South Korea recently announced the suspension of re-entry permit waivers for long-term visa holders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Key Points:

  • With effect from June 1, all foreigners, excluding holders of A-1 (Diplomatic), A-2 (Official), A-3 (Treaties) and F-4 (Overseas Koreans) visas, who reside in South Korea with long-term visas, must apply for a re-entry permit through a local immigration office before leaving South Korea if they wish to maintain their status and period of stay. Leaving South Korea without a re-entry permit will result in cancellation of their Alien Registration, and they will then need to obtain a new long-term visa to re-enter South Korea.
  • All foreigners who are granted a re-entry permit and wish to re-enter South Korea must undergo a medical examination not earlier than 48 hours prior to the date of their departure for South Korea, and present a written diagnosis when requested by the transport operator or immigration office. Failure to do so may result in re-entry denial. The diagnosis must be written in English or Korean, signed by a medical examiner, and issued by an authorized medical institution. It must also include the date of examination and the presence or absence of fever, cough, chills, headache, breathing difficulties, muscle pain, and pulmonary symptoms.
  • However, foreigners who hold an Isolation Exemption Certificate issued by a South Korean embassy or consulate are exempted from medical examination and the obligation to submit a written diagnosis.

Analysis & Comments: Employers should anticipate disruptions to employee mobility and arrange travel schedules for affected travelers accordingly. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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