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Essential Information

VISA / IMMIGRATION

Foreign nationals entering the Republic of Korea are generally required to have a valid passport and a Korean visa. However, many are permitted visa-free entry for a limited time under certain conditions.

They include:

[TABLE 1] COUNTRIES UNDER VISA EXEMPTION AGREEMENT: DIPLOMATIC/GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL PASSPORT HOLDERS

This table is exempt from a visa waiver Pact countries and explains the term 1
Country (Period) Country (Period) Country (Period)
Asia & Oceania
Turkmenistan (30 days) Uzbekistan (60 days)
Europe
Ukarine (90 days)

'» Visa period applies to diplomatic passport holders, unless otherwise specified.

[TABLE 2] COUNTRIES UNDER VISA EXEMPTION AGREEMENT: DIPLOMATIC/GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL PASSPORT HOLDERS

This table is exempt from a visa waiver Pact countries and explains the term 2
country (Period) country (Period) country (Period)
Africa & Middle East
Algeria (90 days) Benin (90 days) Egypt (90 days)
Iran (3 months)
Americas
Argentina (90 days) Belize (90 days) Bolivia (90 days)
Ecuador (Diplomatic: Unlimited, Official: 90 days) Paraguay (90 days) Uruguay (90 days)
Asia & Oceania
Azerbaijan (30 days) Bangladesh (90 days) Cambodia (60 days)
India (90 days) Japan (3 months) Kazakhstan (90 days)
Kyrgyzstan (30 days) Laos (90 days) Mongolia (30 days)
Myanmar (90 days) Pakistan (3 months) Philippines (Unlimited)
Vietnam (90 days)
Europe
Belarus (90 days) Croatia (30 days) Cyprus (90 days)
Russia (90 days)

'» Visa period applies to both diplomatic and government official passport holders, unless otherwise specified.
* Generally, 3 months = 90 days & 6 months = 180 days

[TABLE 3] Countries under Visa Exemption Agreement: Diplomatic/Government Official/Ordinary Passport Holders

This table is exempt from a visa waiver Pact countries and explains the term 3
Country (Period) Country (Period) Country (Period)
Africa & Middle East
Israel (90 days) Lesotho (60 days) Liberia (90 days)
Morocco (90 days) Tunisia (30 days)
Americas
Antigua and Barbuda (90 days) Bahamas (90 days) Barbados (90 days)
Brazil (90 days) Chile (90 days) Colombia (90 days)
Commonwealth of Dominica (90 days) Costa Rica (90 days) Dominican Republic (90 days)
El Salvador (90 days) Grenada (90 days) Guatemala (90 days)
Haiti (90 days) Jamaica (90 days) Mexico (90 days)
Nicaragua (90 days) Panama (90 days) Peru (90 days)
Saint Kitts and Nevis (90 days) Saint Lucia (90 days) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (90 days) Saint Lucia (90 days)
Suriname (90 days) Trinidad and Tobago (90 days) Venezuela (Diplomatic/Official: 30 days, Ordinary: 90 days)
Asia & Oceania
Malaysia (90 days) New Zealand (90 days) Singapore (90 days)
Thailand (90 days)
Europe
Austria (Diplomatic/Official: 180 days, Ordinary: 90 days) Belgium (90 days) Bulgaria (90 days)
Czech Republic (90 days) Denmark (90 days) Estonia (90 days)
Finland (90 days) France (90 days) Germany (90 days)
Greece (90 days) Hungary (90 days) Iceland (90 days)
Ireland (90 days) Italy (60/90 days) Latvia (90 days)
Liechtenstein (90 days) Lithuania (90 days) Luxembourg (90 days)
Malta (90 days) Netherlands (90 days) Norway (90 days)
Poland (90 days) Portugal (60 days) Romania (90 days)
Slovakia (90 days) Spain (90 days) Sweden (90 days)
Switzerland (90 days) Turkey (90 days) United Kingdom (90 days)

'» Visa period applies to diplomatic, government official, and ordinary passport holders, unless otherwise specified.
** Italy: 60 days under Visa Exemption Agreement / 90 days under Reciprocity Principles (Effective June 15, 2003)

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[Table 4] Countries & Regions Granted Visa-Free Entry under Principles of Reciprocity and National Interest

