South Korea Waives Visa Fees to All ASEAN Countries

South Korea, visa, ASEAN, data

Deoksugung in Seoul (Photo: Wikipedia)

Until now, only Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand could enter South Korea on a visa waiver program. South Korea is now offering a similar advantage for the rest of the ASEAN countries for a three-month period.

The Republic of Korea will temporarily waive the visa application fee for all Southeast Asian countries, starting from October 1 until December 31.

According to a statement issued by South Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the measure has been adopted in conjunction with the ASEAN- Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit, an event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ASEAN and Republic of Korea dialogue partnership. The event will take place in the city of Busan on November 25-26.

So far, only Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand citizens could travel to South Korea without asking for a visa. Other ASEAN countries such as Indonesia or Vietnam were however allowed to get a multiple-entry visa valid for a period of ten years. Until the end of December, the measure concerns citizens from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The program is only valid for C-3 short-term visit visas to South Korea. The C-3 visa is valid for three months after the date of issue. During the three-month period, visa applicants are not required to pay the US$40 admission fee. However, they still have to submit their applications at the Korea Visa Application Centre in their own cities and requested to pay an administration fee of approximately US$15.

In a statement to the Jakarta Post- Indonesia main newspaper in English- South Korean Ambassador to Indonesia Kim Chang-beom declared that he hoped the ASEAN – Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit and the free-visa program could give Indonesians who want to travel to South Korea the opportunity and experience of enjoying the country’s natural beauty and culture.

In 2018, ASEAN travellers to South Korea reached 2.44 million total arrivals, up by 15% over 2017. Vietnam and Malaysia tourist arrivals skyrocketed last year with total arrivals jumping respectively by 41% and 24.5% followed by Thailand, up by 12.1%.

Nationality

Total arrivals 2018 Growth over 2017 (%)
THAILAND

558,912

12.1

MALAYSIA

382,929

24.5

PHILIPPINES

460,168

2.6

INDONESIA

249,067

7.9

SINGAPORE

231,897

7.3

MYANMAR

71,094

1.7

VIETNAM

457,818

41.0

CAMBODIA

33,395

8.4

Total ASEAN

2,445,280

14.9

Total East Asia and Pacific

12,601,449

17.0