Connecticut, US

May 29 2020

Re-entry Permit and Medical Report to be Required Starting June 1

Republic of Korea (South Korea)

At a glance

  • Effective June 1, 2020, all registered long-term visa holders (except A-1, A-2, A-3 and F-4 visa holders) who seek to depart and return to South Korea will need to obtain a re-entry permit and submit a consent form for medical examination (diagnosis report) before departing South Korea. The government will cancel the visa and alien registration of long-term visa holders who depart South Korea without obtaining the re-entry permit. 
  • Pursuant to the above consent form, they must also obtain a diagnosis report issued no earlier than 48 hours from the date of departure to South Korea from a medical institution in the country the traveler is visiting and present it prior to boarding the return flight bound for South Korea and upon re-entry at airport immigration in South Korea. Long-term visa holders who fail to present the above diagnosis report will be prohibited from re-entry into South Korea.
  • Check Fragomen’s dedicated COVID-19 website for constantly-updated information on worldwide COVID-19-related policy changes.

The situation

Effective June 1, 2020, all registered long-term visa holders who seek to depart and return to South Korea will need to obtain (i) a re-entry permit prior to departure from South Korea; and (ii) a diagnosis report prior to returning to South Korea. The following are exempt from these requirements: A-1 diplomats, A-2 officials, A-3 SOFA visa holders and F-4 overseas Korean visa holders.

A closer look

  • Re-entry permit process. Travelers subject to the re-entry permit requirement can apply for one at the immigration office in South Korea before departing South Korea.  The traveler can also obtain the re-entry permit at the airport on the day of their departure - early arrival at the airport is recommended. An online application system for the re-entry permit will also likely become operational in June. It is generally recommended that the traveler obtain the re-entry permit prior to their departure date, whether at an immigration office or through the online system. The re-entry permit will be granted only on a single-entry basis.
  • Medical report process.  At the time of submitting the re-entry permit application, the long-term visa holder must submit a consent form for medical examination and submission of diagnosis before re-entry; and, pursuant to such consent form, before returning to Korea, they must obtain a written diagnosis report from a medical institution in the country the traveler is visiting and present it prior to boarding the return flight bound for South Korea and upon re-entry into South Korea at airport immigration. The diagnosis report must be:
    • in Korean or English;
    • from an authorized medical institution;
    • based on a medical examination conducted no earlier than 48 hours prior to the date of departure;
    • indicating date of medical examination and name and signature of examiner; and
    • diagnosis of fever, cough, chills, headache, difficulty in breathing, muscle pain and pulmonary symptoms.

The diagnosis report does not need to indicate whether one has tested negative for COVID-19, but if it indicates a negative test result, it will be considered valid.  

Background

The re-entry permit is a tool for the Korean government to control the exit and entry of foreign long-term visa holders, as the country continues the fight to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The medical diagnosis report is another common tool that governments across the world are using to control the exit and entry of their own nationals and/or foreign nationals.

Check Fragomen’s dedicated COVID-19 website for constantly-updated information on worldwide COVID-19-related policy changes.

Impact

The government will cancel the visa and alien registration of long-term visa holders who depart South Korea without obtaining the re-entry permit. 

Long-term visa holders who fail to present the above diagnosis report will be prohibited from re-entry into South Korea.

Looking ahead

When the online re-entry permit application system is implemented, Fragomen’s dedicated COVID-19 website will be updated.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].