How To Apply for A South Korean Tourist Visa With Your Philippine Passport 2019

How To Apply For South Korean
Tourist Visa With Your Philippine Passport

By DAN FORTEZA

South Korea is no country like others. I’m sure that a majority of us Filipinos have been influenced by Korean media at some point of our lives, may it be K-Pop or Koreanovelas. So for those of you dying to see what Korea has more to offer. This is it! A first step to make that a reality is getting a Korean Tourist Visa.

Busan Train Terminal in South Korea - South Korean Tourist Visa
Busan Train Station in South Korea | Dantravels.org

If you’re here looking for a guide on how to apply for your South Korean Tourist Visa, then you’re in the right place.

But before I give you the details, I’d like to start off by saying that no one can give you the guarantee of your visa’s approval – not me, not even a lawyer or a travel agent. If anyone does, is most likely a scammer.

As a travel blogger, what I can offer you here is just a guide with helpful tips to increase your chances of getting that tourist visa. =)

But no worries, the application process for Korean tourist visa is so simple and starting this 2018, the Korean Embassy is coursing applications through travel agencies. If you’re familiar with the Japan Visa application process, it works pretty much the same. Click HERE to read my blog on getting a Japanese Tourist Visa.

WHEN TO APPLY YOUR KOREAN VISA

You can apply as early as 2-3 months prior to your departure date. For single entry, the Korean visa is 3-month valid and you can enter Korea at any time within the next 3 months of the issue date.

Say, for example, if your intended flight is May 1, then you can apply as early as March 1. If it got approved March 4, then you are can now enter Korea from March 4 – June 4 (3-month period).

In addition, a single-entry Korean tourist visa is only permitted to stay in South Korea for a maximum period of 59 days.

STEP 1: PREPARE THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

  1. Duly Accomplished Application Form
    • Please download HERE the application form for Korean tourist visa
    • Must be typewritten, NOT handwritten. Recommended font size is 13 – 14.
    • Signature is still manually done on the page 4.
    • Must be filled out completely and correctly
    • Must be printed in A4-sized paper
    • Click “+” below to see more key points in filling up the form
      • Leave items 1.2, 1.7 blanks.
      • Leave 1.9 blank if you are not Dual citizen
      • For questions that are not applicable for you, kindly leave it blank

Example = Spouse name if you are single(4.2)

      • If you do not have a Korean Sponsor, leave question 8 blank
      • If you will pay for your tour, answer question number 9 in this manner

9.1 = 1,000

9.2 a) = Your Name (If you will pay your expenses)

9.2 b) = “Myself”

9.2 c) = “All Expenses”

9.2 d) = (Your Contact Number)

NOTE: On section 7 of the form, you’ll be asked to put your address and contact number in Korea. If you intend to stay in a hostel like I did (since I’m solo backpacking), I use the address and contact number of my hostel in South Korea. I suggest you book your hostel at booking.com as they have free cancellation or pay-at-the-hotel option.

Use my link to book your hostel and you’ll get 10% of your booking back after your stay. Click this link to get that discount.

Or try Airbnb in finding comfy and cozy rooms! I have used Airbnb on some of my other trips and I loved it!

Have you tried Airbnb? Sign up with my link and you will get up to 42 USD (2,200 Php) off your first stay. Click this link to get that discount.

2. One Passport-Sized ID Photo

    • Must be with white background
    • Must be glued on the designated area of the Application Form

3. Original Passport

    • Must be at least 6 months valid from your intended flight

4. Photocopy of Passport’s Bio page

5. Photocopy of all OECD Visa

    • If you have visas to any member of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), you will need to submit the original copy and photocopy including arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years
    • Visit this website to see all the OECD member countries

6. If invited by Korean

    • An Invitation Letter
    • A Copy of Inviter’s Passport

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYEES

  1. Original Certificate of Employment
    • Must include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number(cell-phone number is not allowed
  2. Original Personal Bank Certificate
    • Must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB
  3. Bank Statement
    • Must be original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
  4. Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316
  5. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SELF-EMPLOYED

  1. Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI
  2. Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
  3. Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316
  4. Original Personal Bank Certificate
    • Must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB
  5. Bank Statement
    • Must be original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
  6. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS

  1. Original School Certificate
  2. Photocopy of School ID
  3. Copy of Birth Certificate
  4. If parents are employed
    • Parents’ Original Certificate of Employment. Must be original; and must have the address of the employer, the landline number and email address of employer’s HR department, applicant’s position, date hired, and compensation. Mobile number is not allowed.
    • Copy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy
  5. If parents are self-employed
    • Copy of parents’ Business Registration from SEC or DTI
    • Copy of parents’ Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit (Copy)
    • Photocopy of parents’ ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 with corresponding payment receipt from BIR authorized bank
  6. Parents’ Original Bank Certificate.
    • Must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB.
  7. Parents’ Bank Statement.
    • An original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months.
  8. Copy of parents’ marriage certificate.

