South Korea has just announced an easing of entry formalities for travelers from 22 countries. Travelers from these countries no longer need to obtain an online travel authorization K-ETA to travel to South Korea if the trip is less than 3 months. However, to save time on arrival, it is always recommended to obtain it before departure.
The Korean authorities have ended the K-ETA licensing requirement (Korea-Electronic Travel Authorization) for 22 nationalities. This authorization was required for visiting South Korea for less than 3 months between April 1, 2023, and December 31, 2024.
Here is the list of nationalities for which the K-ETA is no longer mandatory: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Macao, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, USA.
However, the authorities specify that for "these 22 nationalities, obtaining a K-ETA before departure will avoid filling out and presenting the arrival card upon entry into the country.
That is why the K-ETA already issued will still be valid, and that is why it is still possible for these nationalities to obtain the K-ETA authorization to save the time upon arrival. No refunds of previously issued K-ETAs are possible.
What Is K-ETA
For short stays of less than 90 days, the Korean authorities set up the K-ETA.
To obtain it, travelers have to go through an online procedure which allows them to obtain an entry permit for Korea within 24 hours from the official website. The applicable fees are 10,000 Korean won (about 7 EUR), also payable online.
The K-ETA is valid for two years from the date of issue, regardless of the number of visits to Korea.