The ICA 33rd World Cooperative Congress will be held from 1-3 December 2021 at the Grand Walkerhill (Seoul), 177 Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea, and also online. The Congress is aimed at cooperative members, practitioners, academics, government representatives and anyone interested in the cooperative business model. Information on all sessions can be found in the programme. You can also read about all the speakers, facilitators, rapporteurs and panelists here.  

Can’t be in two places at once? Don’t worry — all sessions will be recorded and made available on the online platform to access at a later time. This also will include all materials included during the presentations.

Please note that all information presented here is subject to change due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check back often for updates!

  • If you are a registering for a group, please send an email to for the group registration form.
  • Local registrants including groups from South Korea should register here.


(This section was last updated on 23 September 2021)

The ICA team is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will continue to provide updates here as they are available. The information below is based on what is current and may change as the situation evolves. The wellbeing and safety of our members is a priority. Please check back often for new information.


Entry to the Republic of Korea now requires either a visa or a visa waiver called a K-ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization).

If your country is on this list, you can apply for a K-ETA (visa waiver). 

If your country IS NOT on this list, you must apply for a C3 or C4 visa at your nearest Korean embassy or consulate prior to entering the Republic of Korea. As part of your application, you will need a letter from the ICA confirming your attendance at Congress. This will be issued to you, after you have completed and paid for your registration. This letter must be included in your visa application. 

You will NOT need a letter of invitation to apply for a K-ETA. 

Please check with the Korean consulate or embassy in your country to get more information on the process.



International travelers who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to undergo a 2-week quarantine at their own expense upon arrival. 

Travelers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may be exempt from quarantine (more information below), however they must be inoculated by COVID19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use, and at least 2 weeks must have passed since your second dose. Currently, approved vaccines are: 

  • AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer 
  • Janssen / Johnson & Johnson
  • Moderna
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac
  • Covishield

Please check the WHO website regularly for updates to this list. 


Once you have applied for the C4 visa, C3 visa or K-ETA for your trip to Seoul, the next step is to apply for a ‘quarantine exemption’ certificate from the Korean consulate in your country. This allows you to bypass the mandatory quarantine when entering the country and can be done one month before your departure date. 

Once you have completed and paid for your registration, a member of the ICA team in Seoul will contact you to for the necessary documents and will submit the application to your local consulate on your behalf. These documents will include your passport, airline ticket, proof of vaccination, hotel information, and they will work with you to submit the entire application for quarantine exemption. 

The team also will contact you once the application has been approved and you are issued a certificate. 

NOTE: A quarantine exemption only permits you to stay in the Republic of Korea for a maximum of two weeks. If you arrive in the Republic of Korea without a quarantine exemption, you will be required to quarantine at a government-designated facility for 14 days at your expense.

As of 1 October 2021, travelers from the following countries are NOT exempt from quarantine, regardless of their visa or vaccination status, and will be required to quarantine for the full 14 days. 

  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Suriname
  • Angola
  • Uzbekistan
  • Indonesia
  • Chile
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • The Philippines
  • Zambia
  • Djibouti

This list will be updated on 1 November – please check back often. 


Here is a checklist on what to expect once you arrive: 

  • Upon arrival present your quarantine exemption certificate  (you will need four hard copies – electronic copies will not be accepted) and other travel documents.  
  • Submit a negative PCR test issued within 72 hours prior to your departure. 
  • You will also need to take a PCR test on arrival and stay at a designated hotel until your test results return. This can take up to 24 hours or more to process, so plan your schedule accordingly. 
  • If you are staying in the Republic of Korea for more than eight days, you will have to  take another PCR test on day 6 or 7 of your stay.
  • Comply with active health monitoring through the Korean government app. 

The ongoing quarantine situation will likely change. We will continue to monitor the travel requirements and restrictions. Useful information can also be found on the Korean Immigration Service website. This information is correct as of 21 September 2021.  


The World Cooperative Congress will be held at the Grand Walkerhill Seoul hotel, which is conveniently located in the heart of Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea. The city is served by Incheon International Airport (30 miles west of the city). From the airport, you can reach Grand Walkerhill Seoul by taxi, public transport, or the hotel’s complimentary shuttle service from Gwangnaru or Gangbyeon subway stations.

The most convenient place to stay for the Congress is the Grand Walkerhill Seoul hotel, which is surrounded by the spectacular views of the Hangang River and the Achasan Mountain. Here you will be able to relax and unwind while enjoying a wide variety of entertainment options with unmatched quality and service. The hotel has 557 rooms and 6 restaurants, where you will be able to enjoy Korean, Chinese, Italian, and other Western cuisines. Congress delegates will receive a 10% discount: please quote ICACOOPCONGRESS when making your booking.

We will provide information on other hotels conveniently located for the Congress soon. Check back here for updates!


Korea’s currency is the Korean Won (KRW/₩). Paper money comes in denominations of 1,000; 5,000; 10,000; and 50,000 won bills. Coins come in 10, 100, and 500 won. Click here to determine the conversion rate for your local currency.


Language: The language in the Republic of Korea is Korean. Some English is spoken in the capital, but it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with some basic phrases.

Time Zone: Korean Standard Time is GMT+9

Punctuality: Be on time. Punctuality is very important in the Republic of Korea. Make sure you arrive on time for sessions.

What to wear: The South Korean business dress code is formal.

Things to do: Seoul has a range of tourist attractions, from Hangang Art Park and Gyeongbokgung Palace to Namsan Seoul Tower and traditional markets. You can explore the city by going on a guided walking tour or hopping on the Seoul City Tour Bus.

Day trips and excursions: The ICA and local partners in Seoul will organise a series of day trips for those wishing to immerse themselves into the Korean culture. This will include the CoopTour to visit some of the local cooperatives. More information on this will be available shortly.

Do you have more questions? Send an email to And check back often for updates!