If, however, you have a different situation or purpose of visit, it’s best that you visit the South Korea Embassy for more information and for the complete requirements.

STEP 2: SUBMIT YOUR DOCUMENTS TO YOUR CHOSEN TRAVEL AGENCY

The Korean Embassy accredited 35 agencies where you can lodge your application.

The good news is, many of these travel agencies have branches all around the country, which means it’s easier for applicants in the provinces to apply.

VISA FEE: A South Korea Visa is FREE of charge as long as you are only going to stay 59 days or less; however, these travel agencies charge for the service that they offer of processing/sending your application and it can range from Php 500 to Php 2,000. For stays spanning from 60 to 90 days, the embassy charges a fee of about Php 1,800.

To date, below are the accredited travel agencies, as listed below:

IMPORTANT NOTE: The consulate in Cebu still accepts direct applications, and for your information only, below are the address details of Korea’s embassies in the Philippines:

Korean Embassy in Manila
122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Email Address: [email protected]
Telephone: (63-2) 856-9210, local no. 270, 500

Korean Consulate in Cebu
12th Floor Chinabank Corporate Center, Lot 2, Samar Loop Cor. Road 5, Cebu Business Park, Cebu
Email Address: [email protected]
Contact No.: (63-32) 231-1516(-9)

Now if you asked me –

‘WHAT IS YOUR RECOMMENDED TRAVEL AGENCY TO GET A BETTER CHANCE OF APPROVAL?’

I couldn’t really answer that as there is no best travel agency when it comes to visa approval. They, too, have no control whatsoever over that matter. these accredited travel agencies simply ensure that the documents you are going to give are complete. After which, they just pass it to the embassy who makes the analyzation and final decision.

In my experience, however, I chose Reli Tours and Travels in Southmall Las Pinas just simply because they’re close to where I live. They are also the agency I applied for in my Japanese visa application which later got also approved =)

Reli Tours and Travels SM Southmall - South Korean Tourist Visa
Reli Tours and Travel at SM Southmall | Dantravels.org

PROCESSING TIME: 7 Working Days

Per Korean Embassy, their processing time is:

3 working days – Manila applications with OECD visas within the past 5 years
5 working days – Manila applications without OECD visas
7 working days – Cebu applications with or without OECD visas

But since this will now be handled by the agency, it is safe to add a day or two. Some can take shorter, some longer, depending on your case, but it is safe to say 7 working days.

If you don’t have that much time, you can avail of the RUSH PROCESSING OPTION, which will expedite the of visa to only 2 days. But it comes with a USD20 express fee.

STEP 3. CLAIM YOUR PASSPORT WITH VISA (HOPEFULLY!)

Pick up your passport (hopefully with a visa sticker attached) when you are informed by your travel agency. Agency will normally send a text message to you once you’re passport is ready for pick up.

By the way, here is what a Korean Visa look like.

My South Korean Visa Sticker | Dantravels.org

I believe that as long as you have completed the requirements and your intention is purely tourism then most likely your visa will be approved. =)

If you have questions, feel free to leave a reply on the comment section below and I promise to get back to you as soon as I can.

Good luck and all the best on your Korean tourist visa application!

SUMMARY:

Visa Type: Tourist Visa
Visa Validity: 3 Months
Entry type: Single Entry
Visa Fee: FREE (Handling Fee Php 700.00 by Reli Tours & Travel)

BOOKING ESSENTIALS

  • Hotel / Hostel
    • Booking.com. I usually book my hostel accommodation at booking.com. Thus, I recommend you guys trying it as well.  Room accommodation ranges from cheap hostels to luxury hotels. Book hostels through booking.com as they have free cancellation or pay-at-the-hotel option.

Use my link to book your hostel and you’ll get 10% of your booking back after your stay. Click this link to get that discount.

    • Airbnb. Try Airbnb in finding comfy and cozy rooms! I have used Airbnb on some of my other trips and I loved it!

Have you tried Airbnb? Sign up with my link and you will get up to 42 USD (2,200 Php) off your first stay. Click this link to get that discount.

  • Flights
    • KAYAK. All of my flight bookings are all from KAYAK. Kayak is one of the world’s leading travel search engines and searches hundreds of travel sites.

I suggest you check Kayak (click HERE) as they usually offer cheap fare rates compared to other booking sites.

  •  Travel Insurance
    • World Nomads. If you don’t have travel insurance when times get tough, basically you are screwed. Traveling always comes with inherent risks attached. Whether you are trekking in the Seoraksan mountains or wandering the streets of Seoul, unforeseen events can suddenly upend your world. Generally speaking, travel insurance covers you for the following: Medical Costs – hospital visits, emergencies, evacuations; Property Loss – luggage and their contents; Travel Issues – accommodation and transportation expenses. Thus, I highly recommend you guys getting a travel insurance. I bought one from the World Nomads (available in 130+ countries) where most travelers get their travel insurances.

Go to this link to get to your World Nomads travel insurance.

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