How to apply for the South Korean B-1 visa exemption?


South Korea is one of the popular tourist destinations in East Asia with its spectacular natural scenery. Most foreign tourists come to South Korea from China, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. In general, the country has defined a variety of visas for visitor purposes. South Korean Visa Exemption (B-1) is set for citizens of some countries who do not need a visa to enter South Korea. International conventions, national interests, and mutuality doctrine are the reasons for defining this exemption.

This blog discusses the countries exempted from visa, the length of stay under the B-1 visa exemption, and the renewal procedure.


What is a South Korean South Korea Visa Exemption (B-1)?

This visa is a kind of passport stamp used for citizens who do not need a visa to travel to South Korea. Holders of this visa can stay in South Korea for 30, 60, 90, and 180 days. If your country has signed a visa waiver agreement with South Korea, you will be eligible for it. In the following, we will present a list of these countries.

Eligible individuals can apply for  the South Korean B-1 visa exemption for the following purposes:

  • Tourism
  • Any activity that can be done in the short term and no salary is received

Holders of this permission cannot enroll in academic programs or engage in financial gain activities. Authorized activities for holders of this permit are similar to the C-3 visa. In short, they can only engage in activities defined in the South Korean B1 visa waiver agreement. If you intend to work for a short time or have to stay in South Korea for more than specified on the visa waiver agreement, you must apply for another appropriate visa.

If you are planning to visit South Korea as a tourist with an official or diplomatic visa, this visa will be issued to you.


What are the requirements of the B-1 visa exemption?

Applicants for this status must provide the following:

  • A valid passport: its validity must be 12 months or longer.
  • The applicant’s photo
  • The application form: To complete this form, you will need the following information:
    • Personal information and passport details
    • Contact details
    • Marital status
    • Education
    • Employment
    • Travel information
  • Visa application fee: which is about 3000 KRW
  • Applicants must prove that they intend to enter South Korea for a limited time for tourism or similar purposes.


How to apply for the South Korean B-1 visa exemption?

In general, the visa application process has three stages:

  1. Preparation of documents: You must prepare the required documents, as described in the previous section.
  2. Visa Application submission: The visa application form, along with the documents, must be submitted to the nearest South Korean embassy.
  3. Waiting for the result



How long does it take to assess the documents and issue a visa?

Processing time depends on the workload of the embassy but typically takes about ten working days.

How long can the holder of the B-1 visa exemption stay in South Korea?

As mentioned, citizens of countries that are in agreement with the visa waiver agreement with South Korea can stay in this country for 30, 60, 90, and 180 days. The exact length of your stay depends on what is being agreed between your country and South Korea. In the next section, in addition to the list of countries, we have provided the length of stay allowed.


Citizens of which countries are allowed to obtain the  South Korean B-1 visa exemption?

The countries whose citizens can travel to South Korea without a visa are listed below:



Hong Kong (90) Israel (90) Japan (90)
Kuwait (90) Macau (90) Malaysia (90)
Singapore (90) Taiwan (90) Thailand (90)
United Arab Emirates  (90) Bahrain (30) Brunei (30)
Fiji (30) Kazakhstan (30) Kiribati (30)
Oman (30) Qatar (30) Saudi Arabia (30)



Liberia (90) Morocco (90) Lesotho (60) Mauritius (30)
Seychelles (30) South Africa (30) Eswatini (30) Tunisia (30)



Austria (90) Belgium (90) Bulgaria (90) Croatia (90) Czech Republic (90) Denmark (90)
Estonia (90) Finland (90) France (90) Germany (90) Greece (90) Hungary (90)
Ireland (90) Italy (90) Latvia (90) Lithuania (90) Luxembourg (90) Malta (90)
Netherlands (90) Poland (90) Romania (90) Slovakia (90) Slovenia (90) Spain (90)
Sweden (90) United Kingdom (90) Cyprus (30) Portugal (90) Iceland (90) Liechtenstein (90)
Norway (90) Serbia (90) Switzerland (90) Turkey (90) Russia (60) Albania (30)
Andorra (30) Bosnia and Herzegovina (30) Monaco (30) Montenegro (30) San Marino (30) Vatican City (30)



Canada (180) Antigua and Barbuda (90) Bahamas (90) Barbados (90) Costa Rica (90) Dominica (90) Dominican Republic (90)
El Salvador (90) Grenada (90) Guatemala (90) Haiti (90) Jamaica (90) Mexico (90) Panama (90)
Saint Kitts and Nevis (90) Saint Lucia (90) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (90) Trinidad and Tobago (90) United States (90) Honduras (30)



Brazil (90) Chile (90) Colombia (90) Ecuador (90) Nicaragua (90) Peru (90)
Suriname (90) Uruguay (90) Venezuela (90) Argentina (30) Guyana (30) Paraguay (30)



Australia (90) New Zealand (90) Micronesia (30) Marshall Islands (30) Nauru (30)
Palau (30) Samoa (30) Solomon Islands (30) Tonga (30) Tuvalu (30)


Most citizens of these countries can stay in South Korea without a visa for up to 30 days. However, Canadian nationals can stay for up to 6 months, and citizens of the United States, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Slovenia are allowed to stay for around three months.


How can I change the status of the visa or extend it?

It should be noted that holders of this permission cannot change or renew their visa status. If you are planning to stay in South Korea for more than defined on the visa waiver agreement, you must apply for a visa before coming to South Korea.


Let’s sum up …

In this blog, we tried to address the frequently asked questions about the South Korean B-1 visa exemption. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other South Korean visas as well as ways to immigrate to other countries. In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences in comments is a great help for applicants.


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