Please do note that the Visa Application Tips that I am posting are all for free. But if you need a little more assistance, I can give you a one-on-one travel coaching for a minimal fee-- it’s a lot cheaper than getting it through a travel agency. Together, we can go through your documents, fill in what’s missing, practice for the interview, and work together for you to get that visa!
Book an appointment now and learn more about it here!
Annyeonghasseyo! A LOT of Filipinos are addicted to Korean Dramas, Korean Pop, Korean Beauty Trends and all things korean. There’s no better way to get a real feel of this korean addiction than going to Nami Island where Winter Sonata was shot, taste the authentic kimchi, samgyeopsal, and the famous hangover soup, as well as walk around Gyeongbokgung Palace in the traditional Hanbok and witness the changing of guards.
It’s a lovely country with such a distinct culture and beautiful weather (4 seasons, nothing less!)-- no wonder it’s a favorite destination for Filipinos. But first things first, we need to get that visa!
WHEN AND WHERE TO GET THE TOURIST VISA FOR SOUTH KOREA
The process for South Korean Visa is pretty fast. You can process it at least two weeks before your flight, although it is not recommended. It’s always better to process it at least one month before your flight to give you an allowance for any lapses on your requirements.
Note that since July 1, 2018, you can only course your Visa Application with an Accredited Travel Agency. This means you can no longer personally apply for it. I have compiled the list of Travel Agencies and the guide below.
PRIMARY REQUIREMENTS FOR SOUTH KOREA TOURIST VISA
1) Application Form which shall be filled out truthfully and legibly;
2) 1 Passport size colored photo attached to the application form;
3) Original Passport which should be valid for more than 6 months;
4) Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2);
5) Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD Members and Countries for the past 5 years, if applicable;
6) Original Personal Bank Certificate (must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB); and the (Read More: Our guide on SHOW MONEY)
Bank Statement (original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
NOTE: Always keep the receipt of the Bank Statement and Bank Certificate, they usually ask for this too.
SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS FOR SOUTH KOREA TOURIST VISA
Supporting documents are those that you should bring aside from the Primary Requirements. It is to prove your financial capacity to enter and stay at their country as well as your intention to return. The supporting documents varies on your status as follows:
1) For employees- Bring your original Certificate of Employment (must include applicant's position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number (cell-phone number is not allowed), HR e-mail address), ITR(Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy and copy of PRC Card or IBP Card, if applicable.
2) For business owners- Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI, Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor's Permit, Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 and Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card if applicable.
3) For students- School Certificate (Original), Copy of School ID, Copy of Birth Certificate, Parents' Documents (Check status for the documents), and copy of parents’ NSO Marriage Certificate.
4) Other Status- Please check the complete list of visa requirements here for more details.
Additional Requirements If You’re Invited By A Korean National:
1) Invitation Letter, and
2) Photocopy of Inviter's Passport or Identification Card (authentication not required).
Additional Requirements If You’re Invited By Company In Korea: 1) Invitation Letter, and
2) Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit (authentication not required)
Read More: Our Guide on Refundable Flight Reservation
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE: APPLYING FOR SOUTH KOREA TOURIST VISA
STEP 1: Complete ALL the requirements;
STEP 2: Fill out the application form legibly and truthfully (don’t leave anything in blank. Write N/A if the item is not applicable to you);
STEP 3: Once you have everything ready, you may now find an Accredited Travel Agency to process your application. Note that personal applications are no longer allowed in the South Korean Embassy unless you are a spouse or child of a Korean national, a government employee on a business trip, an application with urgent humanitarian reasons, or a visa issuance number holder from Korea.
STEP 4: Coordinate with your chosen Travel Agency as to the release of your passport and hopefully it will be approved! :)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SOUTH KOREA TOURIST VISA
1. What are the Accredited Travel Agencies that process South Korean Tourist Visa Application?
As of now, there are 35 Travel Agencies that are accredited by them:
Casto Travel Philippines Inc.: Makati
2) How much is the visa processing fee for South Korea?
The visa itself is free of charge if you’re staying for less than 60 days. For those staying for 60-90 days, a fee of 1,800 is required. However, the processing fee is required for the travel agency which could range from 500-2,000 Php.
3) How long is the processing time?
It depends. It’s 3 working days for those with OECD visas and 5 working days for those without OECD visas.
4) Do I need to have a ‘show money’?
Definitely as they are asking for a bank certificate and bank statement. However, it is not clear how much should be in your account. People say that Php 50,000 is more than sufficient. I actually know some people who have less than that but was still approved.
5) What if my visa gets denied?
You can re-apply after 6 months. (It’s so long. I know)
6) Are there cases where I do not have to submit my ITR?
Yes. Frequent travellers who have travelled as tourist to OECD member countries within 5 years are exempted from submitting ITR.
7) Can I apply for a multiple entry visa?
Yes, but only in certain cases. If you have visited South Korea for 4 times over the last 2 years or more than 10 times in total (at least one of the visits must be within recent 2 years), then you can apply for a Multiple Entry Visa.
8) Are there any other cases?
YES! With your BDO Gold Credit Card and BPI Gold Credit Card, you can apply for a multiple entry visa which is valid for 3-5 years without the need of any financial documents. Promo is valid until December 31, 2019!
9) Do I need a visa to visit Jeju Island?
No need! With your Philippines passport, you can visit Jeju Island for up to thirty (30) days.
10) Do I need a travel insurance?
It is not mandatory but I always recommend getting one. You’ll never know what will happen on your trip so getting one is a MUST for me. Mabuti na ang sigurado! :)
11) Is it advisable to avail of the services of a tour agency?
For me, it doesn’t make any difference if you avail of their services. I got ALL my visas without their assistance. I did it all by myself! Aside from being very expensive, it doesn’t guarantee the approval. It’s always up to you-- the way you dress up, how confident you are, the documents you submitted, and the way you answered the interview questions that matters.
For more information, please visit the website of The Embassy of South Korea In The Philippines. Good luck on your visa application! Send my regards to Lee Min Ho if you happen to see him in South Korea. Haha!
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