Are you planning a trip to South Korea? Here’s a guide on how to apply for a South Korea Tourist Visa for Filipinos. Please don’t forget to read the FAQs!
Last updated on February 23, 2017
How to Apply for South Korea Tourist Visa for Filipinos
- Complete the Visa Requirements stated from the embassy website. It is very important to check the South Korea embassy official website, because it is the most updated, especially their Application Form, which became 5-pages from 2-pages before. It is best to check Visa Announcements on their website as well, because they released a new application form just last August 2015.
- Submit your completed requirements to the South Korea embassy. If you’re traveling with a group, a representative of your group can submit all your requirements. Make sure that you don’t put them in separate envelopes, just arrange them in the order that the requirements are listed.
- Wait for 3-5 days and claim it to the universe that your visa gets approved! I’ve been granted a visa twice, but I still get nervous! I just think positive that when I get my passport, it will have a South Korea visa!
- Claim your visa on the date stated on your stub. I think it’s always best to claim it on the date assigned to you. I know that you can claim it within a month, but since there’s a scheduled date per person, the embassy prioritizes those applications per day.
- Plan your itinerary once you get your visa. Here’s an itinerary for 5 Days and 4 Nights in South Korea.
Visa Application Requirements for Employees
- Application Form
- Please use the new application form, effective September 1, 2015
- You may download the form here.
- You may also download this sample visa application form.
- Fill out the form in BLOCK LETTERS using a pen with black ink. We typed in our answers from a computer and printed them. It’s much neater and you can avoid erasures. Erasures are a NO-NO!
- Print the form in A4.
- Do not leave any blank field. Just write in N/A if it’s not applicable.
- Some tips on some section on the form :
- 1.2 on the form is “Chinese Name”, unless you have one, type N/A.
- No need to fill out Section 2, just put N/A.
- 1.7 National Identity No. should be N/A
- 9.1 Purpose of Visit : Tourism/Transit
- 10.1 Estimated travel costs (in US dollars) : What you type in there should be near the amount of what is in your bank account. Don’t get too overboard or it will look unrealistic.
- 10.2 Who will pay for your travel? If you type “MYSELF”, the next fields a,b,c,d should be “N/A”.
- 1-piece of Passport size colored picture
- We chose a white background, but any color background would do.
- Please look decent on your photo by wearing a collared top.
- Make sure your eyebrows and ears are showing, and please remove any facial jewelry, like earrings.
- For the ladies, you can add in a pop of color by putting on a natural-shade lipstick.
- Original Passport
- Valid for more than 6-months
- Remove any jacket/case of your passport.
- Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
- This is where your photo and other details on the passport is shown.
- Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (If applicable, and Korean Visas will not be counted)
- Only my brother-in-law has an OECD visa. He photocopied it, and after the staff checked it, it was returned to us.
- For the list of OECD member countries, please check this website.
- Original Certificate of Employment
- The date on the COE must be within the month of your visa application.
- Let your HR know that this is for your Korean tourist visa application.
- Inform your HR to include the following information:
- Your position
- Date hired
- Office Address
- HR landline number – mobile number is not allowed
- HR email address – some of us did not have this, but it’s best to have this handy as the embassy just needs a way to communicate with your employer
- Original Personal Bank Certificate
- Must include the following:
- Account type
- Current balance
- Account opening date
- ADB or Average Daily Balance
- We had to pay both BDO and BPI PHP100 for a copy.
- Must include the following:
- Bank Statement
- Original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months
- We paid BDO PHP100 for the first 3-pages, additional will incur beyond that.
- ITR(Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy
- Please make sure that your TIN (Tax Identification Number) is visible on the form.
- If it’s the start of the year, you may submit the transmittal receipt of your 2316 form.
- Starting July 1, 2015, all visa applicants who have travelled as tourist to Korea at least once within 5 years will be exempt from submitting ITR copy. Processing time will also be reduced to 3 working days. They are still required to apply at window 1 or 2.
- Those who have traveled to Korea once within 5 years with purpose other than tour such as business, church visit, family visit, are still required to submit ITR copy. They are required to apply at window 1 or 2. Processing time is 5 working days.
- Those who have traveled to Korea more than twice within 4 years are exempt from submitting ITR copy and may apply at window 3(frequent travellers).
- Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)
- These are for professionals, like doctors, lawyers, accountants
* If personally invited by Korean : Invitation Letter & Copy of invitor’s Passport
* If invited by Company in Korea : Invitation Letter & Copy of Korean Company Business Permit
The visa is FREE for 59 days or less, and Php1800 for 60-90 days in South Korea.
Since we applied as a family, there are some requirements that we had to get for students and for a housewife. A representative of the family can submit all the application requirements.
How to submit your requirements:
- As you arrive at the embassy, please sign your name on the record book. When it is time to enter the embassy, a guard will call out the names in order.
- If you’re applying as a family or as group, one representative can submit all the requirements.
