South Korea Relaxes Visas for Chinese Tourists
In order to encourage more tourists from China, the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Justice has stated that it will lower the requirements for independent Chinese tourists applying for visas.
The Ministry of Justice published its "Scheme for Relaxation of Chinese Tourist Visa Requirements" on the first day of July 2010. Under the scheme, a one year multiple entry visa will be open to a range of applicants including teachers in high and primary schools, retirees receiving pensions, and graduates from key colleges in addition to lawyers, doctors, professionals, and persons who have been granted the right of permanent residence in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
In addition, South Korea is planning to grant double entry visas to Chinese tourists who wish to stop over in South Korea to enhance the attraction of Seoul Incheon International Airport and offer convenience to business travelers. The country is also considering the automatic renewal of visas for tourists who apply for a visa for the second time, and lowering the minimum number in a tour group applying for a tourist group visa from the current five to three.
It is reported the scheme will be implemented in mid July 2010 if everything goes smoothly. Statistics from the Ministry of Justice show there are more and more Chinese tourists visiting South Korea; and the number has increased from 585,000 in 2005 to 1,212,000 in 2009.
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