(1) What is a Visa?
When an alien enters the Republic of Korea, he/she shall hold a valid passport and a visa issued by the Minister of Justice (Article 7 (1) of the Immigration Act).
The view about a visa is divided into two groups: Some countries view it as ‘the confirmation of an entry permit’ while others consider it ‘a consul’s recommendation for entry’ in relation to foreigners’ entry requests. The Republic of Korea follows the latter perspective about a visa and regards a visa as a consul’s recommendation for an entry permit. Therefore, an officer at the airport immigration services can refuse entry to a foreigner with a visa to Korea if the foreigner does not meet the country’s entry requirements.
※ What is the difference between a visa and the status of a stay?
The status of stay refers to a legal status allowing an alien to stay in Korea and engage in certain activities. The Immigration Act grants certain rights to the status of stay which is divided into 36 categories. In this sense, a visa and the status of stay can be considered the same in practical terms.
(2) Types of Visa
There are two kinds of entry visas to Korea: A single-entry visa for a single entry and a multiple-entry visa for multiple entries within the visa validity period (three months from the date of issuance).
(3) Visa Application Procedures
➊ Location: An overseas diplomatic mission (Korean Embassy or Consulate abroad)
➋ Documents: A passport, a visa application form, and proof of the applicant’s status of stay
- Check required documents for each status of stay at http://www.hikorea.go.kr.