First time guide on applying for South Korea tourist visa for Pinoys

I’ve been to international countries as tourist before but those are open countries which only requires valid passports for entry. Our South Korea trip last November 2016 is our first time travel on a country that requires visa.

We’ve bought our plane ticket last March 2016 and traveled last November 2016. We’ve never planned out our itinerary until a month before our travel because we still need to apply for a Korea tourist visa. We are actually a bit pessimist as we don’t expect approval on first application. But per my experience, as long as you have all the required documents, there shouldn’t be no issue at all. To be honest, it’s so easy and fast that we’ve only spent less than an hour for the entire application (this includes waiting for the start of business hour and the actual passing of requirements).

We’ve applied last October 24 and claimed it after November 02, 2016. Five (5) working days is the processing time for first time applicants who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years and 3 working days for those tourists that already visits a members of OECD countries.

OECD is a intergovernental economic organization consist of different member countries founded in 1960, describing themselves as committed to democracy and market economy. For more definition of OECD, you can always check it on wikipedia. For list of OECD member countries, you can check it here.

So here are the steps that we’ve done for the application:

STEP 1: COMPLETE APPLICATION FORM

  • Fill out the printed visa application form. You can download it from Embassy of the Republic of Korea WEBSITE or you can download it HERE. File format is by PDF.
  • 1 piece white background passport size picture (35mm x 45mm). A color photo taken within last 6 months (full face without hat, front view against white or off-white background). Once you have completed the application form, you need to paste 1 picture to the accomplished form.
  • Original Passport (valid for more than 6 months before the travel)
  • Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
  • Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (If applicable only).

STEP 2: SECURE SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

Supporting documents are needed and may differentiate based on your current employment status. Take note that embassy will not return this requirements back to you, so make sure to pass only the original documents as required by them.

FOR EMPLOYEES

  1. Original Certificate of Employment

It must include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number(cell-phone number is not allowed), HR e-mail address)

  1. ITR(Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy

Photocopy of your latest Income Tax Return or Form 2316

Frequent travelers who have travelled as tourist to OECD member countries within 5 years are exempted from submitting ITR.

  1. Original Personal Bank Certificate

It must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB (average daily balance). Most of the banks has their own format but you can specify with them items that you need to include.

  1. Bank Statement

It must be original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)

  1. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)
  2. If personally invited by a Korean national, you need to send the following documents as well:

Invitation Letter and Photocopy of invitor’s Passport or Identification Card (authentication not required)

  1. If invited by a Company in Korea, you need to give the following documents:

Invitation Letter and Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit (authentication not required)

FOR BUSINESSMEN

  1. Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI
  2. Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
  3. Original Personal Bank Certificate

It must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB (average daily balance). Most of the banks has their own format but you can specify with them items that you need to include.

  1. Bank Statement

It must be original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)

  1. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)
  2. If personally invited by Korean, you need to send the following documents as well:

Invitation Letter and Photocopy of invitor’s Passport or Identification Card (authentication not required)

  1. If invited by a Company in Korea, you need to give the following documents:

Invitation Letter and Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit (authentication not required)

FOR STUDENTS

  1. School Certificate (Original)
  2. Copy of School ID
  3. Copy of Birth Certificate
  4. Parents’ Documents

Original Bank Certificate [must include account type, current balance, account opening date, 6 months average balance (ADB)]

Bank Statement (original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)

Copy of Income Tax Return(ITR)

Copy of NSO Marriage Certificate

  • IF EMPLOYED: Employment Certificate Original [must include position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number(cell-phone number is not allowed), HR e-mail address]
  • IF SELF-EMPLOYED: Business Registration from SEC or DTI (Copy), Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit(Copy)
  1. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)
  2. If personally invited by Korean, you need to give the following documents as well:

Invitation Letter and Photocopy of invitor’s Passport or Identification Card (authentication not required)

  1. If invited by a Company in Korea, you need to send the following documents:

Invitation Letter and Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit (authentication not required)

FOR OTHER CATEGORIES:

For other categories not listed above, you can check the complete list of requirements in the Embassy of the Republic of Korea website.

 

STEP 3: SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION AND DOCUMENTS TO THE EMBASSY

Double check all your documents before submitting it. Make sure that you’ve pasted out the passport picture on the application form. Also make sure that you only send the required documents listed and photocopy documents as specified since they will not return those requirements back to you.

