At ports of entry, the Korean Immigration Service gathers biometric data (digital photos and fingerprints) from foreign tourists (international airports and seaports). If any of these processes are rejected, entry will be denied. This condition does not apply to children under the age of 17 or foreign government and international organization leaders and their immediate family members.
- Canadian citizens are granted visa-free access for up to 180 days.
- Citizens of the European Union (except Cyprus, Portugal, and French territory of New Caledonia), Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Serbia, Singapore, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United States/American Samoa (Except Guam), Uruguay, and Venezuela can visit visa free for up to 90 days.
- Citizens from Lesotho, Portugal, and Russia can visit visa free for up to 60 days.
- Citizens of Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Cyprus, Fiji, Guam, Guyana, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, F.S. Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Oman, Palau, Paraguay, Qatar, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tonga, Tunisia, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates, and Vatican City can stay visa free for up to 30 says.
Note that Jeju Island is an independent region with less stringent entrance requirements than the rest of South Korea, allowing anybody to enter except residents of 11 countries. Citizens of Afghanistan, Cuba, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Macedonia, Nigeria, Palestine, Sudan, and Syria are eligible for a 30-day visa-free travel to the Autonomous Province of Jeju. After that, if you leave Jeju for the mainland, you will be required to obtain a visa for the rest of South Korea.
South Korea is extremely excellent at keeping track of who comes and goes electronically, so don’t overstay your visa. Violations will very certainly result in you being barred from re-entering, and you may be prosecuted.
Military personnel going to South Korea under the SOFA do not need a passport as long as they have a copy of their travel orders and a military ID. Their dependents, on the other hand, must have a passport and an A-3 visa to enter.
Most foreigners staying longer than 90 days must register with the authorities and receive an Alien Registration Card within 90 days of their arrival. For further information, contact your local government.