South Korea will not need some long-term visa owners to get re-entry permission before traveling abroad beginning April 1, 2022. Long-term visa owners who have resident cards or are waiting for them to be issued and whose trip time outside of South Korea does not surpass one year will no longer be required to file for re-entry permission before foreign travel. The statement by the government represents a considerable easing of entrance rules for foreign residents, which were imposed in mid-2020 to halt the expansion of COVID-19.
Long-term visa owners with a residence card have traditionally been excluded from the necessity to get re-entry permission before traveling abroad. The government, however, canceled that immunity on June 1, 2020, in reaction to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Therefore, under the current system, if a long-term visa holder wishes to maintain their status and the authorized period of stay after leaving South Korea for international travel, they must obtain a re-entry permit at local immigration offices or via the HiKorea website before departing South Korea. This covers both foreign nationals with D-7 intracompany transferee visas and those with F-3 dependent family visas. Long-term visa owners who do not get re-entry permission before departure may have their residency cards revoked, necessitating acquiring a new long-term visa before reentering South Korea.
According to the notification, long-term visa holders who have a resident card or are waiting for one to be granted may go worldwide and return to South Korea without first getting re-entry permission if their journey is less than one year. The permissible term of stay outside South Korea is lengthened to two years for some foreign citizens, including those possessing F-5 permanent resident visas.
A-1, A-3 SOFA, and F-4 visa owners are excluded from filing for re-entry permission before departure under both programs.
The new rules will go into effect on April 1, 2022. As a result, most long-term visa holders who leave South Korea for overseas travel before April 1 must still get re-entry permission before departure and must go back to South Korea before the re-entry permit expires. Furthermore, long-term visa owners who have previously secured re-entry permission for overseas travel on or after April 1 will be constrained by the re-entry permit’s expiry date.
Have you had a South Korean visa for a long time? Are you happy with the cancellation of the need to get a re-entry permit? Then, tell us in the comment section.