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According to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), more recipients will be able to receive multiple visas, leading to the easier entry of the upper class from China and Southeast Asian countries to Korea. The MOJ has also enabled medical agencies that attract a large number of foreign patients to apply for e-visas on behalf of their patients, aiming to attract more foreign patients. These are follow-up measures drawn from the first tourism promotion meeting, held last July.
◇ More Chinese Recipients for Multiple Visas
Spouses and the under-age children of individuals who hold multiple visas, those who have memberships for condominiums in Korea (amounts exceeding KRW 30 million), residents of the Beijing and Shanghai areas (according to China’s family register) and students of 112 universities listed in Project 211 will be allowed to receive multiple visas.
◇ Deregulation of Requirements for Multiple Visas for Tourists from Southeast Asia
Previously, citizens of Southeast Asian countries were allowed multiple visas effective for three years after visiting Korea more than four times in the previous two years. However, now they can receive multiple visas effective for a year after visiting Korea once or multiple visas effective for three years after visiting Korea more than twice.
Also, multiple visas valid for five years had not been given to citizens from Southeast Asian countries. Now, however, these citizens will be eligible for multiple visas effective for five years if they have previously received multiple visas for three years.
◇ Agencies Now Allowed to Apply for E-visas on Behalf of Their Foreign Patients
Previously, ① agencies visited immigration offices and ② received visa issuance certificate numbers and ③ foreign patients visited diplomatic offices to receive their visas.
However, foreign patients no longer have to visit diplomatic offices, as agencies designated by the MOJ are allowed to apply for e-visas on behalf of patients.
The MOJ plans to examine agencies once a year to designate those that can apply for e-visas.
In addition, if individuals are invited by Korean companies or are outstanding talents and if they have visited Korea more than three times with C-3 visas after January 1, 2012 without a record of illegal stay and criminal activities, they and their family members are eligible for e-visas.
The MOJ expects the measures to attract more tourists from China and Southeast Asian countries and to contribute to the facilitation of medical tourism.
Source: The Ministry of Justice (August 11, 2013)
** This article was translated from the Korean.