Everything You Need to Know About Depositions in South Korea (Updated 2020)

Optima Juris has been scheduling depositions in South Korea for over 20 years. Before scheduling your deposition in South Korea, read through these important FAQs:

Can I depose a willing witness in South Korea?

Yes, but there are restrictions:

  • Voluntary depositions of U.S. citizen witnesses may be conducted in South Korea, provided no compulsion is used.
  • Voluntary depositions of Korean and third country nationals must be undertaken pursuant to a request to the Korean Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention and in the context of the Republic of Korea court system.

Here is the official statement from the Department of State:

Under the Hague Evidence Convention, the Republic of Korea permits the taking of voluntary depositions of U.S. citizen willing witnesses by a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States. Oral depositions of U.S. citizens or depositions of U.S. citizens on written questions may be taken by U.S. consular officers or by private attorneys from the United .States either on notice or pursuant to a commission. If the services of a U.S. consular officer are required to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter and stenographer, such arrangements must be made in advance with the U.S. embassy directly. Korea objected to the provisions of the Convention which pertain to the taking of voluntary depositions of Korean nationals or third country nationals by commissioners. Private attorneys and U.S. consular officers are prohibited from taking depositions of Korean nationals and third country nationals. Consequently, depositions of such willing witnesses in the Republic of Korea must be undertaken pursuant to a request to the Korean Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention and in the context of the Republic of Korea court system.

Can I schedule a remote deposition in South Korea?

Yes! Conducting your deposition remotely is a good option for attorneys who are unable to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The same restrictions mentioned above still apply to deposing a witness remotely in South Korea.

Optima Juris has two options for conducting your remote deposition:

  • Court Reporter with the Witness – One of our local court reporters will travel to the location of the witness and capture a verbatim record of the proceeding while the attorneys attend remotely.
  • Court Reporter NOT with the Witness – The witness, court reporter, and attorneys are all in separate locations. Our certified and trained court reporters will capture a verbatim record of the proceeding using our state-of-the-art technology from a remote location.

Can depos in South Korea take place at any venue (hotel, conference room, etc.)?

Yes! After permission is granted, South Korea does not have any specific restrictions on where you can or can’t hold your deposition.  This gives you an endless amount of options to choose from.  Most depos in Seoul take place in a comfortable conference room in one of the many modern and luxurious hotels or conference room facilities.  As the planet’s most wired city, Seoul also has many sophisticated and reliable videoconferencing facilities available if needed.  Contact us to find out our favorite options.

Does a U.S. passport holder need a visa to enter South Korea?

No. U.S. citizens can travel to South Korea with just a valid U.S. passport as long as they are staying less than 90 days and traveling for tourism or temporary business purposes.  Find out more here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/SouthKorea.html

As the planet’s leading airport, Incheon International Airport is highly efficient and modern.  Direct flights can be found from many U.S. cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. For flight times and routes check out this interactive map: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TRP/TP_ENG_1.jsp

More questions about Depositions in South Korea?

Our team of global deposition experts are ready to answer any questions you may have about depos in South Korea.  As the knowledge leaders on international depositions, we have the expert knowledge and advice to make sure your depo in South Korea goes as smoothly as it would in the U.S. Optima Juris has been conducting depositions without fail for over 20 years, and is the only firm that is 100% dedicated to international depositions with true global coverage.  Contact us today to find out more about deposition services in South Korea.

About Optima Juris

Optima Juris is the only U.S. agency exclusively dedicated to international depositions. We have been helping law offices across the globe find the highest-quality certified court reporters, legal videographers, and interpreters for over 20 years. If you should have any questions about international depositions, please do not hesitate to contact us or fill out a free quote to see how we can make your international deposition a complete success.

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Photo Credit: By travel oriented (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons