South Korea: Introduction of new Re-entry Permit requirement

South Korea: Introduction of new Re-entry Permit requirement


All foreign nationals holding a long-term visa in South Korea will be required to apply for a re-entry permit each time they intend to leave and re-enter the country. This process will be effective from June 1st and obliges the traveling individual to obtain a medical certificate from the destination country prior to return to Korea.
What has changed?

From June 1st, any foreign national holding a long-term visa who needs to travel and return to South Korea will need to obtain a re-entry permit prior to departing. The individual will need to submit an application to the immigration office for the re-entry permit, including supporting documentation to evidence the need to travel and return to Korea.

Once the application is accepted and the re-entry permit is issued, the individual can travel.

48 hours prior to their return to South Korea the individual must complete a medical examination at an official medical center. The issued medical certificate should be in English or Korean, include the name of the doctor and date of issuance, and confirm the applicant does not have any Covid-19 related symptoms. The individual is then permitted to take their return flight to South Korea and will be required to provide the medical certificate to the immigration officer on arrival at the airport entry gate.

What to expect / impact?

Failure to complete the consent for the medical check and provision of diagnosis on re-entry will lead to the application for the re-entry permit being rejected. The application for the re-entry permit may also be rejected if the immigration officer feels the purpose for travel and re-entry are unnecessary. Only a single re-entry permit will be issued, so a new application will be required each time an individual needs to travel.

For further information on the re-entry permit for South Korea, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at

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Leanne Cottrell
Leanne Cottrell

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