Travel Advice


SAFETY AND SECURITY:

When you travel to the Republic of Korea, be alert to any unusual activity around your home, hotel, or business and report any significant incidents to the local police (tel: 112; from a cell phone: 02-112).

Demonstrations, protests, and vigils occur frequently, some focusing on issues involving the United States, such as the U.S. military presence or U.S.-ROK trade issues. While the majority of the political, labor, and student demonstrations and marches are non-violent, some have become confrontational. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can escalate into violence. Avoid areas near demonstrations and leave the vicinity of any protests.

DISASTER PREPARATIONS:

Legally, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (also known as North Korea or the DPRK) and the Republic of Korea are in a state of war. There is peace on the Korean peninsula because of an agreement that has lasted for close to 60 years. In the last few years, the number and importance of political, economic, and social interaction between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea have increased. However, it is still possible that military tension could create the need for you to evacuate the area.

CRIME:

The crime rate in the Republic of Korea is low. Pick-pocketing, purse snatching, assault, hotel room and residential burglary, and residential crime occur more frequently in major metropolitan areas-- such as Seoul and Busan-- than elsewhere in the Republic of Korea. You are more likely to be targeted in known tourist areas, such as Itaewon (near the U.S. Army Garrison in the Yongsan area) and large market areas downtown. Incidents of sexual assault and rape have been reported in popular nightlife districts in Seoul, as well as in the victims' residences (which are not necessarily in nightlife districts). Bar and street fights, as well as occasional harassment of Westerners, have also been reported in nightlife districts in Seoul. Exercise caution when traveling alone at night and use only legitimate taxis or public transportation. Reduce the likelihood of becoming a crime victim by exercising the same type of security precautions you would take when visiting any large city in the United States.

Don't buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only is buying bootleg goods illegal in the United States, you may be breaking local law too.

ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

You must have a passport to enter the Republic of Korea. As long as you have a U.S. passport, you can enter the Republic of Korea without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days if you are a tourist or if you are in the Republic of Korea on business. If you are staying for more than 90 days, or for any reason other than tourism or a temporary non-profit business trip, you must have a visa before you enter. If you are visiting the Republic of Korea for employment, for any profit-making reason, to teach English, or for stays longer than 90 days, you must get a visa at an ROK embassy or consulate. Once you enter the Republic of Korea, if you are staying in the Republic of Korea for longer than 90 days, you must also apply for an Alien Registration Card.

The Government of the Republic of Korea considers it very important to control the number of illegal or out-of-status foreigners in the country. If you want to stay longer than your authorized period of stay after you have entered the Republic of Korea, be sure to apply to the ROK Immigration for an extension before the expiration date of your authorized stay. If you stay in the Republic of Korea longer than the time authorized by ROK Immigration without applying for an extension, you will be fined. You will be required to pay the fines before you can leave the country. You cannot change the status of your visa from one type to another (from tourism to teaching, for example) while you are in the Republic of Korea. You must change your status at an ROK embassy or consulate in another country after departing the Republic of Korea.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions:

Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to, and foreign residents of, the Republic of Korea. Section 11 of the ROK Immigration Law says that an immigration officer has the right to deny entry to those who may have communicable diseases. Also, particular visa classes such as E-2 (teachers) and E-6 visas (singers, dancers, or other entertainment workers) must submit HIV/AIDS test results in order to obtain these types of visas. Please verify this information with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea before you travel.

Useful Information

Map and Location of South Korea
Useful Map and Satellite Images.
Korea Event Calender
Search for Festivals, Exhibitions and Performances.
Korean Transportation System
Covers - Domestic flights, Buses, Rail, Subway, Ferries and Taxis.
YouTube - Visit Korea Channel
The Official YouTube Channel of The Korea Tourism Organization.
Weather, Climate & Earthquakes
Latest weather related news and climate, weather and earthquake information.

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