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Validity of online visa-free entry permit extended to 3 years

The Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA), which allows visa-free entry for nationals of selected countries, from next week will be valid longer.

The Ministry of Justice on June 29 said it will extend the K-ETA's validity on July 3 from two years to three. Those who apply for the permit on or after the effective date can receive the extension.

The K-ETA is available to nationals from 112 countries with which Korea has visa-free agreements. An applicant simply needs to input personal and travel information on the permit's official website and gain approval before departing, with unlimited entries allowed within the validity period.

Those aged 17 and under and senior citizens aged 65 and over are ineligible for the K-ETA unless they seek benefits like exemption from filling out an arrival card.

For user convenience, the ministry in the first half of this year added six languages to the online permit's multilingual support service -- Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Spanish, French and Malay -- to join Korean and English. The maximum number of people who can apply as a group at one time was also raised from 30 to 50.

By Aisylu Akhmetzianova