Please note that, as of September 2021, US citizens travelling to South Korea are no longer visa-exempt, and are required to obtain a Korean Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) prior to entry. Fortunately, you can apply for this digital travel pass here on Byevisa’s website.
As a US citizen, you may not know where to start when applying for a visa to Korea from the USA, especially for a tourist holiday. Korea is a beautiful country, with so much to offer from its flavoursome food to its vibrant culture. But you may find yourself turned away at the border if you haven’t acquired the correct travel authorisation.
This could seem like a daunting task but Byevisa is here to help. By getting all your paperwork in order in a timely fashion, Byevisa has your application covered, so continue reading to know exactly what you need.
- 1 Do US Citizens Need a Visa for South Korea?
- 2 How Much Is a Visa for South Korea for US Citizens?
- 3 How Long Can You Stay in Korea Without a Visa From the USA?
- 4 How to Get a South Korea Visa From the USA
- 5 Visa Requirements for US Citizens to South Korea
- 6 Korean Visa Application in the USA FAQs
- 7 More Information About Travelling to South Korea
Do US Citizens Need a Visa for South Korea?
A US citizen travelling to South Korea with a USA passport for tourism purposes can enter and stay for up to 90 days without a visa.
On the other hand, if you wish to enter the country for remunerative purposes or wish to stay longer than 90 days, you will require a visa. Therefore, knowing your circumstances and what you plan to do is imperative before you travel.
How Much Is a Visa for South Korea for US Citizens?
The good news for tourists is that, when travelling to South Korea, a visa for USA citizens is not needed. This means that there isn’t a fee for a travel authorisation.
However, if you wish to travel for remunerative purposes, for example, to work or to join a course of study, you must apply for the appropriate visa. This usually costs 45 USD and must be paid in cash or by money order to the Korean Embassy.
How Long Can You Stay in Korea Without a Visa From the USA?
You can stay in Korea for up to 90 days without the need for travel authorisation or applying for a visa.
How to Get a South Korea Visa From the USA
Although you do not need to apply for a 90-day tourist visa, you can apply for other types of authorisations. For this, you need to go to the Korean Embassy website and download the correct visa application for your particular need.
For example, you will need a C-4 form for temporary employment, or a D-2 form to study abroad. You will need to fill this out and hand it in with the correct necessary supplementary documents either in person or via post.
Visa Requirements for US Citizens to South Korea
Whilst you don’t need travel authorisation for tourism purposes, there are requirements for the other aforementioned types of visa. In these cases, you need to supply:
- A valid passport (with more than 6 months at the time of the application submission).
- A copy of the biographic data page of the applicant’s passport.
- Completed visa application form.
- A passport size photo (2″ x 2″ in colour) attached to the application form.
- May need confirmed itinerary/ any relevant information about your purpose for travel.
Korean Visa Application in the USA FAQs
Now that you’ve got a straightforward answer about not needing a visa for Korean tourist travel, hopefully you have all the information you need. If, however, there are more things you want to find out about travel authorisations and questions you need answering, then please read on.
How Long to Get a South Korea Visa From the USA?
You are not required to obtain travel authorisation for tourist reasons when visiting Korea. However, if you have applied for a travel pass because you need to remain in the country for a longer period of time than is permitted without an authorisation, the usual waiting period for processing is around 5 business days.
When additional supporting documents are required, the processing time may exceed a week. Making sure all your documents are correct and in order, and everything is filled out correctly, is crucial to keeping your application running on time.
Can You Get a Korea Visa for US Green Card Holders?
US Green Card holders are not eligible for the Korea-US Waiver Program. This means that they cannot enter Korea without applying for the correct visa. Green Card holders must apply for travel authorisation according to the nationality on their passport and can find the application on the Korean Embassy website.
How Safe is South Korea to Visit as a US Citizen?
South Korea is considered a safe destination but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be vigilant while travelling. Most major cities around the world have similar crime problems with tourists, but as long as you are wary and recognise the dangers, you should not have to worry.
Be wary of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and large cities such as Seoul. Keep your money and valuables out of sight and reach, be cautious when out at night and be aware of local cultures and customs so as not to offend and cause unnecessary altercations. Following these simple steps can ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip.
Can I Apply for Other Korean Visas in the USA Online?
Unfortunately, there is no eVisa service that you can use as an American traveller. You therefore cannot apply for any of the Korean travel authorisations online when travelling from the USA. You must apply using the correct forms, which you must print out and fill in.
You then need to hand in this alongside any other documents that you require, either in person or via post to the Korean Embassy.
More Information About Travelling to South Korea
We hope that we’ve now been able to give you the details you require about travelling to South Korea as a USA citizen. However, we understand that sometimes you will need a little extra information or advice.
In such cases, you should check our visit South Korea page here to learn everything you need to know.