This table is exempt from a visa waiver Pact countries and explains the term 4
Country (Period) Country (Period) Country (Period)
Africa & Middle East
Bahrain (30 days) Egypt (30 days) Kuwait (30 days)
Lebanon (Diplomatic/Official: 30 days) Mauritius (30 days) Oman (30 days)
Qatar (30 days) Republic of South Africa (30 days) Saudi Arabia (30 days)
Seychelles (30 days) Swaziland (30 days) United Arab Emirates (30 days)
Yemen (30 days)    
Americas
Argentina (30 days) Canada (6 months) Ecuador (30 days)
Guyana (30 days) Honduras (30 days) Paraguay (30 days)
United States (90 days) Uruguay (30 days)  
Asia & Oceania
Australia (90 days) Brunei (30 days) Fiji (30 days)
Guam (30 days) Hong Kong (90 days) Indonesia (Diplomatic/Official: 14 days)
Japan (90 days) Kiribati (30 days) Macao (90 days)
Marshall Islands (30 days) Micronesia (30 days) Nauru (30 days)
New Caledonia (30 days) Palau (30 days) Samoa (30 days)
Solomon Islands (30 days) Taiwan (30 days) Tonga (30 days)
Tuvalu (30 days)    
Europe
Albania (30 days) Andorra (30 days) Bosnia-Herzegovina (30 days)
Croatia (30 days) Cyprus (30 days) Italy (60/90 days)**
Monaco (30 days) Montenegro (30 days) San Marino (30 days)
Serbia (30 days) Slovenia (90 days) Vatican (30 days)

'» Visa period applies to diplomatic, government official, and ordinary passport holders, unless otherwise specified.

** Italy: 60 days under Visa Exemption Agreement / 90 days under Reciprocity Principles (Effective June 15, 2003)

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KOREAN CURRENCY

Korea's official monetary unit is the won.
The Korean currency consists of a ten thousand, fifty thousand, and one thousand, five thousand won note, and five hundred, one hundred, fifty and ten won coins.

Denomination Bills

50,000 won, 10,000 won, 5,000 won, 1,000 won bills are listed in the form of double-sided

Denomination Coins

500 won, 100 won, 50 won, 10 won coins are listed in the form of double-sided

EXCHANGING MONEY

When you need to exchange your foreign currency into Korean won, visit a bank, exchange service center, or an authorized exchange.

Business hours

  • Bank 9:00 am - 4:00 pm except Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
  • Exchange service center 9:30 am - 10 pm, everyday
  • Authorized exchange 24 hours in hotels, and 9:00 am - 5:00 pm at other places.

Please be advised to take your receipt.

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Koreans officially follow the Gregorian calendar, even though there are a few holidays that are based on the lunar calendar. During the official holidays, offices and banks are closed but palaces, museums, most restaurants, department stores, and amusement facilities are open.

Seollal and Chuseok are the most important traditional holidays for Koreans, so millions of people visit their hometowns to celebrate with their families during these times. On Seollal, Koreans hold a memorial service for their ancestors and perform sebae, a formal bow of respect to their elders as a New Year's greeting.

2017 Official Korean Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Seollal (Lunar New Year's Day, January 27-30)
  • Independence Movement Day (March 1)
  • Buddha's Birthday (May 3)
  • Children's Day (May 5)
  • Memorial Day (June 6)
  • Liberation Day (August 15)
  • National Foundation Day (October 3)
  • Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day, October 3-6)
  • Hangeul Day (Korean Alphabet Day, October 9)
  • Christmas (December 25)

ELECTRICITY / VOLTAGE

Cord is plugged into an electrical outletElectrical cord

The standard voltage in Korea is 220 volts.
The outlet has two round holes and is same type as that of which are used in France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Turkey, and many other countries.
If you do not have a travel adapter, you can borrow one from your hotel's front desk. If you want to buy one in Korea, you can do so at a duty-free shop, convenience shop at Incheon International Airport

HELPFUL NUMBERS

Emergency Medical Information Center, 1339

At the Emergency Medical Information Center, trained medical personnel (doctors, nurses and paramedics) are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in 12 locations nationwide. Upon receiving an emergency call, a medical staff member gives basic first aid instructions over the phone or calls an ambulance to transport patients to a medical center for further emergency measures

Information Service International Call 00794

International service '00794' is a telephone operator service that provides any information related to making international calls including foreign subscription number, national codes, area codes, etc

International Call Service 00799

International call service '00799' is a telephone operator service used to make international calls from Korea. The Service features station-to-station calls (forwarding the receiver's number to the operator for direct connection), collect or reverse charge calls (charging the receiver for the international call) and interpretation calls (having interpretation during the international call).

Tourist Complaint Center 02-735-0101

Tourist Complaint Center strives to resolve complaints from tourists in Korea as well as to improve tourism services by informing and providing consultation to relevant agencies. Complaints and inquiries can be filed via email or fax