Flying to South Korea: Top 5 Checklist Items

Planning a trip to South Korea? Here are the top things you need to know to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Flying to South Korea No.1: Entry Requirements

Before you pack your bags, make sure you’ve got all the necessary documents and info:

  • COVID-19: No vaccination required to enter South Korea.
  • Passport: Must be valid for the duration of your stay.
  • K-ETA or Visa: A K-ETA (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization) or a valid visa is essential for entry.

Flying to South Korea No.2: All About K-ETA

If you’re from a country with a visa-waiver agreement with South Korea, you’ll need a K-ETA for stays up to 90 days. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Application: Apply online at at least one month before departure.
  • Processing Time: Usually takes around 72 hours.
  • Validity: The K-ETA is valid for two years from the date of authorization and allows multiple entries during this period.

Exceptions: Some travelers, such as Korean nationals, APEC cardholders (excluding US and Canada), registered foreigners, UN passport holders, and certain diplomatic passport holders, do not need a K-ETA or visa. Additionally, from April 1, 2023, to December 31, 2024, nationals from several countries, including the US, UK, and Singapore, are exempt from K-ETA requirements.

Flying to South Korea No.3: COVID-19 Measures

Good news! South Korea has relaxed its COVID-19 entry requirements:

  • Testing: No COVID-19 tests required.
  • Quarantine: No quarantine or proof of vaccination needed.
  • Q-Code: The health condition reporting system is no longer required.

Flying to South Korea No.4: After Arrival

Even though entry requirements have eased, stay alert:

  • Health Measures: If you test positive for COVID-19 while in South Korea, you may need to undergo a 7-day quarantine or face movement restrictions.
  • Stay Updated: Entry requirements and health measures can change, so check the latest information before your trip.

Flying to South Korea No.5: K-ETA Application Essentials

Applying for a K-ETA? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Passport: Must be valid for your entire stay.
  • Email Address: For receiving your K-ETA results and updates.
  • Face Photo: An image file for PC applications or a photo taken via mobile device during the application.
  • Payment Method: Credit or debit card to pay the 10,000 KRW (approximately $9-10 USD) fee.
  • Travel Details: Purpose of visit and accommodation address in South Korea.

Additional Info: During the application process, be ready to provide personal details (name, date of birth, nationality), passport information (passport number, expiration date), purpose of visit, criminal history (if any), and infectious disease information.

Important Note: Apply for the K-ETA at least 24 hours before boarding your flight or ship bound for South Korea. Always use the official K-ETA website ( or the official mobile app to avoid fake websites that may charge excessive fees.