What is the change? South Korea has mandated that foreign nationals from 16 additional countries undergo mandatory tuberculosis testing in order to secure long-term visas.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals from Angola, Azerbaijan, Belarus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Moldova, Mozambique, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Peru, South Africa, Ukraine, Tajikistan and Zimbabwe are now required to undergo mandatory screening for tuberculosis to prove they are free of the disease in order to obtain a long-term visa.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing from April 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visas used by foreign nationals from the 16 additional countries for long-term stays in South Korea.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals from the 16 countries listed above.
  • Business impact: The TB screening requirement will add another step to the work-authorized visa application process.
  • Next steps: Employers should expect that employees who are foreign nationals from the 16 additional countries intending to enter South Korea on a long-term visa will be subject to TB screening.

Additional information: Children under six, pregnant women, diplomats (A-1 visas), officials (A-2 visa) and A-3 visa holders are exempted. Foreign nationals from the 16 additional countries who entered South Korea on long-term visas before April 1 must submit a TB certificate when applying for an Alien Registration Card. The new requirement has expanded the list of foreign high-risk TB countries from 19 to 35.

Analysis & Comments: The tuberculosis testing requirement adds an additional step to applying for mid- and long-term visas in South Korea, requiring extra time to complete the visa process for affected foreign nationals.

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