Korea resumes visa-free program for Vietnamese tourists
From June 1, Vietnamese tourists will be exempted from visa when entering Jeju and Yangyang on charter flights.
The announcement was confirmed by Interior Minister Jeon Hae Cheol during a meeting on May 4, applicable to international guests, including Vietnam, according to Yonhap.
Vietnamese tourists can fly on their own or buy a tour to Jeju, but they are required to go on a tour of five or more people if they want to enter Yangyang and be exempted from visa. Photo: KTO Vietnam
Talking to VnExpress, a representative of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) in Vietnam said that Vietnamese tourists are allowed to visit Jeju Island for up to 30 days without a visa. There are two ways to travel: charter flights or connecting flights in a third country. Visitors can go on a tour or on their own, but only on the island, not allowed to enter the mainland or go to other places.
Similar to Yangyang International Airport in Gangwon Province, more than 110 km from Seoul, guests are exempted from visa for a maximum stay of 15 days. There are currently no commercial flights from cities in Vietnam to Yangyang, so guests must fly by charter flights.
The Yangyang visa-free policy is only applied to visitors who buy tours from travel companies and travel in groups of five people. These companies will be responsible to the Korean Government in case Vietnamese tourists encounter problems on the way travel. After entering Yangyang, they were allowed to visit two places, Gangwon Province and Seoul.
This visa waiver program has been applied before but stopped on February 4, 2020, when Covid-19 broke out. The move to resume visa-free travel is said to be aimed at attracting international visitors to South Korea, and revitalizing the tourism industry. Currently, the Korean Government has removed many disease prevention restrictions such as exempting mandatory isolation for fully vaccinated travelers. South Korea also lifted the requirement to wear masks outdoors in an effort to return the country to normalcy.
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