I hold refugee travel documents (1951 Convention) issued by South Korea. I want to travel to Thailand and The Philippines.

My original nationality doesn`t allow visa-free entry to these countries, but it does to those from South Korea.

Do I need a visa or can I travel visa free?

2 Answers 2


You will need a visa for Thailand, as you are not a citizen of Korea. Your refugee document only affords you the right to reside in Korea, it does not provide all of the privileges of a citizen.

  • but I can get visa free to Germany and other EU countries.. and that`s my ques. do those countries ( Thailand - philippines) offer the same ?! or not ?
    – cecycesi
    Mar 5, 2017 at 14:36
  • Thailand is not a signatory to many of the refugee conventions and as such is not bound by those conventions. I don't know what the Philippines stance is. But the easiest (and most accurate) source of info is calling the Thai and Philippine embassies in Korea.
    – user13044
    Mar 5, 2017 at 14:42

Here is my experience. First you need to check the Royal Thai Embassy site. The Thai government approved 55 countries to enter visa free or visa on arrival visa. So look for where your country's passport is listed in the Thai government requirements. If your country is not in that visa exempt program, you have to get the visa to go there. Check the countries here.

You should apply for a visa at least 1-2 months in advance. If you can't get a fast visa from where you live, you can get it in one day at the Yangon, Myanmar Thai Embassy or the Thai Embassy in Laos.

Different nationalities have different requirements; it depends on what country's passport or citizenship you have.

Also remember that green card or a refugee travel document are not accepted as a travel document, only your passport.

  • Refugee travel documents are in most cases accepted as travel documents. They just don't trigger the visa exemptions that hold for either the issuing state or for the traveler's actual nationality. Nov 18, 2017 at 8:31

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