C-3-1/ C-3-2/ C-3-8/ C-3-9 Visa

In December 2011, C-3 visa which was originally the tourist visa was combined with C-2 visa. Hence, C-3 visa has a series of subcategories. In my last post I talked about the C-3-4~ C-3-6 visa which fall under the short term business travel. In this post I’m going to talk about C-3-1, C-3-2, C-3-9 which fall under the general tourism. Next week’s post will talk about the rest of the subcategories under the C-3 visa.


Any person who want to stay in Korea for a short period of time for tourism, transit, visiting relative, conference, culture and art, attending a ceremony etc.

C-3-1 visa are involved with daily business activities including market research, business communication, consulting or if you are participating in TV and Radio shows, friendly sporting matches, events including sports competitions (golf, soccer, etc.) with set cash prizes for finalists.

C-3-2 visa is a group tourist visa. It is for individuals who are traveling with a group of other tourist in a group. Example: a 4 nights 5 days tour package offered by a travel agency. It also includes individual tourists who have paid the deposits to travel agents designated by the government of the Republic of Korea for a tour package. Example: a couple who bought a package deal from a tour agency or an individual traveler who may have done the same.

C-3-8 visa is issued to applicants who are eligible for an Overseas Korean Visitor visa. For example you are participating in conferences or attending events or meetings in Korea.

C-3-9 visa is for an ordinary traveler who is not included in C-3-2 group tourists visa category.

Maximum Length Of Stay

The maximum length of stay is up to 90 days.

Documents Required

  • Visa Issuance Application Form
  • Passport
  • One Standard Size Photograph
  • Visa Fee
  • Additional documents to verify your purpose of visit.

Additional Documents

Visa is issued at the discretion of the chief of mission. Depending on the visa category you are applying for and your purpose of visit you will have to provide additional documents to support your application. Also, different forms of documentation may be asked for depending on the application.

For C-3-2 visa: If you are participating in an international sports competition or if you are hired for a competition for a reason that corresponds to the purpose of the competition: an official group invitation card issued by the host institution is needed.

For C-3-1/ C-3-9 visa: a document proving your financial ability to afford the trip. Example: Certificate of Income Tax Payment for the past 2 years or bank account balance for the past 6 months. If you are a student under the age of 30, this can be substituted by your parents’ financial statement.

If you are participating in events such as general training, seminars you need to provide a document proving your participation. For example an official invitation card.

If you are visiting family for example: If you are a family member or a relative of a person holding long-term status of stay, you need a document issued by the government in your home country to prove that you are a family member or a relative of that person. You also need to provide copy of the alien registration card or visa of the person living in Korea.

For C-3-8 visa: If you are attending a conference, meeting, negotiation, exchange program or an event hosted by international organizations you need to provide an official invitation card issued by the relevant authority.

If you meet all the requirements a single entry or a multiple entry visa will be issued at the discretion of the chief of mission.

A C-3 visa cannot be issued to those coming to Korea for profit-making. For instance, if you are compensated for your works and skills, you are not considered an eligible candidate for the C-3 visa.

Extension Of Stay

Extension of Stay for multiple-entry visa holders and C-3-2 visa holders is limited. Extension is only granted when there is no flight or ship available for departure or when there are other unavoidable circumstances such as unexpected accidents, diseases, etc.

Required Documents For Extension Of Stay

  • An application form
  • Passport
  • Fee
  • Documents proving the necessity of extension of stay

For the purpose of keeping the post simple and to avoid confusion, I have included the general requirements. For more specific information, detail inquiry or for any other questions please contact your local Immigration office or a Korean Consulate/ embassy. You can also visit the immigration website at www.hikorea.go.kr

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