Customs Regulations

Visitors must declare all plants, fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products that they bring into South Korea. Meat is not allowed without a certificate. Log on to www.customs.go.kr for further information. Antiques of national importance are banned from export.

Visas

Australian, UK, US and most western European citizens receive a 90-day entry permit on arrival.

Tourist Visas

  • Visitors from the UK, the USA, nearly all Western European countries, New Zealand, Australia and around 30 other countries receive 90-day permits on arrival. Visitors from a handful of countries receive 60- or 30-day permits, while Canadians get 180 days.
  • In rare cases it is possible to extend your visa for another 90 days, as long as it hasn't already expired; more info can be found at www.hikorea.go.kr.

Work Visas

  • Applications for a work visa can be made inside South Korea, but you must leave the country to pick up the visa. You can also apply for a one-year work visa before entering South Korea, but it can take a few weeks to process. Note that the visa authorities will want to see originals (not photocopies) of your educational qualifications. This is a safeguard against fake degree certificates.
  • You don’t need to leave South Korea to renew a work visa as long as you carry on working for the same employer. But if you change employers, you are usually obliged to apply for a new visa which you have to pick up outside Korea.
  • If you are working or studying in South Korea on a long-term visa, it is necessary to apply for an alien registration card (ARC) within 90 days of arrival, which costs ₩10,000. In Seoul this is done at the Omokgyo immigration office south of the Han River, or the Anguk office, north of the river.
  • Seoul Global Center can also help with issues related to work visas.