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Immigration at Incheon Airport

Immigration at Incheon Airport

Old May 23, 16, 11:10 am
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Immigration at Incheon Airport

Is it true that South Korea immigration officers are stricter than other countries' when it comes to arrivals?
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Old May 23, 16, 12:08 pm
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What do you mean by 'stricter'?

Surely if you have all the correct documents to enter, you should be fine?
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Old May 24, 16, 12:15 am
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To be perfectly blunt, if you're a Westerner, not one bit. Generally you're a tourist and so they don't bat an eye or even check your bags for duty free limits.

They do also randomly check your bags if you're Korean since many take weekend trips to shop it up.

Also, many Southeast Asian/Chinese tourists and visitors often come here and overstay their visa, disappear, etc.

Stereotyping it may be, but they're most cautious about those than random whitey American or European coming over.
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Old May 28, 16, 10:46 am
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Have travelled a few times with a Canadian passport. I am asian, not Korean, but many people think I'm Korean. Immigration at ICN have never asked me a single question. They just do their thing on the computer and give me my 90 day stamp in my passport and I'm on my way.
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Old May 30, 16, 7:24 pm
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I did two entries at ICN back in March and I was asked no questions by either immigration officer or stopped either time by customs, so in my experience...no.
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Old Jul 6, 16, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by mikesaidyes View Post
Stereotyping it may be, but they're most cautious about those than random whitey American or European coming over.
thank goodness.
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Old Aug 27, 16, 2:05 am
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Originally Posted by B407 View Post
Have travelled a few times with a Canadian passport. I am asian, not Korean, but many people think I'm Korean. Immigration at ICN have never asked me a single question. They just do their thing on the computer and give me my 90 day stamp in my passport and I'm on my way.
late 2 comment but Canadians can stay in Korea up to 180 days (for some reason?)

Also yea, generally if you're arriving from a first-world country they don't care about you unless you look skeevy. Just press your thumbs to the sensors and that's about it.
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Old Aug 29, 16, 6:53 am
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Yes Canada gets six months visa free. Reciprocal agreement with Korea.
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Old Nov 6, 16, 11:35 pm
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I have visited Korea about 160 times, never once any question at immigration and never once any question at customs. Never, nothing !
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Old Nov 9, 16, 1:29 am
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As someone who used to live in Korea, my personal experience is that the male officers are far friendlier.

However the length and the general slowness of the queues over the last couple years is my bigger complaint.
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Old Nov 9, 16, 1:21 pm
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My only unpleasant experience was years ago arriving at Gwangju airport from Shanghai (that flight moved to dysfunctional Muan airport now) when a bored and young Korean immigration officer found delight in harassing the lone foreigner on the arriving flight.

However, my Korean family friend I was accompanying called a high ranking bureaucrat in the interior ministry who put the young gent in his place and we could finally proceed to an evening of Pojangmacha eats and drinks.

Generally, in Eastern Asia, Chinese immigration is the friendliest, Korea comes second and Japan is more or less Trumpist. I remember what a fuss the Japanese authorities made the one time I arrived there on a student visa...
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Old Nov 15, 16, 8:04 pm
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Can you clarify what it means to be Trumpist? Does it mean to be racist? For our non-US Flyertalk friends who may not follow US elections.
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Old Nov 18, 16, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by nme7 View Post
Can you clarify what it means to be Trumpist? Does it mean to be racist? For our non-US Flyertalk friends who may not follow US elections.
Everything changes, and Japan outside of Kanto and Kansai desperately needs Chinese and Korean visitors to boost the economy.

However, the culture calls for attention to detail and not bending the rules. Also, on occasion, there have been considerable nationalist tensions between Japan and Korea especially. Those then also reflect on official attitudes.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by mosburger View Post
Generally, in Eastern Asia, Chinese immigration is the friendliest, Korea comes second and Japan is more or less Trumpist. I remember what a fuss the Japanese authorities made the one time I arrived there on a student visa...
I have had no issues with immigration in any of those places, but China is about the only one that you need a visa for (for US at least). So in a sense they are the least friendly, as you cannot just buy a ticket and fly there.

Immigration is Asia is a lot better than America/Canada, also than most of Europe.
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