Beginning the second half of 2020, embassies will no longer issue Korean visa labels or stickers on applicants’ passports.
- South Korea’s Ministry of Justice, through the Korea Visa Portal, announced that all Embassies will no longer attach Korean visa labels on passports starting July 1, 2020.
- ROK’s embassies in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brunei Darussalam also made the announcement on their respective websites.
- Korea’s diplomatic offices in Japan, US, and 24 European countries have already stopped issuing visa stickers since February of this year.
- If you plan to travel to Seoul, Osaka, Boracay, or any other destination when conditions permit, book exciting activities on WAUG — Korea’s best travel app! View our list of activities and restaurants here.
Explore more: South Korea’s Enhanced Travel Requirements Amid COVID-19
Label-Free Korean Visa Policy
If looking at visa stickers in your passport sparks joy in you, South Korea’s new policy may come across a bit frustrating. The country’s Ministry of Justice announced on February 21 that they will stop issuing Korean visa stickers on applicants’ passports. The new guideline is already being carried out in 26 countries (Phase 1) and is expected to be implemented by all embassies starting July 1, 2020 (Phase 2).
Phase 1: 26 Countries That are No Longer Issuing Korean Visa Labels
Since February 24, The Korean embassies in these countries have ceased issuance of visa stickers:
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
- United States
Phase 2: All Diplomatic Offices
As posted on the Korea Visa Portal, all other Korean embassies will carry out the new guideline on July 1. South Korea’s diplomatic offices in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Brunei Darussalam also published the sticker-free directive on their respective websites.
Here is the official notice (partial) that’s posted on the Korea Visa Portal:
The Korean Embassies in the United States of America, Japan, and 24 European Countries* no longer issue visa labels as of 24th February, 2020… All Korean Embassies will stop issuing visa labels from 1st July, 2020.
In 2018, the East Asian country also stopped stamping passports upon clearance in Immigration.
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What happens when embassies stop issuing Korean visa labels?
Good question. In lieu of a visa sticker, you’re supposed to present a printed copy of your Visa Grant Notice to the Immigration officer. For more information, read: Things to Know About Korea’s Visa Grant Notice: How to Verify & Print
If you want to check the announcement on the cancellation of Korean visa labels or stickers, visit the Korea Visa Portal here or the website of the Korean Embassy in Brunei Darussalam here. (To check if the ROK diplomatic office near you will adapt the guideline, please check their official website or contact them via email.)