Travel to Korea


Korea COVID Guidelines/Requirements: 

***Effective 20-Jan-2022***, the testing must have been performed, and a negative result certificate must have been issued within 48 hours before the departure date.

All travelers inbound to South Korea, age 6 and older, must receive a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of departure on the international leg of their trip.

Proof of a negative COVID-19 test must be presented to airline personnel when a passenger boards an aircraft. Boarding will not be permitted for passengers without a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of departure.

COVID-19 test MUST be taken NO EARLIER THAN 48 hours prior to scheduled departure from SeaTac.  For your test, time zones must be taken into account.  SeaTac is in the Pacific Standard Time zone.

The test certification document must be in hardcopy form issued in English or Korean. If it cannot be issued in either language, a supplemental translated version certifying the translation should be submitted along with the original test result. 

The test needs to be a viral Nucleic Acid Detection test (such as PCR or LAMP).
The test result document MUST include:

1) Travelers full name
2) Date of birth (passport number or DODID number is acceptable in lieu of DOB)
3) Type of Test (i.e. must state the test is a PCR or LAMP or other Viral Nucleic Acid Detection test type)
4) Date & Time Collected
5) Name of the laboratory or institution that issue the test result.

The test result should be submitted to the quarantine authorities upon their arrival in the ROK. 

Acceptable Covid-19 result formats for Korea:  Hardcopy.  Handwritten test are NOT accepted.


***Effective 13-Apr-2022***  Re-Detected COVID-19 Travelers
Re-Detected COVID-19 Travelers, i.e. those that have previously tested Positive for COVID-19 who cannot submit the required negative PCR test results when they enter ROK (includes all: Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) personnel; DoD Military, DoD Civilians, DoD Eligible Family Members, DoD Sponsored Contractors).

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has authorized all USFK Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) personnel; DoD Military, DoD Civilians, DoD Eligible Family Members, DoD Sponsored Contractors that are Re-Detected COVID-19 Travelers as being EXEMPTED from submitting negative PCR test results, subject to meeting the following eligibility criteria while traveling to Korea:

Travelers who were infected with COVID-19:
1. Between the period of 10 to 40 days prior to the departure date to Korea AND
2. with no fever above 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit) AND
3. with proof documents for exemption such as a letter of release from isolation or confirmation letter of recovery, signed by medical doctors.


Official Travel to Korea

Starting September 1, 2021, all DoD Civilians, Contractors and Family Members, traveling to the Republic of Korea must have a valid visa or an approved Korea - Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) prior to entering the country, unless already in possession of a valid Korean visa. The entry requirements for Service Members on official travel (PCS, TDY, etc.) will remain the same, using the Common Access Card and travel orders.

What is a K-ETA? The K-ETA is an electronic travel authorization that visa-free eligible foreign visitors need to obtain before entering Korea, by submitting an application with relevant information online.

You must apply for the K-ETA at least 24 hours prior to boarding a flight or ship bound for Korea. There is a 10,000 KRW (approximately $9-$10 USD) non-refundable fee that must be paid, even if the application is denied. You can apply at:

***Update for travel to Japan and Korea as of 28-Jun-2021*** 

DoD Civilians and Eligible Family Members on official travel must have either a Special Issuance Passport (SIP) or, as a temporary measure, a memorandum from a DoD Passport Agent stating the SIP application was submitted prior to departure from the point of origin. The memorandum must identify each applicant, date of submission, country of travel for PCS/TDY/TAD and DoD VPAS ID. For a limited time, boarding a flight while on official travel status with a Regular (blue tourist) Passport is permissible ONLY with such a memo, which is to be presented to boarding officials, upon request.  NOTE: ATTENTION: EXTENSION TO TEMPORARY USE OF A REGULAR PASSPORT IN LIEU OF SPECIAL ISSUANCE PASSPORT FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL. THIS TEMPORARY EXCEPTION ORIGINALLY SET TO EXPIRE ON 30 SEPTEMBER 2021 HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL 30 SEPTEMBER 2022.

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