Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed our world. The biggest impact it has on international travel. Many countries imposed a ban on travelers from certain countries and numerous flights have been cancelled. Those special measures were needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – disease caused by novel corona-virus. Now, nothing is like it used to be. Republic of Korea also decided to suspend visa waiver agreements with countries who imposed a ban for travelers from Korea early this year. There are many misleading information about this around the Internet and searching for the right one would bring a headache to anyone. We did it instead of you and have summed up information from trustworthy sources in this article.
Citizens of which countries need a visa to enter Korea?
Even if your country had visa waiver agreement with the Republic of Korea before, you cannot be sure you will be able to enter Korea now. The visa waiver agreement has been suspended, until further notice for countries who imposed a ban on Korean travelers. This is the complete and the most recent list:
Asia and Pacific:
- New Zealand
- United Arab Emirates
- Antigua & Barbuda
- El Salvador
- Costa Rica
- St. Lucia
- Trinidad & Tobago
If you are a citizen of one of these countries, you must obtain a visa to enter Korea. You must also be advised that tourist visas will not be issued. You must have an important reason to have the visa issued, such as business travel, employment, medical travel or have relatives/spouses who are Korean citizens. Conditions to get any of these visas could also be changed, Before applying please contact Korean Embassy or Consulate in your country.
I have a proper visa to enter Korea, what now?
Visa issuance is not the last formality you have to go through before coming to Korea. Remember that in 48h before your departure, you have to obtain a health certificate from your doctor, that you do not have any of possible Covid-19 symptoms, such as: fever, cough, breathing problems, muscle pain, nausea or rash. You must also sign a Facility Quarantine Agreement, as all short term visa (except C-4) holders must undergo a 14 days quarantine in the government facility. The quarantine cost is covered by the visitor and its up to 2 100 000 KRW (apr. 1800 USD). During your quarantine you will have food and snacks provided as you are not allowed to leave the facility at any circumstances.
What if I have a long term or C-4 visa? Do I have to undergo the quarantine?
All people who enter Korea, including Korean nationals have to undergo the 14 days quarantine. However, long term visa holders and Korean nationals doesn’t have to go to government facility if they have registered address in Korea. There is also a possibility to have it in Airbnb or hotel but you must know that the chosen facility has to comply with special and rigoristic conditions and even though you won’t be sure to be allowed for self-quarantine.
During your quarantine you will be tested for corona-virus three times. Usually on the 1st, 10th and 14th day of your stay. The test is free and you will be transferred to the clinic by an ambulance or special taxi.
How do they monitor my state and my whereabouts?
All people arriving to Korea must have a valid phone number to be registered under and get an application tracking the state of your health and whereabouts (if you’re not leaving the assigned quarantine place). Leaving the quarantine may have serious consequences with possibility of deportation.
How to get a medical visa to have the surgery in Korea?
Issuance of tourist visas has been suspended for most countries. However medical tourism is still one of the purposes you can get visa for. If you plan to come to Korea for medical treatment, including plastic surgery, you can get up to 90 days single entry visa issued. (C-3-3). Here is a list of documents you will need to apply for this visa:
- Reservation confirmation letter (from the clinic)
- Business registration certificate (from the clinic)
- Foreign patients treatment certificate (from the clinic)
- Visa application form
- Passport & copy of passport
- Financial proof (that you can afford for the treatment and stay in Korea)
I got the visa, what next? When can I have the surgery and how will the clinic assist me?
You can have the surgery as soon as you are released from the 14 days quarantine. During the quarantine period our clinic will be in contact with the Health Center that monitors your state. Our hospital will also help you if any assistance during the quarantine period is needed. After the release, we can provide with a special taxi that will pickup you from the facility.
You can be sure about your safety at the site of JW Plastic Surgery Center. We undertook certain measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Before a patient’s visit, we perform a careful interview to ensure they haven’t been exposed to increased risk of infection: haven’t participate in religious events or any event involving a huge number of people.
- Every employee wears an obligatory mask and washes their hands with antiseptic liquid.
- Every patient and employee must have their body temperature measured at the entrance
- For the safe treatment, the number of visitor has been reduced to 1 person per patient.
- Before and after working hours, the hospital is disinfected with antiseptics.
- Air shower in the surgery room helps keeping a sterile state.