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One-way ticket to Korea okay?

One-way ticket to Korea okay?

Old Apr 19, 16, 6:35 pm
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One-way ticket to Korea okay?

My wife and I, US citizens, are going to be traveling from HKG to ICN to HNL. We haven't booked ICN-HNL, hoping some award availability opens up. From the searches I've found, it doesn't appear that it will be a problem to enter Korea without a return ticket in hand, from an immigration perspective. Can anyone confirm? Thanks!
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Old Apr 20, 16, 1:11 am
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Normally it does not get questioned, but worst case you can be refused admission and deported to HKG. Unlikely but not unprecedented, and if this does happen you will be banned from entry for some number of months so you can't just fly back to ICN the next day. Odds might be 1 in a million, but do you want to travel that way? What some people do is buy refundable tickets
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Old Apr 20, 16, 12:54 pm
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Not like for like but we had a similar situation where we were flying from YVR to BKK and back from ICN (via TPE) to YVR and hadn't bought tickets for our middle leg from BKK to ICN.

This kind of raised some flags for the counter check in people at YVR. The guidance they gave us was that if we got questioned by Thai immigration about a lack of a flight out and when we were leaving Thailand, to make sure we were had a specific date in mind that we could speak to from an itinerary perspective if asked instead of the loosey goosey answer I gave to the YVR counter people. ("I don't know, maybe a week. We're likely going to buy a flight online out of Bangkok online.") I'm assuming this would be handy advice if questioned by Korean immigration too.
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Old Apr 20, 16, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by hungarianhc View Post
My wife and I, US citizens, are going to be traveling from HKG to ICN to HNL. We haven't booked ICN-HNL, hoping some award availability opens up. From the searches I've found, it doesn't appear that it will be a problem to enter Korea without a return ticket in hand, from an immigration perspective. Can anyone confirm? Thanks!
Have you looked at TIMATIC? The South Korean consulates (in the USA) websites?

If you can easily buy a refundable ticket of some sort, such as award tickets that can be cancelled without penalty as a UA 1K, I would do that to avoid problems.

Even if the rules don't say that you must have a return ticket or at least a ticket out of Korea, an immigration officer could find this suspicious and believe that you are likely to overstay. Or there could be a high threshold for the requirement on proving that you have sufficient funds (which most countries have on the books, although I don't know about Korea specifically).

More importantly, airline agents might not follow the rules. They could deny boarding even though Korea permits one way tickets.
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