The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice recently decided to delegate the task of issuing Korean visas to Chinese citizens to a Korea’s largest tourism company, Hana Tour.
In the face of an increasing amount of Chinese tourists and laborers seeking Korean visas and handling the overwhelming administrative work, the government stated that it decided to delegate the task to the private tourism company.
In March this year, the Ministry of Justice made an announcement that the government was looking for an agency to act on the behalf of the government for a three-year contract. The announcement listed several qualities for the potential candidates, including experience in executing similar types of tasks.
After the decision was made in May, Hana took four months to set up centers in Guangzhou and Qingdao and prepare the necessary administrative systems before it started operation on Sept. 14.
According to a Hana Tour insider, the final decision hasn’t yet been made whether the Hana tour will take over the visa issuing task for all Chinese throughout China after this trial period. The question of who will take over the task and through what kind of process the Korean government will choose another candidate to handle this significant task remains to be seen.