South Korean authorities have streamlined its visa issuance process by introducing a new visa category for those seeking medical care.
The medical tourist visa, M, will be issued starting Monday (May 25).
There are two types of M visa: the 90-day C3 (M) for people requiring short-term treatment and the longer one-year G1 (M), costing US$30 and US$50 respectively.
In addition, applicants for the G1 (M) visa will have to provide documents confirming the purpose of visit, along with other documents proving the applicant’s ability to cover his or her medical costs.
This latest move to boost South Korea’s medical tourism industry also sees the government allowing hospitals and medical institutes to promote and advertise their services in order to attract foreign patients.
Under the Council for Korea Medicine Overseas Promotion, South Korea has been promoting itself as a medical tourism hub, along with destinations in the region including Thailand, Singapore, India and Malaysia. By 2013, the number of medical travellers to South Korea is expected to reach 200,000.