Passengers from overseas arrive at the Incheon International Airport, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Incheon, South Korea, Dec 28, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL – South Korea launched an electronic travel authorization (ETA) program Monday for some countries, with which Seoul has reached agreements on visa waiver, the justice ministry said.

Under the program, foreign visitors from 21 visa-waiver countries and regions will be allowed to enter South Korea with no visa if they obtain an ETA at least 24 hours before getting on an airplane or a ship bound for the country.

They will be required to submit personal and travel information and be approved prior to departure via website or mobile application, according to the ministry.

For those arriving from the remaining 91 out of the total 112 visa-waiver countries and regions, the visitors will be permitted to enter South Korea through the ETA program only for special purposes such as a business trip amid the continued COVID-19 pandemic.

Once the ETA is issued, it will get valid for up to two years, during which the holders can visit South Korea as many times as they wish. They will be exempted from submitting a disembarkation card.