COVID-19

[UPDATE - COVID-19] Entry in South Korea

Korea has decided to reimpose strict passenger screening at airports, mandatory quarantine and other measures.

[Update regarding Omicron variant] Korea has decided to reimpose strict passenger screening at airports, mandatory quarantine and other measures. From Friday 3rd, all international arrivals will be required to undergo mandatory quarantine for 10 days for the next 2 weeks, regardless of whether they are vaccinated. Korean citizens and foreigners on long-term stay will be allowed to quarantine at home.

COVID-19 protocols and quarantine measures for international travelers

From November 1st, South Korea introduced  the plan "Living with COVID" meaning gradual phasing out of coronavirus restrictions

  • Quarantine and monitoring periods are reduced from 14 days to 10 days
  • From December 1st, introduction of a quarantine classification system for different countries based on three categories based on risk level in the country: 

   1) Level 1 countries (safe countries): quarantine exemption when fully vaccinated and no restrictions on visa deliveries. PCR test prior to entry and after entry is still required

   2) Level 2 countries (general countries): quarantine in place but lifted from the first semester 2022 when fully vaccinated, some restrictions on visa deliveries

   3) Level 3 countries (high-risk countries):  quarantine in place indefinitely, restrictions on visa deliveries and air routes

To date, France would belong to the group of Level 2 countries from December 1st depending on the sanitary situation in France.

 

Re-Entry for French Residents in Korea

Here are some useful information for French Residents going back and forth to Korea:

  • People vaccinated in Korea are exempted from quarantine without prior request before the departure. French people vaccinated in France who already get a quarantine exemption and has registered their vaccine status to KDCA and COOV are considered as people vaccinated in Korea. Check our vaccination guide here.
  • French people vaccinated in France who have family in Korea can be exempted. The request should be addressed to the Korean Embassy in France.
  • French people vaccinated in France who come (back) in Korea for business purpose can be exempted. The request should be addressed to the Business Travel Support Center operated by KITA 
  • For people not vaccinated, there is a 10 days quarantine
  • In every cases, you need to do a PCR test before the departure from France, and another one after the arrival in Korea within 24 hours, and stay in quarantine until you get the result
  • Foreign residents still need a reentry permit to come back in Korea though the HiKorea portal

 

90-days visa waiver for European Travelers

The Korean authorities announced the reopening of authorisation for european travelers to come to South Korea without a visa for less than 90 days from September 1st under certain conditions established according to bilateral conventions.

Commercial activities (business meetings, market studies, contract signing, etc.) are allowed but lucrative activities (paid work or paid service provision) are not allowed in this regime of visa exemption between France and Korea.

The 10-days mandatory quarantine remains in place in this case and the K-ETA (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization) is mandatory prior to traveling. But fully vaccinated people can request an exemption for family, professional or diplomatic purposes.

 

Reopening of all long-sojourn visas except H-1 visas

The  Korean authorities also previously announced on July 23rd that all long-sojourn visas will be opened for applications for French residents including students' long sojourn visas, except the working holiday H-1 visa.

Short-sojourn visas

For short-term visas, restrictions remain in place, except in the following cases:

  • Diplomatic Official
  • Essential business activities* such as Investment, technology provision (including important business purposes)
  • Seamen Transit (C-3-11)
  • Short-Term News Coverage(C-1)‧Short-Term Employment(C-4)
  • Family member of a Korean national (spouse, child, spouse's parents, and Parents-in-law of Korean national. For ‘Parents of Korean national and Parents-in-law of Korean national’, one can apply for a visa for the purpose of supporting pregnancy ‧ childbirth ‧ child raising of children under the age of 7 of a Korean national or a spouse of a Korean national) **
  • Family member (spouse, minor child) of foreigners living in Korea with long-term visas (D-3, E-8, E-9, E-10, G-1, H-1 cannot invite family members) **
  • Recognized humanitarian reasons (Mandatory to submit relevant supporting documents)**

*In principle, visa issuance is only possible if the relevant ministry in Korea recognizes the essentiality of the business activities and officially asks in writing for cooperation to the Diplomatic Mission. 

**These exception categories need to submit a statement explaining the purpose of trip (free format).

 

Visas for the abovementioned exceptions are issued upon thorough verification and confirmation of the purpose of entry and after sufficient screening period (14 days or more).

You can apply for a visa to the Korea Visa Application Center (KVAC)

The prolongation of visas and resident cards for French residents already in Korea are not affected by these decisions and can be carried out as usual.

FKCCI will keep on pursuing its efforts towards thriving French-Korean cooperation and give you timely information, so don't hesitate to ask us our assistance at welcome@fkcci.com so that we can help you on a case by case basis. 

 

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