Moving to Korea > Immigration and Visas

Biometric Screening

Biometric Screening

As of January 2012, fingerprints and facial recognition are required for all inbound foreign visitors to Korea. Everyone, except foreign government officials/international organization representatives and their accompanying immediate family members as well as persons under17 years of age (newborn through age 16),  will have their two index fingerprints electronically scanned at the same time a digital photograph is taken of their face by Korea Immigration Service inspectors at all ports and airports across Korea.

This Bio-information System, collects and matches all the fingerprints and facial information of foreigners visiting the country thus "effectively blocking identify thieves who are tyring to re-enter Korea"*. The system can also be applied to criminal investigations and body identification. 

Korea has also implemented an Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) where the information foreign travellers have provided the airline company can be collected and analysed prior to the flight's arrival so as to permit officials to focus on "problematic passengers while good passengers go through a quick process"*.

Korea's Automated Passport Reading System quickly reads the passport information then saves it. The system can also identify fake passports.

The Smart Entry Service System allows people to register their fingerprints and facial information prior to entry and it is an automated unmanned Immigration screening process where visitors can screen themselves at immigration checkpoints. The service is available to citizens over 17, permanent residents, and investors (the government is planning to expand it to everyone). In order to use the SES, the applicant must agree to provide their bio information and register their passport and facial information along with their fingerprints. Registration is available at Incheon airport, Gimpo airport, Downtown terminal, Seoul Station, and KOTRA. After registration one can use the SES checkpoints at Inchon and Gimpo airport, and by 2102, Gimhae Airport.

For additional information in Korea contact the Immigration Center 1345 or Immigration information website. Outside Korea, contact the nearest Republic of Korea embassy or consulate.

*Info source

Editor's Note: The information above is based on the information K4E has available at the time of writing.  K4E would appreciate your feedback should you find out that our information is out-of-date.

Last Updated on 2012-02-21

In the same header
Alien ID Limitations Automated Immigration System-SES
Biometric Screening Contacting Korean Immigration
Entrance Documents Foreign Spouse F-6 Visa
Hiring Foreign Maids,Nannies Immigration Office Locations, Korea
Immigration Rules Changes-Updates Korean Customs Service Offices
Korean Immigration and Integration Program (KIIP) Long-Term Residency F-2 Visa Point System
Passport Changes Reporting Requirement Permanent Residency
Visa Categories for Korea Visa or Entry Problems
SGVC - Séance d'orientation en ligne, 7 sept 2021, via ZoomAstuces de la vie quotidienne à Seoul - en français
SGVC - Online Korean History Lecture Series, 28 Sept-2 Nov 2021, SeoulThe lectures will be conducted in English by Pr. David A. Mason
SGVC - Online Baking Class for Kids, Wed 8 Sept-13 Oct 2021, Online from Seocho-gu, SeoulChoose the session/sessions in which your children wants to participate.
AMCHAM-U.S. Embassy Webinar: Telehealth in Korea, 10 Sept 2021, from SeoulWebinar to help you navigate the landscape of tele-health in Korea
Korea International School-KIS, PK-12 English, Pangyo, Gyeonggi-do
A Plus Apgugeong - 27 May 2020
Seoul Foreign School, K-12 English School, Seodaemun, Seoul
Dwight School Seoul, English Pre-School-High School, Seoul
JZ Associate
I want to convert
Cocoonfice, Business Center, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Helpul telephone numbers seoul korea