When I was asked if I wanted to head to Korea for HHWT, there was no question about it. I dropped everything and left for my next adventure. However, the breeze that was once check-ins were now a pile of documents in hand, passport in the other. Catching up with all I needed to travel had been anxiety-inducing, but getting through customs was nerve-wracking. Did I have everything I needed? What would happen if I didn't?
Nonetheless, it was worth it. I explored new places, met amazing new people, and enjoyed exciting new experiences. It was so refreshing that now I want you to experience that, too. So here's what you'll need to know to get to Korea!
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What You Need To Know About Getting To Korea
Now here's the real head-scratcher. Getting to another country used to be as easy as grabbing your passport and heading for the causeway or airport. I remember packing my clothes, grabbing my passport and just leaving the house. Now, it's a little bit different. In order to ensure everyone's safety, the South Korean and Singaporean Governments require you to have a few things prepared before you travel.
P.S. If you’re planning on visiting South Korea soon, don’t miss out on Korea Tourism Organization x LCC Special Promotion on Korea’s Low-Cost Carriers (LCC)! Book your flight with Air Premia, JejuAir, or T’way air for direct flights from Singapore to Korea and enjoy up to 15% OFF your air ticket from now till 30 November 2022!
To enter Korea, you'll need to have filled up this form in advance. The K-ETA is an electronic travel authorisation that allows visa-free tourists to enter Korea. Remember to apply for the K-ETA at least 2 weeks prior to your departure, because now that South Korea has dropped the restrictions of international flights, it's expected that more visitors will travel to South Korea, and the Embassy will take a longer time in checking your application. You can add the contact number of the accommodation you'll be staying in when you arrive in South Korea if you're prompted to add a Korean number. Click here to apply for your K-ETA!
P.S. Here Are Quarantine-Free Countries That Are Open To Travellers Vaccinated With Sinovac!
2. Vaccination Certificate
To travel to South Korea, you'll need to be fully vaccinated with any World Health Organisation emergency-use list vaccine. So make sure you have this ready! I had been vaccinated, so there was no worry there.
I did, however, have to get my vaccination certificate from Notarise. Getting my vaccination certificate here means that I was getting it from a safe and reliable source! Recognised by both governments, make sure to print a hard copy of the QR Code and certificate provided. I had to show it to the appropriate authorities as I made my way through the airport check-ins in both countries.
You can also get your vaccination certificate notarised via Health Hub. Just sign in using your Singpass and follow the instructions accordingly.
P.S. Here are accommodations near South Korea's top attractions!
3. No More Pre-Departure Covid-19 Test
As of September 2022, travellers are no longer required to take a Pre-Departure Covid-19 Test and there will no longer be an On-Arrival Covid-19 Test either! Which means that you don't have to visit the clinic to get a test done, nor will you need documents relating to this when you travel.
4. Q-Code for quarantine-free travel across South Korea
While there is no need for quarantine anymore, all travellers, including children below the age of 6 are required to register for Q-Code at least 3 days prior to departure. You can apply this once you have your negative PCR test result sent to you. A QR code will be issued to the traveller's email after registration. Q-Code is valid for one-time entry. Therefore, you need to register for Q-Code before every entry. You can add the contact number of the accommodation you'll be staying in when you arrive in South Korea if you're prompted to add a Korean number.
P.S. Travelling to South Korea soon? Check out Korea Tourism Organization x LCC Special Promotion on Korea's Low-Cost Carriers (LCC)! From now until 30 November 2022, Air Premia, JejuAir, and T'way air are offering up to 15% OFF air tickets for direct flights from Singapore to Korea!
5. Travel Insurance
To keep you safe, you'll have to buy an insurance plan before you make the trip. It needs to have a minimum coverage of 30 million won for COVID-19 medical/treatment expenses and hospitalisation costs. That way, if you happen to be Covid positive in Korea, your hospitalisation expenses will be covered (depending on your plan)!
The travel agency helped me with this as well, but you can check out AIG for their insurance plans to Korea!
6. Once You're In Korea
Once you're in Korea, there'll be a few immigration stops. They'll ensure you have the right documents to tour and explore the country!
First stop: Immigration
Immigration for me was quite fast! However, more visitors are expected to visit South Korea so do be prepared for long immigration lines. But after clearing immigration, things were pretty smooth.
At this stage, you'll need these documents for them to check:
- Travel declaration form (either provided whilst you're on the plane, or any of the booths along immigration and baggage claim area)
- Notarised vaccination certificate
- Flight itinerary (you can use your phone, but if you need to download it and it takes too much time at the immigration, it's better to have it printed)
P.S. As part of Korea Tourism Organization x LCC Special Promotion on Korea’s Low-Cost Carriers (LCC), get up to 15% OFF your air ticket when you book your flights with Air Premia, JejuAir, or T’way air from now till 30 November 2022! The best part is they’re direct flights from Singapore to Korea.
HHWTTip: Have multiple copies of the relevant documents! While the immigration did not keep any documents for record, it's always better to be safe than sorry. I put one in my hand-carry, and another in my luggage bag for emergencies.
P.S. Check out this Muslim-friendly Everland guide!
And then you're done! It's getting easier to travel to South Korea as rules are getting less restricted in lieu of their improved situation. I'm definitely much more confident about travelling now than I once was. Share this with your travel buddy to plan your next trip to South Korea! For more information, you can check out the respective Korean embassies in your country on their website.