UPDATED: Jeju Island in South Korea Reopens Visa-Free for Filipino Travelers

Starting on June 1.

jeju island
PHOTO BY Shutterstock

(SPOT.ph) While a visa is required among Philippine passport-holders entering South Korea, Jeju Island is an exception. It is well-known for its fishing traditions, which include the long-standing practice among female divers who can dive up to 10 meters deep into the sea without using oxygen tanks. The island also boasts rolling hills, spectacular seascapes, and a geological wonder called the Geomunoreum Lava Tube.

Starting June 1, international tourists are once again allowed to enter the Jeju International Airport without the need for a visa, according to an announcement by Korea Tourism Organization. Visa-free entrance to Jeju, however, does not apply to citizens of 23 countries or regions, including Iran, Sudan, Syria, Cuba, Kosovo, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ghana, Nigeria, Yemen, Egypt, Gambia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Kyrgyz, Pakistan, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. There are also nine countries that have suspended their visa-waiver program with South Korea, including Japan, Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Micronesia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and Tonga.

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Jeju Tourist Information Center also confirmed in an online exchange with SPOT.ph on May 20 that nationals from the Philippines can visit Jeju Island without a visa for a period of 30 days. Permitted areas of travel are limited to Jeju and you must use a direct international flight or ship to the island.

The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines on May 31 also said that "some airlines are reportedly planning to schedule direct flights from the Philippines to Jeju soon. However, tourists are not permitted to travel to other regions outside Jeju."

Yangyang-gun in Gangwon Province, which is known for its beaches and surf spots, is also reopening as a visa-free destination through Yangyang International Airport. This policy applies only to groups of five or more travelers from Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia starting on June 1. Travelers from Mongolia can also follow suit starting in October. Just make sure that the group tour is arranged through a designated travel agency.

"They are allowed to stay up to 15 days and travel around the cities and places in Gangwon Province and Seoul Metropolitan Area only," the  Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines clarified in their announcement.

Here are the latest Jeju travel requirements for fully vaccinated travelers (effective June 1):

  • Philippine passport
  • Roundtrip tickets
  • Proof of vaccination (If your second dose was taken more than 180 days ago, a booster dose is required.)
  • Rapid Antigen Test taken within one day of departure or RT-PCR test taken within two days of departure
  • Q-Code System registration
  • On-arrival RT-PCR test within three days of arrival
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South Korea is also resuming the processing of applications for the issuance of all types of visas, including the C-3-9 for tourists, starting on June 1. Multiple entry visas issued before April 25, 2020—as long as they have not expired—may also be used without reapplication.

For more information, visit Jeju Tourism Information Center's website.

UPDATED (June 1): This article has been edited to include the latest announcement and additional reminders by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines.

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