South Korea, an East Asian nation on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, shares one of the world’s most heavily militarized borders with North Korea.
It’s equally known for its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples, plus its coastal fishing villages, sub-tropical islands, and high-tech cities such as Seoul, the capital.
The economy of South Korea is a highly developed mixed economy dominated by family-owned conglomerates called chaebols. It is the 4th largest GDP in Asia and the 10th largest in the world.
Meanwhile, we are known for its rise from one of the poorest countries in the world to a developed, high-income country in just a few generations.
What Are the Required Documents for a South Korea Visa?
Here are the documents required for a South Korea visa:
- Your passport.
- Appropriate South Korea visa application form.
- Proof of paid South Korea visa fees.
- Proof of clean criminal record.
- Proof of being in good health through a medical exam.
- Photographs in accordance with the photo requirements for a South Korea visa.
- Proof of financial means.
- Proof you will return to your home country once the South Korea visa expires.
- Identity and Civil Status Documents.
- A cover letter that explains the purpose of your travel to South Korea.
- Letter of support/invitation to South Korea.
The requirements may differ based on whether the applicant is an adult (over 18) or a minor (17 or under). Only adults can be primary applicants on an application. The minors must be attached as dependents.
If a minor is traveling alone, there are different requirements. (See the visa requirements for minors below).
You must have a valid passport and any other travel documentation. When you apply for a South Korea visa, you have to provide photocopies of the information page of your passport. It must include:
- Your passport number.
- The date of issue and expiry.
- Your personal information: name, photo, place of birth, and date of birth.
Documents and Forms
When you apply for a South Korea visa, you will have to download an Application Package from the website. There, you will find an instructional guide, a document checklist, as well as all the forms you have to complete and submit.
You have to submit all the documents and forms that are on the checklist. These documents include (but are not limited to) passport copies, pictures, fee receipts, and other identity documents.
In addition to the documents listed on the checklist, different countries may require specific documents. You will have to ask the visa office responsible in your country whether you need additional documents.
Proof of Paid South Korea Visa Fees
In order to apply for a South Korea visa, you will have to pay the necessary fees and attach the receipts on your application. The fee prices change depending on the purpose of travel.
There are two types of fees:
- Application processing fees
- Biometric fees
South Korea Visa Photos
You have to provide two passport pictures based on South Korea‘s requirements. If the pictures do not match the requirements set by South Korea Government, your application could be rejected.
You may want to bring the photo requirements when you go to take the picture and show them to the photographer.
Proof of Financial Means
You have to provide evidence that you can financially support yourself and any family members that may be coming with you for the duration of your stay. You can do this through the following:
- Bank statements.
- Letter of employment showing annual earnings.
- Evidence you have arranged to receive financial support from friends/family to cover the duration of your stay.
- Evidence of income of your South Korean host or family member.
Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, and different countries may require other types of proof.
Proof you will Return to your Home Country once the Visa Expires
You will need to convince your visa officers that after your visa expires, you will return back home. There are several ways you could do that, including:
- Proof of employment. You have to provide copies of your employment contract, a letter of employment that identifies you as a permanent employee, states when you are expected to return to work, and your role at the company.
- If you own property in your home country, you have to provide evidence of it, such as title deeds or lease agreements.
- If you have familial ties in your home country or people that you need to take care of, such as elderly family members or children, you need to get evidence of your responsibilities.
Identity and Civil Status Documents
You need to attach photocopies of identity and civil status documents with your South Korea visa application. This includes birth certificates, marriage certificates, or divorce/annulment certificates.
In some cases, you may be required to provide National IDs or family or household registries.
You will have to contact the visa office in your country for more information.
You have to be in good health in order to obtain a South Korean visa. In order to prove that, you may be required to enter a medical examination and include the results in your application.
However, if you plan to stay for less than six months, a medical exam is usually not necessary, unless you will be working closely with people.
However, your usual doctor cannot perform your examination. It will have to be a Panel Physician.
Panel Physicians for each country can be found on website.
Purpose of Travel
You need to provide a purpose for your travel to South Korea when you apply for a Japan visa. The requirements depend on the country, but it could include:
- An invitation letter from your sponsor or the family member/friend you will visit.
- Contact information of the people who can support your stated purpose of visit.
- Any documents that support your purpose of travel.
Letter of Support / Invitation
In some cases, you may need to provide a letter of invitation from someone in South Korea. That person has to be either a South Korean citizen or hold a Permanent Residence.
The person who writes the letter is not legally responsible for you. He or she has to give you that letter, and you must include it in your application.
The letter has to include this information about you (the person applying for the visa):
- Phone number and address.
- The relationship you have with the person who is writing the letter.
- How long you will stay in South Korea, where you will stay, and when you plan to leave.
- How you plan to support yourself financially.
The letter also has to include the following information about the writer:
- Their complete name and date of birth.
- Their South Korea address and phone number.
- Their residence status (Citizen or Permanent Resident) and a photocopy of a document that proves it.
- Their job title.
- Their family details (names and dates of birth for his/her spouse and dependents).
- How many people are in their household?
South Korea Visa Requirements For Minors
Minors who are traveling to South Korea must also abide by the same rules as all other visitors. However, there are additional document requirements for children, depending on how they are traveling. All minors, regardless of how they are traveling, must carry:
- Their passport
- Copy of their birth certificate
Then, additional documents based on whether they are traveling alone or accompanied, include:
Traveling alone: Letter of authorization for the travel, signed by both parents or legal guardians. The letter has to:
- Be in either English, French and a lot more
- Include the parents’/legal guardians’ address and phone number
- Include information (name, address, phone number) of the person who will take care of the child in South Korea
Accompanied by one parent: Signed letter of authorization from the parent who is not traveling with them. It has to include:
- The address and phone number of the parent not traveling.
- The photocopy of the passport and national identity card of the parent not traveling.
If the parents are divorced but share custody: The parent who is present has to bring copies of the legal custody documents and letter of authorization from the other parent.
If only one parent has custody: They must bring a copy of the custody decree.
If one of the parents has passed away: The other parent has to bring a copy of the death certificate.
If traveling with legal guardians/adoptive parents: Bring a copy of the guardianship or adoption papers.
If traveling with someone who isn’t their parent/legal guardian: That person must have written permission from the parents/guardians. The letter has to include the address/es and phone numbers of the parents/legal guardians.