south korea tourist visa

South Korea Tourist Visa - The Definitive Guide

Apart from the countryside green hilly areas, pretty cherry trees and Buddhist temples, there is a lot more one can explore on their South Korea tourist visa. From sub-tropical islands to high-tech cities, South Korea has it all. Apparently, South Korea was established on August 15th, 1948, exactly a year after India’s independence.

What is a South Korea Tourist Visa?

South Korea tourist visa

There is a list of formalities that are to be followed at the time of visiting any foreign country. These are important as this makes easy for the authorities to identify the traveller. Among the many, the most important one is the issuance of a tourist visa for South Korea. The process varies from country to country but if you are issuing a tourist visa for South Korea from India, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind. This particular visa allows you to tour the country and at the same time visit your acquaintances living in South Korea. The visa is generally valid for 3 months and the duration of stay permitted depends on the situation.

How to apply for a tourist visa for South Korea?

The process for the application of a tourist visa for South Korea is mainly offline. According to the Embassy of South Korea, there are two ways you can apply for the visa. You can either apply directly to the Embassy, else you can submit your application to the visa application centre. But before, it is essential that you go through the eligibility criteria. You need to match the eligibility criteria to be able to apply for a South Korea tourist visa. The steps for the procedure are listed as follows:

  1. Download the South Korea tourist visa application form from the official website of the visa application centre.
  2. Fill out all the required information on the form and go through the checklist provided.
  3. Fulfil all the requirements that are asked by the authorities.
  4. Attach all the supporting documents along with the photographs as per the specifications.
  5. Submit the application form to your nearest branch of the visa application centre.
  6. Pay the fee at the time of submission.
  7. Collect your passport after the processing of the visa.

When you are filling out the form, you must make sure that you fill out all the correct information. The information provided must match the details on the passport and other documents. If in case, any issues are found with the application, there are chances that your visa may get refused. A visa refusal can affect applications for your further tourist visa for South Korea or any other visa to any other country. To avoid the same, it is safe to acquire a professional visa consultation.

Who should apply or Eligibility of South Korea Tourist Visa

You must meet the eligibility criteria for a tourist visa for South Korea before going ahead with the application process. These are the parameters that help in understanding the traveller’s purpose of visit and other requirements for the visa. The criteria are listed as follow:

  • You must possess proof of purpose of visit
      • If you are visiting your acquaintances, you must have an invitation letter from the resident in South Korea.
      • You must visit for tourism only, or visiting acquaintances and not searching for or taking up any kind of employment.
  • You must meet the health requirements
      • You must be healthy enough to travel to South Korea.
      • You must perform a medical test before travelling to the country and provide a relevant documentary proof.
      • You must be within the age limit to be able to apply for a work permit.
  • You must meet the character requirements
      • You must be of good character and have genuine intentions behind working in South Korea.
      • You need to provide a relevant documentary proof for the same as well (if asked) in the form of a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC).
  • You must have sufficient funds
    • You must possess or have access to sufficient funds to be able to cover your stay and other expenses in South Korea.
    • Bank statement or any equivalent document is to be submitted as well as proof of the same.

South Korea Tourist Visa Requirements

There are different kinds of documents as per the purpose of the visit, which could be for visiting your acquaintances or just for touring the country. The South Korea tourist visa requirements for Indian citizens are listed as follows:

  • Original passport with validity at least 6 months ahead of the date of travel
  • Completely filled visa application form
  • Two photos as per the photo specifications
  • Proof of confirmed travel dates 
    • Air tickets
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support your stay in South Korea
    • Travel requisition by employer
    • Certificate of income or tax payment issued by a public agency
    • Certificate of deposit balance
  • Proof of accommodation
    • Invitation letter
    • Hotel reservation

Photo Specifications for South Korea Tourist Visa

  • Two copies must be provided
  • Photo size: 35mm x 45 mm.
  • Coloured copy must be provided.
  • The face must cover about 70-80% of the frame - 32mm x 36mm.
  • Head should well-centred.
  • A gap of 2mm to 6mm must be kept between the top of the head and the frame.
  • The picture must not be older than 6 months.
  • The background must be white
  • Neutral expressions
  • Glasses are not permitted.
  • Headgears are not allowed except for religious reasons.
  • Clothing shouldn’t match the background.

