While South Korea is not visa-free for tourists from the Philippines, Indonesia, and India (among other countries), they are still allowed to enter and stay in Jeju Island without a visa provided that they meet certain requirements.
- Under a special arrangement, nationals of countries that are not granted visa-free entry to South Korea may still travel to Jeju-do if they meet certain conditions.
- Eligibility requirements include traveling for the purpose of tourism or transit, taking a flight or ferry that goes directly to Jeju, and staying for a maximum period of 30 days without exiting the island to transfer to another city or province in Korea.
- As of July 19, 2019, countries that are not included in the Jeju Island Visa-Free Entry Arrangement include Ghana, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar, among others.
- While Jeju is visa-free for individual Filipino tourists, note that, as of writing, there are no direct flights from the Philippines to the island.
- In any case, if you are sure to take a trip this year — be it in Jeju-do, Seoul, Osaka, New York, Paris, or Boracay — you will find the most worthwhile tours and activities to book from WAUG. Check out the No. 1 travel activity booking app from South Korea here.
UPDATE: June 13, 2020
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the government of South Korea has suspended visa-free entry to Jeju Island for these countries.
Special Entry Arrangement for Jeju Island: Requirements
If you are not from a country that has a visa-waiver or visa-free agreement with South Korea, here’s some good news: You may still be able to travel to the beautiful Jeju Island and explore its must-visit attractions like the O’sulloc Tea Museum, Jeonbang Waterfall, and Oedolgae! If you meet the following conditions from the Visa-Free Entry Arrangement to Jeju-do, go ahead and start planning your itinerary (We’ve got recommendations way below!):
1. You have a passport from an eligible country.
The Special Entry Arrangement for Jeju Island is applicable to citizens of countries that are not granted visa-free entry to South Korea. If you do not see your country in the following lists (subject to change without notice), you are eligible to visit Jeju Island:
a. List of Countries that are Granted Visa-Free Entry to Korea
Arranged in alphabetical order:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Commonwealth of Dominica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
b. List of Countries that are Excluded from the Visa-Free Entry Arrangement to Jeju-do
As of July 2019, the Korea Tourism Organization’s list of the countries that are denied visa-free entry to Jeju Island are as follows (arranged alphabetically):
- Sri Lanka
If you do not see your country in any of the two lists provided above, you are eligible to travel to Jeju with no visa pending other eligibility requirements! As you may have figured out already, countries that qualify include but are not limited to Cambodia, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam!
2. Your purpose of travel must be Tourism or Transit.
You will only visit Jeju Island for either leisure or transit. This means that you will not engage in any profitable or long-term activity, such as employment.
3. You will not stay for more than 30 days.
Your stay in Jeju Island will not exceed the maximum allowable duration of 1 month or 30 days.
4. You will remain in Jeju-do for the entire duration of your stay.
You will not leave Jeju Island to visit other regions or cities in South Korea, including Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, Incheon, and others.
5. You will travel directly to and from Jeju International Airport or Jeju International Passenger Terminal.
You must take a flight or ferry ride with direct routes to Jeju-do. This means that you must not make a stop or take a connecting flight from any other ports of entry in Korea such as Incheon International Airport, Gimpo International Airport, Gimhae International Airport, Port of Busan, and others. (You will be required to present a Korean visa if you do so.)
That’s it! These are the main conditions for a visa-free entry and stay in Jeju for non-tour-group participants! If you think you’re qualified to travel, don’t forget to confirm first with the Korean Embassy or Consulate in your home country if any changes or adjustments have been made in these criteria.
Jeju Group Tourist Visa System
In relation to the final condition (#5), know that there are certain tour groups that are permitted to arrive at or enter via Incheon International Airport, stay in Seoul or Busan within a couple of days, and then take a domestic connecting flight to Jeju Island — the final destination of their trip. This arrangement is referred to as the Jeju Group Tourist Visa System, which involves an accredited travel agency in Korea that will facilitate the tour.
Update for Filipino Tourists
With regard to the Jeju Group Tourist Visa System, the Embassy of Korea in the Philippines has posted the following notice from December 20, 2019:
This is to inform you of the Jeju Group tourist visa system for Filipinos, which is said to take effect [in] 2020.
The visa-free system, which is scheduled to be tested on the first half of next year (2020), is for group tourists who have scheduled flights to enter Korea with the final destination of Jeju Island (using domestic flights).
Therefore, individual tourists are not eligible, [and] only group tourists with certain requirements will be given these benefits, e.g. for Chinese passport holders, the visa-free entry system has been given only to group tourists with designated tour agencies.
Currently there is no final decision [on the matter] and it will be further discussed with the related ministries in Korea until February 2020.
We will notify you as soon as the details are finalized.
Potentially, what this means for Filipinos who are thinking of visiting Jeju Island are the following:
- Until there is a direct flight from the Philippines to Jeju Island (there is none, as of writing time), individual Filipino tourists are unable to enjoy the Special Entry Arrangement.
- The Jeju Group Tourist Visa System is still being finalized.
- If given the green light, Philippine passport-holders may get the chance to travel to South Korea as a group with no need for a visa, i.e. with an accredited travel agency in Korea, Filipinos might be able to enter via Incheon International Airport, stay in Seoul and/or Busan for a couple of days, and take a domestic flight to their final destination that is Jeju-do.
Plan Your Jeju Island Itinerary!
If you’ll get the chance to travel to Jeju Island, make sure to consider the following discounted tours, admission tickets, and activities from WAUG:
WAUG Pink Jeju Island Bus Tour
Hop on the WAUG Pink Bus for a special tour of Jeju-do! Ideal for self-guided travelers, the WAUG Pink Bus Tour will take you to all the must-visit Instagrammable spots and cafes. Choose any of the two self-paced courses and explore the hidden gems of Jeju Island in the poshest way possible! Book this bus tour here for only $25.5 (S$34 or ₱1,300), give or take.
Jeju Shinhwa World Ticket
Spend a day in Jeju’s premier theme park that’s packed with exciting rides and attractions, which include the rollercoaster at Shinhwa Theme Park, themed areas like Larva’s Adventure Village, an in-house VR-center that’s inspired by the Transformers, and the family-friendly Shinhwa Water Park. Tickets regularly cost $17 (around S$22 or ₱850), but you can check here if any discount applies!
Jeju Loveland Ticket
Let your imagination run wild at this Jeju Island park that’s packed with erotic artworks, incredible night illuminations, and exotic landscaping. When not discounted, admission to Jeju Loveland costs $8.8 (around S$11.8 or ₱445). Check today’s selling price here.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the information provided in this blog may be outdated. If you want to get the latest information on the special visa-free entry arrangements for Jeju Island, visit the following websites: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korea Immigration Service, and Hi Korea. Hope you enjoy your Korea trip!