I have an expired US student visa and an approved, but not stamped, US work visa (this is a totally legit situation). I am planning to travel from the US (where I currently live) to India for my visa interview for my new work visa.

Surprisingly, many European airports (Frankfurt, London) don't allow you to travel back to India in such a situation, without a transit visa. Does South Korea also have a similar policy? I am planning to transit via Incheon.

UPDATE: As I mentioned in the comments, the Korean embassy didn't really give me much guidance but I was able to make my trip successfully via Incheon.

Tl;dr If you have an expired US visa that you intend to renew, you can fly via South Korea without requiring a transit visa.

  • This and This. However seems to be fairly complicated. If possible, avoid. This says you will need tourist visa. Have you consulted your airline on this matter?
    – dearN
    Mar 18, 2014 at 0:17
  • 3
    @drN Thanks. My wife called the airline, who referred her to first, Incheon Airport, and then, the Korean Consulate. When she called the Korean Consulate, she spoke to someone from the visa department. There were some communication issues due to the accents involved (Indian and Korean :-) ), so I wanted to see if the community here had some verifiable solutions/refernces
    – Jay
    Mar 18, 2014 at 2:31
  • If you have a valid visa for somewhere "equivalent", they don't worry too much about the risk of you neglecting to take your onward flight. If you no longer have a visa, they're worried you'd have little to loose by "forgetting" to carry on, and instead trying to enter the country you're in transit through rather than going home
    – Gagravarr
    Mar 18, 2014 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


According to Timatic you are eligible to 'Transit Without Visa' (TWOV) as long as you connecting flight departs within 24 hours.

TWOV (Transit Without Visa):

Visa required, except for Holders of onward tickets transiting Seoul Incheon (ICN), for a max. transit time of 24 hours.

You will need to remain "airside" and will not be allowed pass through immigration.

  • Thanks Doc. The Korean consulate also replied with a detailed email. I will post what they wrote too.
    – Jay
    Apr 7, 2014 at 18:42

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