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AMCHAM Korea

Important Notice: Recent Travel-Related Regulations for Foreigners

2020.05.29

Dear AMCHAM members:


On Monday, May 25, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) announced that effective June 1, Korea would implement new requirements for Korean visa holders to re-enter Korea after travel abroad in order to prevent inflow of COVID-19 from overseas.


The originally announced measures are outlined below:


1. Korea will require re-entry permits for long-term visa holders (excluding A-1, A-2, A-3, and F-4 visas). If the permit is not obtained at a local immigration office before departing Korea, the resident visa status will be cancelled.


2. When returning to Korea, a foreign resident must undergo a medical examination 48 hours prior to departure and present a signed certificate issued by an authorized medical institution to immigration officials upon arrival.


3. Returning long-term residents must still be tested upon arrival and submit to a mandatory two-week quarantine.


Immediately after these measures were announced, AMCHAM’s Government & Corporate Affairs Team led by Joon Huh met with senior officials in various agencies to address concerns of our members, and the burden this unnecessarily placed on personal and business travel. As a result of these consultations, the officials agreed to provide alternatives.


On May 29, the relevant officials from the Korean government visited AMCHAM, and we are pleased to inform you that after careful consideration of concerns raised, MOJ has agreed to modify the new requirements as follows:


1. Korea will establish an on-line application system so that travelers can easily obtain re-entry permits by mid-June. Approval will be given within 15-30 minutes of application.


2. When traveling on official purpose (business/investment, press, academic/research) for less than 3 weeks, the requirement for a medical certificate 48 hours prior to departure will be waived. The traveler needs to apply for the waiver from the Immigration Office in advance, prior to leaving Korea.


3. For non-official travel, one should still undergo a medical examination 2 (extendable up to 3) working days prior to departure for Korea.


A Korean-language summary of the modified requirements can be found on the MOJ website.


These decisive actions are an indication of the Korean Government’s willingness to fully listen to concerns and to take immediate action as necessary. We know that these actions may not satisfy 100% of the concerns that you may have. However, this is a GREAT first step. AMCHAM will continue to monitor this issue and take necessary and appropriate action to protect the interests of our members. Thank you for you continued support.


Regards,


James Kim
Chairman & CEO


Jeffrey Jones
Chairman of the Board of Governors