WHAT IS A VISA RUN & DO I HAVE TO MAKE ONE?
Most new expat teachers are not required to make a visa run. However, it’s often required for expats who are completing a year-long contract and want to remain in Korea. This is because Korean visas cannot be issued from within Korea, so visa applicants already in Korea must leave, visit a Korean Consulate in another country to get the new visa issued and stamped into their passports, and reenter Korea under the new visa. This process is often referred to as a ‘run’ because many people have to do it under considerable time pressure.
For the novice runner, the visa run can be quite stressful. However, for veterans, it’s a great excuse to take a short vacation on the employer’s dime. It doesn’t have to be a run. We encourage you to make it a shuffle or, time permitting, a leisurely stroll.
Fukuoka, Japan is the most popular visa run destination because it is close and affordable. The small scale of the city makes it easy to navigate by bike or on foot, so it will just be a short lap from your point of entry to your hotel, to the Korean Consulate, and back again. Moreover, Fukuoka is a fun place to visit, thanks to its warm(er) weather, beaches, canals (some call it the Venice of Asia), historic temples, and reputation as the noodle capital of Japan.
From Korea, Fukuoka is accessible by air and sea. The flight from Seoul’s Gimpo Airport takes about an hour. Another popular option is a high-speed ferry from Busan, which takes about three hours, and tends to be cheaper and more pleasant (at least, provided you’re able to get to Busan).
We at KoreaNow! have a lot of experience with the infamous run. Now, we’re pleased to our fellow runners discounted rates on trips and accommodations through the KoreaNow! Fukuoka Visa Run Special. This exclusive deal includes round-trip transportation and comfortable hotel accommodations for as low as W190.000 (sea) and W300.000 (air). These rates include personal assistance from native English speaker representatives who have completed the run themselves and know the process inside and out.
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