Application can only be filed at the embassy from 8:30 to 11am only. Make sure to arrive before 10:30am just to make sure that they will still entertain you.

Releasing time is from 1:30-4:00 pm only.

For family applications, you must give documents to prove relationship with the family members (ex. Birth Certificate and Marriage contract). A single member or representative may file the application for all the family members.

Validity of visa is good for 3 months only from the issue date. So do not apply for more than 3 months before the date of your travel.

As for us, since we are still not a legal couple, we both give our applications in person. But, I’m not sure if they will allow if only a single party is present to submit both our applications.

A personnel will aid you as you enter the embassy, they will fix the order of your application documents and will give you queue number for a specific window. Once your number is called, a consul will check your documents (as per my experience, they immediately checked the Bank Statement and Bank Certificate – so make sure you’ve already included it on your application). The consul will give you a claiming stub with a tentative release date of your passport. (Take note that you will give out your original passport to them and if lucky they will return it back with a pasted visa on it. Hooray!).

VISA FEES:

  • Less than 59 days stay in Korea – FREE!
  • 60 to 90 days stay in Korea – PHP 1,800.00

 

STEP 4: CLAIM YOUR PASSPORT ON THE TENTATIVE DATE

Since we are tourist with no existing visa from any OECD member countries, we return to the embassy after 5 working days (also the claiming stub also specifies the tentative claiming date). If you already have visa from any OECD member countries, then you can claim yours after 3 working days.

Releasing time is strictly from 1:30PM to 4:00PM only.

We arrived at the embassy before 1:00PM and there are already a pile of people waiting outside. Take note that the embassy will only entertain claiming around 1:30PM. It’s a first come first serve process so once you arrived, immediately write your name on the logbook in the security window. It’s not really an efficient process but it’s somehow effective since they will call your name one by one before they allow you to get in. Also, write your full name and contact number on the back of the claiming stub before entering the embassy.

They advised applicants to claim their passports personally especially those First Time travelers, as an interview with a consul might happen before they complete the result of your application.

Luckily, we got ours in a breeze! No interviews at all and the consul just handed out our passport with the visa on it. Korea here we come!

For more details, check out the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines website – http://embassy_philippines.mofa.go.kr/english/as/embassy_philippines/visa/requirement/

 

EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA IN THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city 1634, Philippines

Tel: (63-2) 856-9210

Fax: (63-2) 856-9008

Hours of Operation: 08:30-17:00 (Mon-Fri)

Application time: 8:30AM to 11:00AM only.

Releasing time is from 1:30PM to 4:00PM only.

 

HOW TO GET TO EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA

The Korea Embassy is located at the corner of Upper Mckinley Rd. and C5 Rd, right beside the British Embassy.

  • From Guadalupe MRT Station or Market-Market, take the FTI-C5 jeepney. It will take 20 minutes from Guadalupe MRT Station and 7 minutes from Market-Market.
  • From the Venice Piazza at Mckinley Hill, there is a free shuttle bus that will take you to Upper McKinely Rd. The ride will take about 10 minutes. The Embassy is within walking distance from the last Bust Stop at Mckinley Rd.
  • When you take a taxi / uber / grab, ask the driver to drop you off at the Korea Embassy at Mckinley Hill along C5 road beside the British Embassy.

Related posts about our 5days-4nights South Korea DIY travel:

4 Replies to “First time guide on applying for South Korea tourist visa for Pinoys

  1. Thank you for this guide. I just want to ask kung ok lang na magreflect sa bank statement na nagdeposit ng malaki just for the trip? Mababa po ba ang chance na ma-approve kapag ganoon?

    1. Hi Jesi, actually the officers didn’t disclose anything like that as qualification on getting approved. There are some instances that they reject applications khit na complete requirements nman and they don’t give reasons for this reject. Malalaman mnlang the result from the travel agency cause they will contact you right Away. Anyway, I believe they are not that mahigpit with tourists visa as long as you provide complete requirements then you’re good to go.

  2. Hi. Thanks for this guide. South korea is my dream destination. I really want to go there. But i have to save up first! Need po ba na nakapag travel na sa ibang bansa before mag apply or para ma approve? Kasi if ever na pumunta ako sa korea, first time ko abroad. So possible kaya na ma approve ako? Or need muna na nakapag travel na abroad before mag apply?

    1. Hi ubelyn, no it’s not required. you just need to provide complete requirements during application. Goodluck! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *