Korean Tourist Visa

South Korea Tourist Visa: A Visa Application Guide for Filipino Tourists

Itineraries
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Annyeong, unnie!

Congratulations on scoring a round trip airfare ticket to Incheon! You are now one step away from setting foot to South Korea, breathing the Korean air and eating authentic Korean foods. All left to do is to have that Korean visa stamp on your maroon passport.

No idea how and where to start? Then, you’re in the right place! Let me help you step-by-step! 🙂

Disclaimer: This blog post is for students, employees and business owners who will apply for a South Korea tourist visa. If you are a freelancer without a lot of government documents, I’m sorry but I won’t be able to help you 100%.

NEW KOREA TOURIST VISA APPLICATION PROCESS IN MANILA

South Korea Tourist Visa

Before July 2018, Filipinos can easily walk-in in the Korean Embassy in Mckinley, Taguig to apply for a tourist visa for FREE. But due to the growing number (to the point that the embassy is cutting off the line already by 8 AM) of visa applicants, the Korean embassy in Manila decided to copy the process of the Japanese embassy. Walk-ins are no longer accepted now and all visa applications must be done through their designated travel agencies.

KOREA TOURIST VISA REQUIREMENTS

Korean Visa
VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYEES
  • Application Form
  • 1 piece of Passport size colored picture
  • Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6 months)
  • 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)
  • Original Certificate of Employment (must include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number, HR e-mail address)
  • Original Personal Bank Certificate (must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)
  • Bank Statement (original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
  • Photocopy of ITR or Form 2316
  • Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (if applicable only)
VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTREPRENEURS
  • Application Form
  • 1 piece of Passport size colored picture
  • Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6 months)
  • 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)
  • Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI
  • Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
  • Original Personal Bank Certificate (must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)
  • Bank Statement (original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
  • Photocopy of ITR or Form 2316
  • Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)
VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS
  • Application Form
  • 1 piece of Passport size colored picture
  • Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6 months)
  • 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)
  • School Certificate of Enrollment (Original)
  • Copy of School ID
  • Copy of Birth Certificate
  • Parents’ Documents:
    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
    – 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

KOREA TOURIST VISA APPLICATION PROCESS

STEP 1: GATHER ALL REQUIREMENTS NEEDED

Of course, our first step is to gather all requirements you need stated above depending if you’re an employee, entrepreneur or student. The bank certificate and statement would be the most troublesome to get since you need to allot a week day to request in the bank. It usually also has a fee of P100 – P200.

How much money should my bank account have?
Do you have a gold BDO and BPI credit cards?
Did you just renewed your passport?
How much money should my bank account have?

The Korean embassy didn’t declare a specific amount needed for their applicant’s bank accounts. But it is somehow encouraged to have at least 70k-100k (safe zone) for at least 5 days of travel. The longer your stay, the higher the show money must be. They’re also checking the consistency of the declared salary on your COE and on your ITR with your bank savings. So be careful with borrowing and transferring money on your bank accounts as well.

Do you have a gold BDO and BPI credit cards?

If you’re a cardholder of BPI Gold, BPI Platinum, Gold BPI Express Teller Debit or BDO Gold and Elite, you’re exempted to submit a bank certificate and an ITR when applying for a Korean Visa. You can just submit your latest original credit card statement of account (SoA) and photocopy of the credit card. If you’re receiving your credit statement through e-mail, then you should visit the bank to acquire the original copy of your SoA.

Also with these credit cards requirements, a multiple visa will be given. Read more here for BPI and here for BDO. This is only until December 31, 2019.

Did you just renewed your passport?

If you did and your previous passport has a lot of travel stamps and visa, attached your old passport with your new passport on your visa application.

STEP 2: Fill-up Application Form

Download the Microsoft word document of the application form from the Korean Embassy website. Application forms must be typewritten and only your signature must be handwritten. You must also use capital letters and put N/A on items that are not applicable for you. If you select No on some items, leave the follow-up information regarding that item blank. Here’s a sample of how I filled up mine.

To be sure, save your application form word document on a USB or online in case there are changes needed as per your travel agency’s recommendation. That’s what happened with us, good thing I saved our files in my google drive.

Korean Visa

STEP 3: Submit YOUR requirements to your chosen designated travel agency

You can apply for your Korean visa 2 months until 2 weeks from your travel date on your chosen designated travel agency near you. We chose Reli Tours in SM Megamall since we’ve been with them since our Japan visa application last 2016. We brought all our requirement documents and they checked it one by one. They’ll also guide you as well if they think your documents are lacking.

Unlike before that you can apply for a korean visa for free, there’s already a processing fee of around P700/visa on all the designated travel agency. During travel expos, they put their visa processing fee on sale (We got ours at P450).

Due to the increasing amount of applicants, travel agencies encouraged applicants to pass their requirements at least one month before their travel date. This will give them enough time to handle your documents, the 10 processing days** of the Korean embassy and enough buffer time in case of inconvenience.

**Processing dAYS of your visa application in the Korean embassy depends on the number of applications in that time. So better check Visa Announcement page regularly.

As of October 2019, processing period of korean visa is already 24-30 working days.

Korean Tourist Visa

Do they have a family or group visa application?
Are you traveling with a family member without a source of income?
Do they have a family or group visa application?

They do have a family visa application. I applied for one last Jan. 2019 since I’ll be travelling with my family. Our agency just asked for proof of relationship like my birth certificate and my parent’s marriage contract. However, group visa application is not applicable. I’ll be traveling with my boyfriend as well and I asked our agency if he can apply as a group with my family. Turned out, he can’t.

So if you’re traveling to Korea with friends, despite submitting your requirements together in the agency, it will be process as single application.

Are you traveling with a family member without a source of income?

The member who will fund the travel must get a notarized affidavit of support for the members without a source of income. My parents make one for my sister who is still a student that time.

Step 4: Wait for the processing then claim your visa and passport in your travel agency

Processing of Korean embassy take 10 working days but you can check your visa application time to time on this website while praying really hard. Your travel agency will contact you once your visa is already on their office and ready for pick up.

Korean visa

ALL SET FOR YOUR KOREA TRIP!

Korea Tourist VisaOnce you have your Korean visa then you’re all set for your korea trip! In my case, I was given a multiple visa (my second time applying + US Visa holder) with only a 30 days period of stay. My boyfriend was given a single visa but with 59 days period of stay.

Now you are all set, you can now start drafting your itinerary. Here’s ours:

READ MY WINTER IN SEOUL 2019: DIY ITINERARY AND TRAVEL GUIDE

If you’re planning to apply for a Korea tourist visa soon? Or you have already have, we can share notes in the comment section below!

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