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Old May 8, 12, 9:46 am   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Nevada, United States
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Leaving airside in ICN to meet someone during layover

I would (well, my mother) like some clarification. As far as I know, you are allowed to leave airside and go landside if I wanted to when I am on a layover? Obviously, I would go through immigration, and all. But this would not cause any problems?

I ask because I have a layover in ICN on my way to manila, and was thinking on meeting up with a friend for a little bit at the airport during the layover. I have a US passport, and I don't see what the issue is, or how they would even know I was on a layover?
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Old May 8, 12, 10:03 am   #2
 
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Originally Posted by jaesun View Post
I would (well, my mother) like some clarification. As far as I know, you are allowed to leave airside and go landside if I wanted to when I am on a layover? Obviously, I would go through immigration, and all. But this would not cause any problems?

I ask because I have a layover in ICN on my way to manila, and was thinking on meeting up with a friend for a little bit at the airport during the layover. I have a US passport, and I don't see what the issue is, or how they would even know I was on a layover?
I see no issues at all as long as she can get in with the visa waiver. Immigration is usually a breeze coming in and out of Korea and I've never had them ask me questions. Also, if your mother is Korean, they'd probably think she's heading to the jjimjilbang anyway... lol.
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Old May 8, 12, 10:06 am   #3
 
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well, for us US citizens, we don't need a visa as long as under 90 days, and we will only be landside for a couple hours. Only people I would see to stop and question us would be on the way back in the airport and they see the stamp for the same day (we fly in at 5am, fly out at 8am).
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Old May 8, 12, 10:12 am   #4
 
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Originally Posted by jaesun View Post
well, for us US citizens, we don't need a visa as long as under 90 days, and we will only be landside for a couple hours. Only people I would see to stop and question us would be on the way back in the airport and they see the stamp for the same day (we fly in at 5am, fly out at 8am).
Yeah, I meant by if she can get in, is that if she has an e-passport. I'm not entirely sure if US citizens are required to have e-passports (with the electronic chip) to enter Korea without a visa.

The reason I bring this up is because I had to deal with a fiasco involving my in-laws. Korean citizens visiting the U.S. must have e-passports to enter the U.S. without a visa, which was something I overlooked and resulted in my father-in-law getting left behind in Seoul for a few days before getting a new e-passport.

Anyway, I'd just make sure.
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Old May 8, 12, 10:14 am   #5
 
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oh..no, that is not required and she still has an older passport and we were in Korea last year just fine. I know of the issue for Korean citizens coming to the US though (this past January, had to deal with it also with family coming here haha)
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Old May 8, 12, 10:15 am   #6
 
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With an US passport, going landside is a breeze. I was able to do this 3 weeks ago for couple hours to drop off my family.
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Old May 8, 12, 10:23 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by skchin View Post
With an US passport, going landside is a breeze. I was able to do this 3 weeks ago for couple hours to drop off my family.
Awesome. I just didn't know if the laws might have changed since I don't use the visa waiver. Good to know though that we can have the old passports. I guess the US is more anal than Korea...
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Old May 8, 12, 11:47 am   #8
 
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Originally Posted by jaesun View Post
I would (well, my mother) like some clarification. As far as I know, you are allowed to leave airside and go landside if I wanted to when I am on a layover? Obviously, I would go through immigration, and all. But this would not cause any problems?

I ask because I have a layover in ICN on my way to manila, and was thinking on meeting up with a friend for a little bit at the airport during the layover. I have a US passport, and I don't see what the issue is, or how they would even know I was on a layover?
I agree it shouldn't be a problem. If you're non-Korean, you have to fill out an Immigration card, which will have a space for 'address' and/or 'purpose of visit' (I can't remember the details, but there's definitely something). However, if you put down 'transit', and explain to the official at passport control that you don't have an address because you're just going landside between flights, they should be fine with that. Same thing applies when you fill out the departure card, when going back airside later on.

Just one other thing to watch - the queues for (non-Korean) immigration at ICN can be pretty long at peak arrival times, so you may need to factor this into your planning. I don't recall such delays on departure, though.
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Old May 8, 12, 11:53 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by KQ321 View Post
I agree it shouldn't be a problem. If you're non-Korean, you have to fill out an Immigration card, which will have a space for 'address' and/or 'purpose of visit' (I can't remember the details, but there's definitely something). However, if you put down 'transit', and explain to the official at passport control that you don't have an address because you're just going landside between flights, they should be fine with that. Same thing applies when you fill out the departure card, when going back airside later on.

Just one other thing to watch - the queues for (non-Korean) immigration at ICN can be pretty long at peak arrival times, so you may need to factor this into your planning. I don't recall such delays on departure, though.
I wonder how they handle the transit tours? I would think you have to go through immigration anyways ... But yeah, I figure I can just put transit on the card because I am meeting with someone landside and I figure they should be fine with it.
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Old May 8, 12, 2:13 pm   #10
 
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I guess the only question is if I have enough time. I fly in on a Sunday, scheduled at 4:40am and fly out at 8:00am. It looks like I am the 4th wide body that flies in at that time (4:00-5:00am slot) and there are several departures in the slot that I leave (7:00-8:00am slot).

The Korean Air representative said I wouldn't have enough time though saying it would require 1.5 hours each way in and out of immigration/security. But I should have enough time considering how well ICN is run. Also, the flight seems to arrive on average 45 minutes early for the past 2 weeks (only once arrived at or later than scheduled time since late march)
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Old May 8, 12, 5:56 pm   #11
 
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As the poster above said, your arrival/departure times are some of the busiest at ICN.

You will probably have at least a 15-20 minute wait for immigration to leave ICN, and even though you wont be picking up your luggage, you still might have a 5 minute queue to clear customs.

When going back through security and immigration ~8am, ICN can be very busy with all the Chinese and Japanese tour groups. Expect at least 30 minutes to get through security and immigration before getting back into the terminal. No special lines for first/business passengers either.
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Old May 9, 12, 7:11 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by SirJman View Post
As the poster above said, your arrival/departure times are some of the busiest at ICN.

You will probably have at least a 15-20 minute wait for immigration to leave ICN, and even though you wont be picking up your luggage, you still might have a 5 minute queue to clear customs.

When going back through security and immigration ~8am, ICN can be very busy with all the Chinese and Japanese tour groups. Expect at least 30 minutes to get through security and immigration before getting back into the terminal. No special lines for first/business passengers either.
I've actually flown into ICN around 4-5 AM. As far as I could remember, there was no line at all to get through immigration. As for going back through security, I agree with SirJman.
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