SouthKorea

ESTA for South Korean Citizens

In 2008 South Korea became a member of the Visa Waiver Program, which entitles citizens of the country to apply for an ESTA rather than a US visa for a visit to the United States. This provides them with several benefits when travelling to the US for tourism, business, medical or transit purposes.

ESTA Requirements and Important Information

  • Children of all ages require their own ESTA
  • Valid for up to 2 years, or until the passport expires
  • Can be used for multiple trips to the United States
  • Has a maximum stay limit of 90 days in the US
  • Travel authorisation must be obtained for non-US citizens entering the US
  • Applicable for visits for tourism, business, medical and transit
Application for South Korean Citizens

Benefits of Applying for ESTA for South Korean Citizens

Citizens of South Korea are able to take advantage of the many benefits of applying for an ESTA to visit the US. The ESTA application process is much quicker and easier to complete than applying for US Visa. Typically, the ESTA will be processed within around 24 hours, whilst applying for US Visa can take weeks, possibly months.

Applying for an ESTA is all done online and there is no requirement to attend an interview at the US embassy, which is a requirement when applying for US Visa. The application form takes around 20 minutes to complete and submit with the applicant then receiving an email to notify them of the decision whether it is approved or not. An additional benefit of applying for an ESTA is that the application fee is considerably cheaper than applying for a US Visa.

How South Korean Citizens Can Apply for ESTA

Provided that citizens of South Korea have a biometric passport, they are able to apply for an ESTA. There are several sections of questions that they must complete which include details such as name, address, date of birth and their parents’ details. There are also some security related questions including criminal convictions and any countries they visited that are deemed to have high risk links with terrorism.

The applicant simply needs to fill in the form, then pay the application fee before submitting the application. They will be screened by the Department of Homeland Security to determine whether that ESTA is approved. If approved, the ESTA links electronically to the passport. It is really important that no mistakes are made on the application, as this can result in it being declined and delaying the obtaining of travel authorisation that is necessary for visits to the US.

What to do if ESTA is Declined

If the ESTA gets declined, then the applicant can either resubmit another application with the correct details or they can alternatively apply for a US Visa. To apply for US Visa, they will need to complete a DS 160 form and arrange and attend an interview at the US embassy.

US Embassy Address South Korea

U.S. Embassy Seoul
188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu,
Seoul, Korea

Benefits of ESTA for South Korean Citizens:
  • Fast processing time
  • Completed online, with no interview required
  • Form is short and quick to complete
  • Can be used for visits of a maximum of 90 days
  • Cheaper application fee than visa
  • Valid ESTA can be used multiple times