Having your documents in order
“Quarantine” is an intimidating word, and it’s definitely something every pet owner can say that they never want their furry one to go through. I’ve read all kinds of horror stories from people whose pets were kept in quarantine for weeks, and even months!
One of the most important things that I planned for was getting all of Lizzie’s paperwork completed and on time. To find out more about what documents are required, read Bringing a Dog to Korea (and the costs).
Below, I’ve written about my experience that I went through.
This is the process we went through:
- Get off the plane.
- Follow the crowds to Immigration. I’m assuming that because it was an international flight, the gate dumps you out right near Immigration. Just follow the crowd! **Oh and as you are walking to Immigration, you may see a small “station” labeled “Quarantine”… but this is not the place you need. It’s for people, apparently, not animals. (We found this out because we asked an American traveling with her cat, haha.) Carry on!
- Go through Immigration. They’ll scan your passport and collect your “Arrival Card,” which you would have filled out on the plane. The flight attendant passes them out at some point during the flight. If that’s not the case for you, they can also be found on a table near the immigration lines. Just grab one and fill it out. You may have to borrow a pen.
- Go downstairs (staircase to the left) to baggage claim and grab them off the belt! There are luggage carts that you can use for free.
- Find the quarantine area. It was located to the right of the “Customs” exit, with a sign that read “Quarantine” in English (and there’s a “Plant Quarantine” sign right next to it). The airport workers tried to understand our English, while we mimed our question to them, haha. Turns out it was right near us, about 50 feet from our baggage claim carousel.
- Go “through quarantine.” You’ll see a bank of computers and a ramp. Go to the ramp. The officer came up to the other side of the ramp wearing a rubber gloves and a mask. She asked to see my paperwork and to open the carrier so that she could scan Lizzie for a microchip. She waved the wand, got the microchip confirmation, and took my paperwork into her office. She was looking for 3 things: a certified Health Certificate that hasn’t expired, a FAVN Result Form, and a Rabies Vaccination Certificate. 5-10 minutes later, she came back and out and said we were good to go!
- Exit through “Customs.” I put it in quotations because it was literally just 2 people collecting your customs paper, just like at a movie theater where they quickly glance at your ticket before they wave you through. They’ll collect your customs paper, and you walk right through. This paper is also something which you would have filled out on the plane. The flight attendant passes them out at some point during the flight. I believe they can also be found on a table near the exit. Just grab one and fill it out.
- Walk another 30 or 50 feet and exit the airport to breathe your first lung full of Seoul air!
Here’s a general map of the Incheon airport and my estimation of where the Quarantine area was (the black circle).
I’d like to point out that we had to actively find the quarantine area, and look around for the officer. After a minute or two of standing near the Quarantine office, she came running up asking us to move around to the other side of the ramp. If we hadn’t physically gone over to the quarantine area, I’m almost sure that we could have just exited the airport and no one would have known I had a dog!! The airport was almost empty (even though it was 4pm), and the carrier I used looked like a giant purse. Lizzie was safely, and quietly, tucked away. *shrugs*
I’m just glad everything worked out, and Lizdog didn’t have to go through quarantine! We’re all safe and legal now!