Brief on Consular Matters
- India opened Consulate General Office in Korea in 1962. Following establishment of full-fledged diplomatic relations between Republic of India and Republic of Korea in 1973, bilateral relations have grown steadily. In 2015, the two countries signed 'Special Strategic Partnerships' agreement and relations expanded in various sections including in consular areas and people to people interaction. In 2023, India and ROK will commemorate 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations.
- Comprehensive Economic partnership (CEPA) which came into force from Jan 1, 2010 provided boost to the bilateral trade and commercial relations. During the past few years several high-level visits have taken place, prominent being South Korean President Moon Jae-in's visit to India in July 2018 and Indian Prime Minister's visit to South Korea in May 2015 and February 2019.
One of the important outcomes during the ROK President's visit to India in 2018, was the introduction of Visa-on-Arrival facility for Korean nationals in India which came into effect from Oct 1, 2018. The Visa-on-Arrival facility can be availed for the purpose of Business, Tourism, Conference and Medical related travel to India. This facility is available at six airports in India i.e New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
The total number of Visa issued to Korean nationals by the Mission (excluding e-visa/VoA) in 2018 was 34754; in 2019 was 25369; in 2020 was 5386; in 2021 was 6869; and in 2022 was 3243 (upto July 31) . Majority of these included Business Visa and Employment Visa .
The number of Indian nationals residing in ROK is around 12,500 while the number of Korean nationals residing in India is around 11,000. Indian nationals form a floating population in South Korea as majority of them visit ROK employment visa to work with multi-national companies such as Hyundai, LG, Samsung, TATA-Daewoo, TCS, Mahindra & Mahindra, Coupang etc. for 1-3 years on contract basis. There is a significant presence of Indian students, researchers and faculty members in Korean Universities.
- As the Indians living in ROK come from almost all states of India, there are a number of Indian community Associations formed on regional and professional lines. The prominent Indian associations include Indians in Korea (IIK), Telugu association, Tamil association, Marathi Mandal in Korea (MMK), Korea Kannada Koota, Bengali community in Korea, Korea Manipuri association, Naga Christian association, Indian merchants association (IMA), Indian Students & researchers in Korea (ISRK), IIT alumni association, Daejeon Researchers community of India etc.
- These associations undertake various cultural and social activities, including organising major Indian festivals. These activities not only provide an opportunity to socialize with other members of the community and stay in touch with Indian roots but also promote Indian culture among Korean nationals and foreigners in Korea. They play an important role in promoting Korea-India relations.
The Consular wing of the Mission, besides providing visa to Korean nationals and foreigners and providing Consular services to the Indian community, is also responsible for welfare and well being of Indians residing in South Korea. For this purpose, the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) has been established by the Govt of India mainly to take care of expenditure arising due to unforeseen emergency situations. Digital Video Conference (DVCs) were organised on regular basis by the Mission to keep in touch with the community during COVID-19 pandemic and apprise them of important pandemic related and other issues of concern to the community.
- All Indian community members in ROK have been advised to register themselves with the Mission (www.indembassyseoul.gov.in/register_en/) so that they could be informed regarding important developments relating to various health guidelines and protocols announced by the local govt from time to time. The Mission organises a number of events to bring all community members together in online/offline format to promote Indian culture and values.