Immigration procedures for a person arriving in Korea by air; visas for Iranians (update to KOR22591.E of 11 December 1995) [KOR35019.E]

The following information was provided on 14 December 2000 by an official at the Canadian Embassy in Seoul. The general procedure for a person arriving by air in Korea is to pass through a series of checkpoints after landing, in the following order: quarantine, immigration clearance, customs clearance, exit. Iranians require visas to enter Korea. A visitor's visa entitles them to a 90-day stay. The official also stated:

Permanent residency is given only to those people who have lived in Korea for more than 30 years, are born in Korea, or have given up their citizenship to become Korean nationals. Student visas are occasionally given out to Iranians provided that they are financially supported for the period of their stay. Work visas are only given out to those who are well qualified and sponsored by their employers, for example, to engineers or scientists with at least a Masters' or Ph.D. degree and notable work experience.

Regarding the possibility an Iranian has of changing his or her status once in Korea, the official stated:

In principle, foreigners are not allowed to change their status while remaining in Korea. However, status change to student visa is occasionally allowed provided that they are financially supported for their study and stay. Status change to work visa can also be allowed given that applicants have satisfied all qualification requirements for employment in Korea.

This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Embassy of Canada, Seoul. 14 December 2000. Correspondence.