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Korea’s electronic travel authorization takes effect

Visa-free foreign visitors must obtain K-ETA before entering Korea from Wednesday

An airplane is landing at Incheon International Airport on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
An airplane is landing at Incheon International Airport on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Korea Electronic Travel Authorization, or K-ETA, became effective as of Wednesday, requiring passport holders from visa-exempt countries to obtain K-ETA approval to enter the country.

Overseas visitors now need to fill out an online application on the website of K-ETA to submit personal and travel information at least 24 before boarding a flight or ship bound for Korea. Applicants need to pay 10,000 won ($8.60).

Once the application is submitted and payment is complete, the result will be sent to each applicant’s email address within 24 hours of submission. Applicants can also check the result on the K-ETA website. The K-ETA is valid for two years, while allowing multiple entries.

Although K-ETA was originally made available for a total of 112 visa-waiver countries, the list of countries is limited to 49 at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Justice said, and priority entry persons from the 63 suspended countries are allowed to apply for the K-ETA. Both lists of countries are available on the K-ETA website.

All travelers, including Korean nationals, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result issued within 72 hours of departure.

The Justice Ministry expects the implementation of K-ETA to make the immigration process quicker and more convenient.

With the new automated authorization system in effect, Korea became the fifth country in the world to adopt an ETA and the first in Asia. The country had operated a pilot program since May.


By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
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