex Gwacheon, 47 Gwanmunro, Gwacheon in Gyeonggi-do ( Immigration Contact Center: +82-1345 )
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Official Korean Visa information: https://www.visa.go.kr/