August 18, 2018, 06:11:29 PM


Author Topic: Bringing a cat to Korea  (Read 603 times)

Offline cari83

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 31
Bringing a cat to Korea
« on: February 11, 2018, 07:48:15 PM »
I was wondering if anyone has brought a cat into Korea recently. My friend is considering coming back to Korea around August. She's not sure yet because she has a cat, and wants to know the procedure for bringing it to Korea from the US.

From what I can tell, she needs proof of microchipping, rabies vaccination, and a rabies test that was done by an internationally certified lab - and there's only one of those labs in the US. So I know she needs to get this test somewhat in advance but not too far in advance. She is also looking into which airlines would let her bring her cat in the cabin with her.

So as long as she gets those 3 things (microchipping, rabies vaccination, and the rabies test), is that all she needs to avoid having to quarantine it? We're still allowed to have pets right, just not EPIK? I saw that EPIK doesn't allow pets. But that's not for E2 visas in general, right?

I would appreciate any advice on this. I'm in Korea now but I've never brought a pet with me before.

Offline SteveBruce

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 104
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bringing a cat to Korea
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 08:16:26 AM »
My advice is to please ask her to leave the cat. I never understand how people are willing to leave their family and friends behind but are incapable of leaving behind their pet. Why put your cat through the trauma of being on an airplane and then through the trauma of being forced to live in a shoebox? Especially after having the previous freedom, I imagine, of running free in the neighbourhood back in the US. Honestly, for the sake of the cat ask her to not do it.

Offline wherever dreaming goes

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 70
Re: Bringing a cat to Korea
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 08:57:22 AM »
There is an online detailed guideline about the procedures that need to be done in bringing pets to Korea, If she messes up one step, her cat would need to be in quarantine for a bit. I'd suggest looking up that guideline and following it thoroughly.

As far as I know, on long international flights pets usually tavel as cargo.
If you're worried about the whole process, there are pet travel companies that help with everything for a fee. They do things from taking your pet to the vet to get micro-chipped and the shots at the right time to booking a flight and arranging a drop off to your apartment once in Korea. You can choose which options/services you'd like from them.

On living in Korea with a pet, it can be really difficult to find an apartment whose owners are willing to rent out to pet owners because of the noise and mess (yes, it's difficult even for cats, I've been searching for months for a place both spacious and pet friendly).
Apartments here are TINY, unless you're willing to pay a deposit like 3- 5 million won. Your friend and her cat will be stuck in a tiny apartment (a one room) with not much room for her cat to explore, getting an apartment with an open balcony is also rare, so her pet will really be in a place without much room. If she's looking for an apartment for herself and it's not provided by her employer, it would be better. Also, if your friend is in a bigger city it would be easier to find better apartements. (If you live in Korea I'm sure you know this already, so talk to your friend about what it's really like here for pets and pet owners)

There's definitely a lot to think about, but there are people here with pets and they've made it work!

Offline kyndo

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 4371
Re: Bringing a cat to Korea
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 09:22:17 AM »

As far as I know, on long international flights pets usually tavel as cargo.
If you're worried about the whole process, there are pet travel companies that help with everything for a fee. They do things from taking your pet to the vet to get micro-chipped and the shots at the right time to booking a flight and arranging a drop off to your apartment once in Korea. You can choose which options/services you'd like from them.

On living in Korea with a pet, it can be really difficult to find an apartment whose owners are willing to rent out to pet owners because of the noise and mess (yes, it's difficult even for cats, I've been searching for months for a place both spacious and pet friendly).
Apartments here are TINY, unless you're willing to pay a deposit like 3- 5 million won. Your friend and her cat will be stuck in a tiny apartment (a one room) with not much room for her cat to explore, getting an apartment with an open balcony is also rare, so her pet will really be in a place without much room. If she's looking for an apartment for herself and it's not provided by her employer, it would be better. Also, if your friend is in a bigger city it would be easier to find better apartements. (If you live in Korea I'm sure you know this already, so talk to your friend about what it's really like here for pets and pet owners)

There's definitely a lot to think about, but there are people here with pets and they've made it work!
Both United and Delta sell 'pet tickets' that allow you to take your pet with you in the cabin so long as they fit in a regulation sized pet carrier. Costs around 200k won per transfer (so get a direct flight!), and there are a few hoops to jump through, but the process isn't all that hard. Just phone the airline and they'll give you all the info you need.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 09:23:55 AM by kyndo »

Offline nvflawless

  • Explorer
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Gender: Female
Re: Bringing a cat to Korea
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 12:47:34 PM »
There are no restrictions about bringing a pet with you on an E2 visa - epik specifically doesn't allow pets because you get randomly placed in schools, which rent your housing, which might not be pet-friendly. She'll have to work that out with her employer or landlord.
Honestly, it's a lot for your friend and her cat to go through if they're only coming over for a year. If she's not planning on staying in Korea very long, she might want to consider leaving her cat with a friend or family member in the US.
That said, here's what she'll need to know:
Your friend can find all the information she'll need from the APQA (http://www.qia.go.kr/english/html/Animal_livestock/02AnimalLivestock_007-8.jsp) and USDA (https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/take-pet-to-foreign-country).
The cat has to be up-to-date with rabies shot, microchipped, and the vet will have to send bloodwork away for the rabies test. Her vet should know about the paperwork they'll need. There's also a health certificate that needs to be done no more than 10 days before the departure date. The vet does a final medical check on the cat, fills out the health certificate, then that paperwork has to go to the USDA to be stamped by the vet there and returned to you. I didn't know about the USDA part of that and had to drive out there because I was flying out in like 2 days and there wasn't time to mail it, so tell your friend not to make the same mistake I made. As long as everything is done correctly, they just check the paperwork and your cat's microchip at Incheon airport and you're in.
Your friend will have to check airline rules regarding pets and call in advance to let the airline know she'll be bringing a pet / make sure there's room for the cat on that flight. If the cat is fairly small, she can carry it on board. When I flew with mine, I opted to check them because I could put them in a larger carrier so weren't crammed under a seat for 13 hours. I flew Korean Air and both options were an extra $200 per animal.

Offline cari83

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 31
Re: Bringing a cat to Korea
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 09:09:46 PM »
Thank you all so much for the information! :smiley: Especially the links. I will pass this info on to my friend. I'm also not sure if bringing a cat to Korea is a good idea but, the locals have cats and they also live in tiny apartments. So it's really up to my friend. I think a cat would be fine in an apartment like I have, and I'm sure my friend could find a similar apartment.