"# You may enter Korea without a visa for a stay up to 30 days
or less for tourism, visiting, or transit to another country when
carrying a valid US passport."
Seems to me to pretty clear that a visa is not needed.
I am not a lawyer, but I don't think attending a professional meeting
is either "tourism", "visiting", or "transit to another country".
Man, where were you guys the first time this was discussed here? :-)
So, my initial reading of the embassy web page was in line with Paul's;
it certainly seemed to me that IETF attendees would need a visa. When
I mentioned this to the list, a bunch of people chimed up and said, "What
are you talking about, I've been there a bazillion times for meetings
and never needed a visa".
Sam Hartman and I called our respective consulates (Boston and Washington, DC,
respectively). Sam was told unambiguously that a visa was not required.
I spoke to a seemingly less knowledgeable person, who was not completely
sure, but seemed to indicate that since IETF was non-profit, a visa was not
required. Someone else on this list (forgive me, I don't remember your
name), had contact with the Korean Ambassador to the US, and forwarded an
email from either him or a representative who indicated that a visa is
However, Steve Bellovin has an excellent point; these reprisals by
other countries in response to our new immigration policies are
documented, and while I haven't seen any specific examples of ones from
Korea, it's certainly a possibility. I'd hate to be the one who gets
the "rubber glove" treatment from a immigration official who has a beef
with the US.
My feeling regarding the whole thing is:
- Without a visa, you're probably okay.
- With a visa, you're almost certainly okay.
On a side note ... has anyone else had problems getting to the web site
of the host? http://www.tta.or.kr/ietf59/index.htm has failed every time
I've tried to connect to it in the past few weeks.