Any foreign visitors wishing to enter the Republic of Korea must have a valid passport and obtain a Korean visa before coming. But people of 99 countries who want to visit Korea temporarily are permitted to enter without a visa according to visa-exemption agreements (Table 1), or in accordance with principles reciprocity or national interest(Table 2).
[Table1] Countries under Visa Exemption Agreements
[Table2] Countries or Regions under principles of reciprocity and national interest
Visitors from countries not under Visa Exemption Agreements must apply for a visa extension if planning to stay for more than 30 days. Depending on the situation of the consulate, the visa extension will be issued 1 to 3 days from the day of application. Applicants require a completed application form, a recent passport-size colorful photo and application fee. Visitors do not require the outbound flight ticket. Visa extensions are usually for 90 days. All visas including long-term visas are for a single visit. Therefore anyone who wishes to leave the country and re-enter later on during the allowed period of stay should obtain the Re-entry Permit from the Ministry of Justice prior to departure. For business visas, the intention of activities must be clearly stated on the visa application form. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Homepage: http://www.mofat.go.kr
Visitors may obtain work visas in their home country with the endorsement of the employer in Korea. If the visitor is already in Korea, he/she must obtain the work visa from an embassy or consulate in a country outside Korea. Work visas are usually valid for 1 year from the date of issue and take about 2-4 weeks to process. Work visa extensions are possible if visitor remains with the same employer. Visitors with work visas must obtain a residence permit from the Immigration Office. Visitors engaging in remunerative activities without a work visa can be subject to fines and deportation.
Visa application should be made at Korean Embassies or consulates abroad.
It is required for the visa applicants to submit passport, application forms, a recent passport-style color photograph, and such other documents as determined by the status of stay.
Visa fees are as follows:
For Citizens of United States of America, multiple entry visa fee is USD45 on the basis of reciprocity since the mutual agreement in 1994.
Extensions for tourist visas are possible in special cases such as accidents, health problems, flight cancellation, etc. Applications for visa extensions can be made at a local immigration office at least one day before the day of expiration.