Korea adopts new K-ETA travel requirements

Korea adopts new K-ETA travel requirements

Korea Immigration Service

Effective Sept. 1, 2021, all DoD Civilians, Contractors and Family Members/dependents, traveling to the Republic of Korea must have a valid visa or an approved Korea - Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) prior to entering the country, unless already in possession of a valid Korean visa.

The entry requirements for Service Members on official travel (PCS, TDY, etc.) will remain the same, using the Common Access Card and travel orders.

New GS (general schedule) civilian hires and dependents listed on a service member’s PCS orders, who do not have an approved K-ETA exemption memorandum issued by the Korean government, must also comply with the requirement.

What is a K-ETA? The K-ETA is an electronic travel authorization that visa-free eligible foreign visitors need to obtain before entering Korea, by submitting an application with relevant information online.

You must apply for the K-ETA at least 24 hours prior to boarding a flight or ship bound for Korea. There is a 10,000 KRW (approximately $9-$10 USD) non-refundable fee that must be paid, even if the application is denied. 

The K-ETA is valid for two years from the date of approval and allows you to travel to Korea, but does not guarantee entry. The final determination of entry will be made by the immigration official during the immigration process.

K-ETA application by proxy is available, meaning one person can apply for up to 30 people and make the total payment at once.

If you desire to obtain a visa in lieu of the K-ETA prior to arrival, please contact the nearest Republic of Korea Consulate or Embassy, for more information.

Please consult the United States Forces Korea COVID-19 website for information on the pandemic and related entry requirements, including the need to show results from a negative PCR test, issued within 72 hours of departure and a mandatory 14-day quarantine or restriction of movement, based upon vaccination status.


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