Getting an approved Korean visa is somewhat similar to the process of securing a Japan visa. Both embassies will ask you to pass financial documents and evidence that you have close ties to your country of origin. With the influx of foreigners visiting South Korea, there have been changes in the process of visa application. 🤞
Since July 1, 2018, temporary visa application must be done through designated travel agencies, thus, the embassy is not accepting any walk-ins or online appointment.
ACCREDITED TRAVEL AGENCIES
At the time of writing, there are 25 accredited travel agencies where you can process your Republic of Korea (ROK) visa.
1. ABOEX TRAVEL AND TOURS
2. ADVENTURE INTERNATIONAL
3. BLUE HORIZONS TRAVEL AND TOURS INC.
4. BUDGET TRAVEL AND TOURS INC.
5. CASTO TRAVEL PHILIPPINES INC.
6. CITY TRAVEL & TOURS CORPORATION
7. COME ON PHILS. GOLF & TRAVEL AGENCY INC.
8. CONSTELLATION TRAVELS, INC.
9. FIRST UNITED TRAVEL INC
10. GETAWAY TOURS INTERNATIONAL INC.
11. H.I.S. (PHILIPPINES) TRAVEL CORP
12. HANKOOKCEB CORP.
13. JTB ASIA PACIFIC PHIL. CORP.
14. KP JOEUN CONSULTANCY INC
15. LAS PALMAS TOURS AND TRAVEL AGENCY, INC
16. MNK TRAVEL & TOURS CORP.
17. NORTH STAR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL, INC
18. PARTY-ON TRAVEL AND TOUR COMMUNITY INC.
19. RELI TOURS AND TRAVEL COMPANY
20. SHARP TRAVEL SERVICE (PHILS.) INC.
21. SWIRE TRAVEL PHILS, INC
22. THE BARON TRAVEL CORPORATION
23. TRAVEL PROS
24. TRAVELSERVICES, INC.
25. UNI-ORIENT TRAVEL, INC
There are two types of Korean visas: single-entry and multiple-entry.
Single-entry visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issuance while Multiple-entry visa‘s validity depends on the period following the date of issuance.
For visa related to diplomatic purpose, official business or treaties, visa is valid for not more than 3 years. Unfortunately, Filipinos do not enjoy visa-free in entering South Korea, and some say getting the visa stamp is as hard as entering a needle hole. 🤞
For Tourism or Business purpose, here are the visa requirements for those who are employed.
2. 1 piece of Passport size colored picture (attach on the application form)
3. Original Passport (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 member countries for the past 5 years (If applicable only)
The 34 OECD member countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States
6. Original Certificate of Employment
(must include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number & HR e-mail address *Note: cell-phone number is not allowed)
7. Original Personal Bank Certificate
(must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)
8. Bank Statement
(original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
9. ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy
10. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)
For minors or students, here are the additional requirements since they don’t have ITR.
School Certificate (Original)
Copy of School ID
Copy of Birth Certificate (NSO)
Guarantee Letter, duly certified by law office
– 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] Photocopy of ITR(Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy
– If Self-employed: Business Registration from SEC or DTI (Copy), Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit(Copy), Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 with corresponding payment receipt from BIR authorized bank
– 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 NSO Marriage Certificate
For Special cases, the embassy will require you to pass other requirements.
If personally invited by Korean, you will need:
. Invitation Letter
. Photocopy of Passport or Identification Card of the person who invited you
(authentication not required)
* If invited by Company in Korea, you will ned:
. Invitation Letter
. Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit
(authentication not required)
* Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourist to OECD member countries within 5 years are exempt from submitting ITR.
*If parents already have a valid visa, attach photocopy of parents’ valid visa. If not travelling together with parents, attach photocopy of passport or valid ID of parents.
IMPORTANT UPDATE! Company Alpha List is no longer required during visa application. 🤞
Those who have been to OECD member countries within 5 years as tourists, expect 3 working days before you get the result while 5 working days for those who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years.
Visa Fee: 59 days (or less) stay in Korea — GRATIS
60 to 90 days stay in Korea — PHP2,000.00
Q & A Approved Korean Visa
How much SHOW MONEY do you need?
It depends on your itinerary and duration of stay. Unlike Japan embassy, Korean embassy won’t ask you to pass an itinerary. But in the application form, you have to put the estimated travel cost, intended period of stay, intended date of entry, the address where you will stay and its contact number. So you have to be careful on filing up the form.
For example, I declared that I would be visiting South Korea with my husband and 5 years old daughter. My husband and I declared 800 USD (40,000 PHP) estimated travel cost for 4 days stay, respectively. That was equivalent to 200 USD (approximately 10,000 PHP) per day. I alocated 600 USD for my daughter’s estimated travel cost.
If you’re going to do the same, your bank certificate MUST HAVE more than 2,800 USD or 150,000 PHP for 3 individuals to show that you can cover your travel expenses. 🤞
If you’re going solo, 700 USD to 940 USD (40,000 PHP to 50,000 PHP) is enough for 5 days stay.
In other scenario, I know some people who still got denied Korean visa even if they have big money in their banks accounts.
Certificate of Employment is as essential as your bank certificate because it is an indicator that you have close ties to your country. Make sure that the contact details of your Human Resource Department or management are included in your certificate of Employment. I am a project employee so I just passed a Certificate of Talent Service and I still got my Korean visa.
I have heard some testimonies that some overseas workers have slim chance of getting Korean visa approval. Perhaps, Korean embassy has more scrutinizing eyes on their contracts, and the fact they are working abroad, the consul is probably a little dubious about their intentions of entering the Korean peninsula. 🤞
We processed our visa application in Attic Tours Philippines in Pasay City, two weeks before our departure date. They were very accommodating and they explained thoroughly the process and requirements. Our visas were released in just 2 days perhaps due to the inclusion of our Japan arrival stamps in the requirements. 🤞
Chance of getting visa approval for 1st time traveler abroad
I know some of my colleagues who got approved Korean visa for their first travel abroad. So don’t be daunted if you’re planning to visit South Korea as your first out of the country trip.
Booking a flight before applying for visa
To be honest, we already had plane tickets before we even applied for Korean Visa. As you already know, we’d been to Japan and we also booked our flight before we processed and got approved Japan visa.
It is not necessary to buy plane tickets before processing your ROK visa. It is more practical to wait for your visa approval before you book your flight because it also saves you the headache of worrying about whether you’ll be denied or approved. 🤞
Booking a hotel accommodation before visa application
Worry no more because Booking.com offers you numerous hotel accommodation with free cancellation and no prepayment needed. On the other hand, if you want to experience living in a Korean home, you may opt to stay in an AIRBNB house. (click here to get almost 30 USD or 1,600 PHP discount on your first booking)
CHECKING THE RESULT ONLINE
The good news or bad news about the result of your visa application can be checked online.
Click this link to know the status of your application.
I won’t discuss here the denied Korean visa. Let us just be optimistic and hope that after you read this, you’ll get the visa approval. 🤞🤞🤞