Seoul’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that it will issue paper passports again from May 31, in tandem with next-generation electronic passports.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued electronic passports with enhanced security since December 21, 2021.
Due to a drastic fall in the issuance of passports during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, a backlog of paper passports remain idle, prompting the ministry to decide to keep issuing tangible versions until they deplete stockpiles.
Fees for issuing general passports are 15-thousand won, 27-thousand won less than electronic ones but they expire in four years and eleven months, one month shorter than their electronic counterparts.
The ministry said it will issue both physical and electronic passports temporarily until December 31, 2024, at the latest.
It explained people may choose between the two versions, in line with their travel purposes and the expiration date on their passports.