I am a refugee from Cambodia with a Green Card in the US. I will get a refugee travel document, which is like a passport. Can I travel to South Korea? Will I need a visa? If so, how do I get it? Basically will Korea let me in with a travel document?

  • 1
    As in all cases where you wonder whether you need a visa or not: assume you do and ask a consulate or embassy.
    – jwenting
    Jul 24, 2018 at 12:24

2 Answers 2


South Korea's policy on immigration is nationality based. Since you're Cambodian, you need a visa. The only way for you to visit Korea without a visa would be to travel in a triangle, taking advantage of the 30-day visa exemption for people who:

  • transit through Korea, and
  • have a visa from a few countries, including the US. Since you have a green card, that'd work.

But you would have to fly something like:

US - Korea, Korea - third country, and then third country - US.

You couldn't fly on a return ticket US-Korea without a visa.

  • I wonder, does it have to be a reasonable transit. For example could you get away with doing US - Korea - Canada - USA. Jul 24, 2018 at 9:06
  • Or the reverse, like US Korea Taiwan US.
    – user67108
    Jul 24, 2018 at 9:39

According to IATA Timatic, used by airlines and travel agents to verify passengers travel document requirements, you would require a visa to enter the Republic of South Korea.

A search in TravelDoc expresses it thus:

Refugee Travel Document issued by United States of America to a national of Cambodia is not listed as an accepted document by Republic of Korea (South).

  • Saying that a refugee travel document is not listed as an accepted document isn't the same as saying that someone holding such a document needs a visa; it's saying that TIMATIC cannot confirm that the person would be admitted.
    – phoog
    Jun 24, 2018 at 5:48
  • @phoog and thus that the airline should refuse boarding.
    – jwenting
    Jul 24, 2018 at 12:23

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