South Korea – Covid-19 – Immigration update

To check the real time evolutions concerning international mobility all over of the world, discover the GoWork – COVID-19 Digital Card.

Update: January 5th, 2021

South Korea halts flights from UK

What is the change?

South Korea suspended passenger flights from the UK until 31 December 2020. Its two domestic airlines together operate direct routes to and from London‘s Heathrow Airport four times a week. Korean Air will still fly planes from Incheon to London, while Asiana Airlines will halt all flights between the cities. In total, five inbound flights and one outbound flight will be cancelled over the period.

In addition, those arriving from the UK from 1 January 2021 will be subject to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing at the end of the mandatory 14-day isolation period. Passengers with temperatures of at least 37.3 degrees Celsius (as opposed to the standard 37.5 degrees Celsius) will be classified as symptomatic, and will be tested immediately at the airport. Flight crew members will get PCR tests regardless of symptoms.

All foreigners to present negative COVID-19 PCR test result

What is the change?

With effect from 8 January 2021 (KST), all foreign nationals arriving in the Republic of Korea (ROK) are required to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their departure. All South Korean nationals arriving from UK and South Africa are also required to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of departure.

A proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test must be presented to the airline personnel when the foreign passenger boards an aircraft. Boarding will not be permitted for foreign passengers without a negative COVID-19 test result issued within 72 hours. The test result should be submitted to the quarantine authorities upon their arrival in the ROK.

The test result issued from the testing organisation agency at the country of departure must be original and in English (or Korean). If the result cannot be issued in English or Korean, supplemental translated certificates certifying the translation can be submitted along with the original PCR test result.

Suspension of flights between London and Incheon

What is the change?

Ministry of Health and Welfare 30 December 2020 Flights between London and Incheon will be temporarily suspected until 7 January 2021.

Update: April 14th, 2020

Automatic extension of stay for registered foreigners, F-4 residents

What is the change?

Registered aliens and F-4 residents whose period of stay is due to expire between 9 April and 1 May will have their period of stay automatically extended for an additional three months from the current visa expiry date. They will not need to apply for an extension.

However, the following categories will be excluded from the automatic extension:

  • Non-Professional (E-9), Maritime Crew (E-10), and those whose whereabouts are unknown
  • Those who have already applied for Permission to Extend Period of Stay either in-person or online (Normal Period of Stay to be granted on the basis of review criteria)
  • Those who are not currently residing in South Korea as of 9 April
  • Tax defaulters (including for health insurance)
  • Foreign nationals can check their visa status using their passport information at from 10 April onwards.

Foreign nationals can check their visa status using their passport information at from 10 April onwards.

Announcement on suspension of visas and visa waivers

What is change?

All valid short-term visas (single and multiple, visa type: C-1, C-3) that were issued on or before 5 April will be temporarily suspended. However, this will not apply to long-term visas (visa type: A, D, E, F, G, H) and short-term employment visas (visa type: C-4).

Visa-free entry and visa-waiver programs will be temporarily suspended for nationals of countries imposing entry bans on Koreans. However, this will not apply to holders of diplomatic, official (service) passports, inbound flight (ship) crew members, and ABTC (APEC Business Travel Card) holders. For the full list of affected countries, please refer to the link below.

All diplomatic missions will also enhance the screening of new visa applications. Applicants will be required to submit documents such as a medical certificate issued within 48 hours before the visa application and an agreement to quarantine.

These measures have taken effect from 13 April.

Update: March 30th, 2020

South Korea to enforce mandatory two-week quarantine for all entrants from overseas

What is the change?

South Korea will enforce a two-week mandatory quarantine for all entrants from overseas starting 1 April 2020, government officials said Sunday.

All entrants to the country, regardless of nationality, will be required to stay in quarantine starting 1 April 2020. Visitors without local addresses here should stay in government-designated facilities at their own expense.

Exceptions will be applied to those coming to South Korea for public purposes and have specific visas such as diplomatic or public affairs visas.

Update: March 26th, 2020

South Korea eyes stricter screening on all arrivals from United States (US) starting 27 March

What is the change?

South Korea’s prime minister said in a statement on Wednesday that the government is targeting to implement stricter screening procedures for all arrivals from the US over the new coronavirus starting no later than Friday, 27 March.

From 27 March, all passengers departing from the US and entering Korea will be subjected to a COVID-19 test if they have symptoms.

For those who have no symptoms of COVID-19,

  • Korean nationals or foreign nationals on long-term stay will return to their residence and will be quarantined for 14 days.
  • Foreign nationals on short-term visit will move to a facility and undergo a COVID-19 test. If the result is negative, they will be monitored.
Sophie Carlei

Sophie est Directeur au sein de l’équipe Mobilité Internationale de Lyon et dirige l’équipe immigration. Elle conseille les groupes français et internationaux et intervient tant pour des clients travaillant dans le domaine […]

Fatia Bouteiller

Fatia Bouteiller a rejoint Deloitte Société d’Avocats en 2017 pour renforcer l’équipe Immigration. Fatia dispose d’une expérience de 15 ans en mobilité internationale dans les domaines du droit de l’immigration, […]