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COVID-19: Long-term Korean visa holders of required to undergo medical exam before returning to South Korea

Foreign long-term residents of South Korea will need to obtain a re-entry permit before leaving the country, and a medical exam before returning, to help stem coronavirus infections.

According to the notices, starting on Jun 1, 2020 South Korea will temporarily require re-entry permits, which are usually waived for long-term visa holders. If the permit is not obtained at a local immigration office before departing South Korea, the resident will lose their visa.

The provision does not apply to diplomatic or official visas or "overseas Korean" visas - given to people with a foreign parent or grandparent who once held Korean nationality.Shortly before returning to South Korea, the resident will need to undergo a medical examination, and then present a signed certificate to immigration officials upon arrival.

The diagnosis shall be written in English or Korean, signed by a medical examiner and issued by an authorized medical institution. Like all arrivals from overseas, returning long-term residents must still be tested and submit to a mandatory two-week quarantine, though they can self-isolate at home if they do not have symptoms.

COVID-19: General Information Regarding Entry to South Korea

On April, South Korea suspended visa-free entry and visa waiver programs for nationals of 90 countries effective April 13, 2020. This suspension includes nationals of Israel.

The government announced that it will also suspend the validity of all short-term visas of up to 90 days that were issued before April 5, 2020. Foreign nationals who hold short-term visas must apply for new ones.

Travelers carrying Israeli passports must now have a visa issued from the Korean Embassy in order to travel to South Korea. 

Exceptions apply in some cases including C-4 visa holders who are sponsored by local Korean firms for their specialized skills. 

Foreigners who have already entered South Korea for a short-term stay are also allowed to stay until their existing visa expires.

Best Regards,


Amit Acco, Senior Partner 


Disclaimer: The content herein is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. Readers are advised not act upon the contained information without professional advice.No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced without express permission. © Kan-Tor & Acco law firm

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