Visa Options for South Korean Citizens Visiting the USA

South Korea’s bustling cities, serene landscapes, and rich historical treasures have long captivated travelers’ imaginations worldwide. For South Koreans looking to broaden their horizons even further, the USA presents a land of diverse experiences, from the sprawling urban landscape of New York City to the natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park. Yet, before embarking on your American dream trip, understanding the visa process is essential to ensure a smooth journey to the Land of the Free.

Fortunately for South Korean passport holders, the visa application process to the USA is streamlined, thanks to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). South Korea is a VWP country, allowing its citizens to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) instead of a traditional visa for short stays. With an ESTA, you can enjoy tourism, certain types of business visits, and transit through the USA for up to 90 days. Let’s delve deeper into this convenient travel authorization and how you can secure one for your upcoming journey.

Understanding the ESTA for South Korean Travelers

The ESTA is not a visa but a travel authorization that significantly simplifies entering the United States for qualifying travelers. It’s an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. under the VWP. Obtaining an ESTA is a quick, online process that requires no embassy visits or long waiting periods. This convenience has made it the preferred choice for many South Korean nationals planning short-term visits to the United States.

To be eligible for ESTA, South Korean travelers must have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the intended period of stay in the United States. In addition, the trip’s purpose must be for 90 days or less and can include tourism, business, transit, or medical purposes.

How to Apply for an ESTA

Applying for an ESTA is straightforward. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Fill out our easy-to-use online application form. The application takes about 10 minutes. Make sure to have your passport handy.
  2. Submit & Pay for your application. We accept all payment types. PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, & Credit Card.
  3. 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, you can choose from our two expedited processing options. Simply select your add-on at checkout.

Benefits of ESTA for South Koreans

  • Streamlined Process: The online application process is efficient, taking only about 10 minutes to complete.
  • No Embassy Visits: Unlike traditional visas, the ESTA requires no appointment or trip to the U.S. Embassy.
  • Multiple Entries: An approved ESTA is generally valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first, and allows for multiple short visits to the USA.
  • Quick Turnaround: Most applicants receive their approved ESTA within 72 hours, making it ideal for last-minute travel plans.

Travel Tips for South Koreans Visiting the USA

When planning your trip to the USA, it’s wise to consider a few travel tips that can help make your visit as enjoyable as possible:

  • Research the weather conditions of your specific destinations to pack appropriately.
  • Check your passport validity and ensure it aligns with ESTA requirements.
  • Look into transportation options within the cities you plan to visit – the U.S. has a range of transport choices from car rentals to public transportation.
  • Don’t forget about tipping etiquette in the United States – it is customary to tip for various services.
  • Keep in mind cultural differences and local laws to respect the communities you visit.

Whether it’s your first visit or your fiftieth, the United States always has something new to offer. By securing your ESTA, you’re on your way to discovering the vast and varied territories that define the American experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About the ESTA for South Koreans

Do South Koreans need a visa to visit the USA?

If you’re traveling to the USA for 90 days or less for business, pleasure, or transit, South Korean passport holders can apply for an ESTA instead of a traditional visa.

How long does an ESTA allow me to stay in the USA?

An ESTA allows for a stay of up to 90 days per visit, with multiple entries possible on the same authorization.

How much does an ESTA application cost for South Korean citizens?

The cost of an ESTA application is consistent for all eligible nationalities, and you can check the latest fees on our application form.

Can an ESTA be used for work purposes?

The ESTA is intended for business visitors, such as those attending meetings, negotiations, or conferences. It is not suitable for those seeking employment in the United States.


As a South Korean national, the ease of traveling to the USA using the ESTA cannot be overstated. It offers a streamlined application process, eliminating the need for lengthy visa interviews and paperwork. By following the clear and simple steps outlined, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the rich cultural tapestry and boundless opportunities the United States has to offer. So why wait? Start planning your journey today, and remember, for assistance with your ESTA, we at eVisaUS are here to help every step of the way.

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