Visa Guide for South Korean Families Visiting the USA

As one of the vibrant cultures with a fast-paced lifestyle, South Korea boasts a unique blend of traditional heritage and technological advancement, making it an intriguing country on the global stage. Yet, for South Koreans dreaming of visiting the United States, whether to reunite with family, explore expansive landscapes, or delve into the bustling metropolitan life, obtaining the right travel documentation is essential. One of the convenient pathways is through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows eligible South Koreans to apply for a family visa alternative known as an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

The United States welcomes families with open arms and offers an array of awe-inspiring destinations, from the star-studded streets of Hollywood to the historical monuments in Washington, D.C. Whether it’s a fun-filled trip to Disneyland or a nature escape into the Grand Canyon, the United States is the place where memories can be created and cherished with loved ones. The process of securing entry for a family vacation can seem daunting, but with our guidance, South Korean families can navigate the ESTA application with ease and embark on their American adventure.

Understanding the ESTA for South Korean Travelers

Before packing your bags and planning your itinerary, understanding the ESTA is critical. It is not a traditional visa but a travel authorization for individuals from VWP countries, including South Korea, who wish to enter the United States for tourism, business, or while in transit. The ESTA permits a stay of up to 90 days, and it’s an excellent choice for families planning a short-term visit. It’s easier to obtain than a conventional visa and can be done entirely online, saving time and effort.

Applying for an ESTA: A Step-by-Step Guide for South Korean Families

The process of applying for an ESTA is straightforward, and every family member, including infants, must have their own ESTA approval before traveling to the United States. Here’s how you can apply:

  • Fill out our easy-to-use online application form. The application takes about 10 minutes. Ensure that you have your passport handy along with the passports of every family member who will be traveling.
  • Submit & Pay for your application. We accept all payment types including PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, & Credit Card.
  • Get your ESTA emailed to you within 72hrs. We’ll email you your approved travel authorization and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

If you need your ESTA in a hurry due to imminent travel plans, we offer two expedited processing options. Simply select your preferred add-on at checkout.

To apply here for an ESTA, the primary requirements for South Korean applicants are a valid e-passport and answers to a few security questions. It’s always advised to apply for the ESTA well ahead of your intended travel date. Though most applications are processed within 72 hours, delayed responses or requests for additional information can occur.

Benefits of the ESTA for South Korean Families

The ESTA offers several advantages for families planning to visit the United States:

  • Streamline the process: With no embassy visits necessary, you can apply from the comfort of your home.
  • Flexible travel planning: An approved ESTA is valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
  • Multiple entries: Enjoy the convenience of visiting the United States multiple times without reapplying, provided each stay does not exceed 90 days.

Remember, while the ESTA simplifies travel, it does not guarantee entry into the United States; that decision rests with the Customs and Border Protection officers upon arrival.

Frequent Questions on The ESTA Application for South Korean Nationals

Applying for travel authorization can raise a few questions. Below are some FAQs that South Korean nationals often have:

Can the entire family apply for an ESTA as a group?
Yes, there is a group application feature, but remember that each family member needs their own approved ESTA.

What if my ESTA application is denied?
In the rare instance of an ESTA application denial, you will need to apply for a traditional visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

My child is a minor; do they need an ESTA too?
Yes, children of all ages require an ESTA to enter the United States under the VWP.

How soon before my trip should I apply for an ESTA?
You should apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before your departure. However, it’s recommended to apply as soon as your travel plans are set.


With the right preparation and understanding of the ESTA process, South Koreans can embark on an exciting family journey to the United States without the complexities of the traditional visa system. eVisaUS is here to help you every step of the way, ensuring that obtaining an ESTA is as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Gather your family, apply for your ESTAs, and start planning the American vacation of a lifetime.

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