Ah, South Korea. The land of kimchi, samgyeupsal, soju, celebrity hajimas and ahjushis, and KPop. Ever since their soap operas and music became a part of our pop culture, Korea has become a popular tourist destination for Filipinos. But the thing is, we are required to have a valid visa before entering Kpoplandia.
Here are the steps and a few reminders on how to obtain a Korean visa successfully:
Just a little background about me: I was born and raised here in the Philippines. I am single and currently working as an Air Traffic Controller (I work for the government) in Davao City. I applied for a tourist visa through my travel agent and they processed my visa application in Manila. The visa processing took around 7 days. If you're in Manila, you can directly process your visa at the Korean Embassy in Bonifacio Global City. Visa fee is gratis (free of charge) if you intend to stay 59 days or less. Beyond 60 days, you have to pay Php 1,800.
Here are the basic requirements you need to comply:
- Application form. Download it here.
- A valid Philippine passport. Must have at least two blank pages, and should be valid for more than six months. Don't forget to sign your passport!
- 1 piece of a passport-sized colored picture. Kindly attach it on your application form.
- Photocopy of your passport's bio page (page 2).
- Original and photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps of OECD member countries (Japan, USA, UK, Australia, and Schengen Visa) for the past five years (if applicable).
- Original Certificate of Employment. Your COE must include your monthly gross income, date hired, office address, telephone number, and email. Cell phone number is not allowed.
- Original personal bank certificate. Must include account type, current balance, account opening date, and ADB).
- Bank Account Statement (original copy or certified true copy for the last 3 months).
- Income Tax Return or Form 2316. Take note that those who travel frequently to OECD member countries for the last five years are exempted from submitting ITR.
- A copy of PRC or IBP Card if applicable.
If you're invited by a Korean, here are the additional requirements:
- Invitation letter
- A photocopy of their passport or identification card. Authentication is not required.
If you're invited by a company in Korea:
- A photocopy of the company's business permit. Authentication is also not required.
A few reminders:
- If you have stamps from your previous trips, you'll get a higher chance of getting your visa approved. It doesn't only show that you're able to finance your own trips, but your stamps indicate that you had returned back to the country after your travels. Don't fret if you don't have stamps. You'll need prayers and a few ounce of luck.
- Same story goes if you have visas from other countries.
- Just because you have a fat bank account doesn't mean they'll automatically grant you a visa. Remember that your bank certificate shows your monthly average balance, so putting an immediate hefty amount to your bank account is a terrible idea. Be realistic with your bank account. The embassy will be suspicious if you have over half a million in your bank account yet you are only a regular employee of a company.
There you go! I do hope this blog post helped. Big thanks to Leyte Gulf Travel and Tours for the fast and hassle-free transaction.