South Korea now in the US Visa Waiver Program

South Korea is one of the seven countries that entered the US Visa Waiver Program this year. The other countries are Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. South Korea had been hoping to be included in the program for years and the country had complied with every requirement that the program had set. The last being the exchange of information on suspected criminals.
I got my 10-yr US visa when I was still a Philippine-passport holder. It became void the moment I changed my citizenship. I was planning to travel to the US this winter but that would mean I would need to get a new visa. Thanks to the US VWP, I could now go to the US as a tourist for a maximum of 90-days without a visa as long as I use the new electronic passport. However, with the current exchange rate my plans changed. I decided to postpone my trip until spring next year. I would need 1,333 won for a US dollar. An increase of 40% from the last time I visited the US!
I read that Hawaii tourism is rejoicing over the inclusion of South Korea to the US VWP, while some expats living here are sulking? Anyway, those who plan to study or work in the US would still need to get a visa. Of course one should never forget to get a travel medical insurance when traveling!


  1. there seems to be no date as to when this will be finalized. i’ve heard it could happen as soon as next month to as late as january of 2009. anyway, my wife got her US visa last month just in case there’s a delay. we are visiting family in canada and the usa this december. hopefully the exchange will also improve.

  2. hi ms. Betchay, do OFW’s from the philippines who are working in SK also included in the US VISA waiver program? thanks a lot.

  3. hehe.. I’m not betchay pero let me answer your funny question, common sense naman, sa mga korean citizens lang po yun.. lol

  4. I am korean in citizen but my origin is Phil. Do I can travel to US under the visa waiver? what else should I prepare, In case am going to visit to phil. then from phil. can I travel directly to US?

    1. Hi Line! If you have a Korean passport, you can travel to the US under the visa waiver program. Just apply for a travel authorization first. Make sure you have your passport ready. Check this website to apply for the travel authorization:

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