A-3 Visa: International Agreement

You are eligible to apply for an A-3 International Agreement visa if you are Recognized as ‘a person in need of alien registration exemption’ or ‘someone exempted from alien registration‘ in accordance with bilateral or multilateral international agreements. The A-3 Visa is issued to a dependent of military forces personnel assigned to Korea, to the defense civilian employees on official duty and their dependent family members and to civilian contractors and their dependents.

Dependent family members (except Korean citizens) accompanying active duty service members assigned to Korea.
Department of Defense civilian employees assigned to Korea.
Dependent family members (except Korean citizens) accompanying Department of Defense civilian employees assigned to Korea.
Invited Contractors assigned to Korea.
Dependent family members (except Korean citizens) accompanying Invited Contractors assigned to Korea.

Who is not required to get an A-3 Visa and SOFA Stamp?

Active duty service members.
Dependent family members who are Korean citizens.
Department of Defense civilian employees who are visiting Korea for not more than 90 days.
Invited Contractors who are visiting Korea for not more than 90 days.
Dependent family members who are visiting Korea for not more than 90 days.

Required Documents

A-3 Visa: International Agreement (협정)

·         Visa Application Form

·         Valid Passport (must have at least 6 months of validity left)

·         1 recent Passport Photo

·         Copy of Applicant’s Military ID

·         Copy of Principal’s Military ID

·         Copy of Temporary Duty Orders or Military Contract

·         Copy of Military ID or CAC card

Dependents must also provide

– Copy of Marriage Certificate (for Spouse)

– Copy of Birth Certificate (for children)

– Non US citizens must also submit a copy of : valid US permanent resident card or (a) valid U.S. visa (b) I-94 record (c) I-20 or DS-2019 that has been recently signed for travel (F-1/2 and J-1/2 visa)

Maximum Length Of Stay

You are allowed to stay until your status or period of stay specified in the agreement expires.

A single-entry visa or multiple-entry visa will be issued to an eligible applicant.

If you received an A-3 Visa through a Korean Consulate prior to coming to Korea, it is normally valid for five (5) years.  If you apply for an A-3 Visa and/or SOFA Stamp through Korean Immigration after arriving in Korea, it will be valid for a maximum period of two (2) years.

Also anyone entitled to SOFA ‘Status of Forces Agreement status’ (primarily military and civilian Family Members of assigned personnel) entering the Republic of Korea with a passport must obtain a SOFA verification stamp in addition to a category “A-3” Visa to reside. The SOFA defines the legal rights and obligations of SOFA status personnel and exempts personnel from the Korean Immigration laws relating to alien registration and control only. You are required to receive your stamp within 30-60 days of arrival in country.

Difference between A-3 visa and SOFA stamp

A-3 visa: An A-3 Visa is required for all non-military SOFA status personnel residing in Korea. An A-3 Visa may be applied for at a Korean Embassy or Consulate prior to entering Korea, or at a Korean Immigration Bureau after entering the country.

SOFA Stamp: To ensure that non-military SOFA status personnel entering and living in Korea are exempted from Korean laws and regulations concerning the registration and control of aliens, the Korean Immigration Bureau will verify SOFA status and affix a SOFA Verification Seal in passports. SOFA status personnel obtain a SOFA Verification Seal only after entering the country by presenting the appropriate documentation to the Korean Immigration.

Military bases provide information and assistance with all of these procedures. Some also offer a coordinated service with the Korean Immigration. Depending on your location in Korea, your nearest Legal office or Army Community Services office may be able to assist you with the process, otherwise, you will need to apply directly at a local Korean Immigration Office.


Visit http://8tharmy.korea.army.mil/sja/ClientLegalSvc/index.htm for more information or visit the Korean immigration website at  www.hikorea.go.kr You can also call Immigration Helpline at 1345 which provides customer service in English, Korean, Japanese and Chinese.


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