ETIAS Visa Waiver for Travelers from South Korea

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South Korea will bring its 51.7 million citizens to the international community whose short-term travel to the Schengen zone will be impacted by the new ETIAS visa waiver system. Initially planned for launch in 2021, COVID-19 has set back this international crime and terrorism fighting measure to 2023. It is on track for this new launch date, and all South Koreans must follow the measures of ETIAS to visit the Schengen zone for periods under 90 days.
Discover everything you need to learn about this visa waiver, valid for three years after acceptance, below. For more information, take a look at, a goldmine of information surrounding the new system.

The Travel Rights granted by ETIAS

South Korea is regarded by the EU as a very safe nation and is considered one of its allies on the global stage. For this reason, South Korea was on the EU’s “white list” of nations whose citizens had an automatic right to short-term travel in Europe. Sadly, the situation has changed, and an ETIAS visa waiver will be needed for South Koreans to visit any of the 24 ETIAS countries nations listed below. These are the EU nations inside the Schengen zone, the four EFTA nations, and the defacto Schengen microstates.
  • Greece
  • Estonia
  • Switzerland
  • Poland
  • Norway
  • Monaco
  • Luxembourg
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Austria
  • Portugal
  • Vatican City
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Latvia
  • Germany
  • Liechtenstein
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Czech Republic
  • Lithuania
  • San Marino
  • Iceland
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Sweden

Properly Completing ETIAS Applications

Before understanding what, the application entails, South Koreans must understand how important it is to complete their ETIAS online application properly. Around 5% of applications will be rejected, and a majority of these rejections will likely be simple mistakes made in the application. Mistakes that can lead to a rejection include.
  • 1. Failure to follow requests for additional information
  • 2. Insufficient information or documentation is provided
  • 3. Invalid documentation is included in the application
  • 4. Falsified information found during cross-checks.

Necessary Documentation for ETIAS Applications

These common rejection justifications can be partially avoided by taking care when submitting ETIAS required documentation, which most South Korean’s will have access to already. They must make sure that those detailed below are in date, relevant for the individual, and have been issued by official bodies.
  • 1. Biometric passport
  • 2. Proof of Address
  • 3. A digital photograph of themselves that is different from their passport photograph.

When is more Documentation required?

More documentation will be required in two circumstances. The less major of the two are cases where minor discrepancies have been unearthed which are not sufficient grounds for rejection of an ETIAS application. If the administrative staff expect this can be reconciled with further basic documentation, they will request it via email, and the South Korean will have ten days to acquire the documentation and email it back.
More concerning for South Koreans will be if they are one of the 5% whose ETIAS application will be rejected. Most rejections will be salvageable, and the EU will request more extensive documentation that they believe could explain the major issues they have found. South Koreans will have substantially less time to arrange this, being given just 96 hours. Once they have sent off their additional documentation, it will take a while for the EU to determine if they are happy to allow the South Korean to enter the Schengen area. Most cases will take around four weeks.

When is an Interview required?

Sometimes the additional documentation requested in either case will turn out to not speak to the discrepancy that administrative staff has unearthed. To deal with this, they may request an interview with the ETIAS applicant to give the South Korean the chance to explain themselves. This interview will normally be within 72 hours of the South Korean providing the additional information.

Questions all South Koreans must answer when they apply for ETIAS

It is not only South Koreans who are interviewed that must answer questions for their ETIAS application. Providing documentation is only half of the application process and South Koreans will be asked rigorous questions to determine if they are safe travelers.
These questions will center around the South Korean's terrorist, criminal, militant, and human trafficking activity and affiliations. For example, they will ask for details on all criminal convictions in the past 15 years and all terrorist convictions in the past 25 years.
There may be a temptation to tell mistruths if a South Korean knows that they fit the grounds for rejection. However, this should be discouraged in all circumstances. The EU will cross-reference all ETIAS applicants' answers with Interpol and police databases. The discovery of mismatches between the two will result in the immediate rejection of an application.


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