Processing time of South Korea Tourist Visa

The processing time required for the issuance of the tourist visa to South Korea is about 5 to 7 days. The time span will still vary depending on certain factors like the workload at the embassy office, the staff availability, whether the documents are complete or the rest of the documents are yet to be submitted and others. The time increases and decreases affected by these parameters. 

There also is an option for an express visa. By paying the extra fee, you can get the visa issued in 2 working days. However, to be able to apply for the express visa, you must have travelled to South Korea at least a couple of times. There are other criteria as well, you can consult a visa executive for the same.

South Korea Tourist Visa Fees

The tourist visa fee for South Korea is based on several parameters and it will vary as per the type of visa too. It is to be paid to the visa application centres along with the service charges. Also, you must pay the fee only in cash, else if you do not have access to a visa application centre branch, you can send in the fee with a demand draft.

After Submission

After you have submitted the application form along with your passport and other documents, 

  • You then have to do is wait for the processing before you can collect your passport. 
  • You can choose any feasible branch of the visa application centre as per your reach. 
  • Meet the checklist that is provided by the centre in order to get the visa sooner. 
  • If the documents are missing, it will only take time for the processing and verification of the same.
  • If there are any other requirements to be fulfilled or if there are any mistakes in the application, the embassy or the agency must be informed.
  • If there are any changes related to the application, for instance, change in marital status or birth of a child, you must inform the embassy/agency.
  • You can even check the status of the application and the processing in the meantime. 
  • If there is a change of plans, you can withdraw the application.
  • The visa fee is generally not refundable.

How to check South Korea Tourist Visa status?

The status of your visa can be checked online on the visa application centre website. To check the status, you will need to enter your reference number and your date of birth to check the processing of the visa.

When you have South Korea Tourist Visa?

Once you have obtained the visa, you are now eligible to tour South Korea. Although, you also must keep certain things in mind. Some of the pointers for the same are given as follows:

  • Before you travel
      • Make a note of the visa expiry date, as well as the number of entries permitted. You must not stay in the country beyond this period.
      • You should travel to South Korea within the validity of your visa.
      • Make sure to carry a copy of your passport and other travel documents while you are in the country.
      • Issue health insurance and travel Insurance from a certified company.
  • At the Border
      • Get your documents checked and your passport verified.
      • Obtain the entry stamp on your passport.
      • Consult the airport authorities for any kind of assistance required.
      • Check your visa copy for other guidelines and rules to be followed.
  • When you enter South Korea
    • Ensure not to get involved in any kind of employment. You can, however, do volunteer work.
    • The tourist prohibited areas must be stayed out of.
    • Make sure you don’t overstay and apply for a visa extension in time.
    • The travel insurance must be issued from a certified company only.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I extend my South Korea Tourist Visa?

To extend your visa, you must first have a legitimate reason to do so. For the extension of visa, you need to apply to the Seoul Immigration Office. It is also important to note that you have to apply for the extension at least 2 months prior to your existing visa expiration. If late, the application may not be accepted.

After expiring my South Korea Tourist Visa how long can I stay?

Once your visa has expired, not only that you are not allowed to stay in the country longer, but you may also be deported and in certain cases banned from returning to the country. If you can foresee your stay longer than existing expiry, you can apply for an extension.

What is the medical test for South Korea Tourist Visa?

A medical test is a health examination performed by an authorized doctor to ensure that the applicant does not possess any kind of contagious diseases. These do not just include HIV/AIDS, but also other contagious diseases that can spread. However, this medical test is not necessarily required for all kinds of visa. These are mandated for the long term visas and may not be compulsory for all types of short term visas.

Can I convert my South Korea Tourist Visa into work visa?

You are not permitted to convert one type of visa into another and hence, you cannot convert your tourist visa into a work permit. You may be allowed to do any kind of volunteer work in the country as a tourist, but for paid employment, you will have to issue a work permit separately.

How much Bank balance required to get South Korea Tourist Visa?

The amount that is required in your savings bank account is not specified clearly by the South Korean Embassy. There may be requirements as per the type of your visa and whether the visa is a long term or a short term visa. You may need to confirm this information once you know what kind of visa you require. The requirements may change based on several factors, even for a tourist visa for South Korea.


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