- Remove any folder, passport holders, paper clips on your documents.
- Make sure that the your documents are arranged as it is listed above. Additional documents should be at the back.
- The guard inside the embassy will check your documents and you will be given a number.
- Wait for your number to be called. Your number will be reflected above the window, so you know where to go once called.
- Make sure that you quickly walk to the window. If you’re too slow, the next number will be called.
- The lady at the window will give you a stub with the date on when you can claim the passport. Keep it safe.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: When can I apply for a visa?
Answer: You can apply 1-2 months before your scheduled departure.
Question: Should all my family members be present when submitting the application forms?
No. A representative of the family can submit all the application forms.
Question: Should I put “N/A” on ALL fields that are not applicable or fields I have answered ‘No’ to?
Yes. As long as it is a field that requires an applicant’s answer, you have to type in “N/A”. No fields should be left blank, except for “FOR OFFICIAL USE” section.
Question: How much should I have on my bank account?
There is no exact amount that the embassy requires. In my opinion, you should have enough money to support the days of your stay in South Korea. You can set $100 X days of stay. If you’re staying for 5 days, then 5 x 100 = $500.
Question: What is the average daily balance required by the South Korean embassy?
There’s no required ADB, but my advice is to have movement in your account, i.e. deposits/withdrawals.
Question: Can I use my salary/payroll bank account?
Yes, you may use it.
Question: I am a housewife/househusband, what are my requirements?
Please check the requirements here.
Question: Can I get a Korean visa if I am unemployed?
This is a tricky question. The embassy would tell you, “No work, no visa.” That’s true in most cases, but if you’re married and your spouse is employed and is traveling with you, and can clearly support your travel, then by all means, apply for a visa. Having a Korean sponsor does not guarantee a visa. It’s a case to case basis.
Question: What are the requirements for a child who is not yet a student?
It is the same as a student’s requirements, except there’s no School Certificate, and no School ID. You just need to add a Copy of an NSO Birth Certificate.
Question: Can I apply for a visa if my bank account is less than 6-months old?
Ideally, it is best to have a 6-months old bank account, but yes, you can apply for a visa, as long as you can provide 3-months bank statement.
Question: I just started my employment on my new job, do I have to submit an ITR?
No. But you may submit the latest one you received from your previous job. The embassy will still see in your COE that you’re newly employed.
Question: What should I put in section 9.8, “Are you traveling to Korea with any family member?”
You should only type in the names of your immediate family member that are coming with you, i.e. your father, mother, siblings, spouse; if you’re traveling with relatives (i.e. cousins, aunts, uncles), you should type in N/A to all the fields.
Question: Do OFWs need to submit an ITR?
No, but you need to apply for a “CERTIFICATE OF NON-FILING OF INCOME TAX RETURN“. Make sure that at BIR, you are tagged as an OFW.
Question: Do I need to submit an ITR?
When you are earning above minimum wage per month, you are still required to submit an ITR. If you’re below minimum wage, get a certificate of non-filing from BIR.
Our Visa Application Experience and Some Tips To Get Approved
There’s no need to set an appointment. You can only submit your application requirements on Mondays-Fridays at 8:30-11 am only. During Korean holidays the embassy is closed, so please do a quick Google search to find out if it’s a holiday on the day you’re supposed to go.
- There’s no parking inside the embassy.
- Before leaving for the embassy, make sure that your documents are complete.
- DO NOT submit fake documents. Complete and valid documents should only be submitted. Getting banned for life from getting a visa is something you don’t want to happen.
- Arrange the documents the way it was listed above (requirements). This makes it easier for the staff by the door to check if your documents are complete and valid.
- Do not staple your documents. The staff by the door who checked our documents stapled it for us.
- Please make sure that your photocopies are clear.
We did not glue the photos on the application form when we arrived at the embassy, but we brought our own. Don’t worry if you didn’t bring any, there’s glue at the embassy. It’s best to stick the photos on your application form beforehand, because when we arrived, and got our number from the staff, our number flashed at Window 2 after 5-minutes. My sister and I hurriedly stuck 7 photos on 7 application forms. Talk about adrenaline rush! We were very fortunate that the person before me was still talking to the person in the window.
- You don’t need to submit additional documents. The person by the door will remove your plane tickets or hotel reservations from the application.
- Bringing everyone’s birth certificates is a must if you’re traveling as a family.
We did not have our birth certificates, except for my brother’s because he’s a student, and it’s part of the requirements. However, the person in the window told us that we must have birth certificates since we are applying as a family. There’s nothing about this on the embassy website. We followed the requirements for Employee, Housewife, and Student. I seriously got scared. What if we don’t get approved because we did not have our birth certificates? The lady said it was to establish the family relationship.
- You must have an NSO Marriage Certificate, if you’re traveling with your spouse.
We were also traveling with my sister’s husband, and they looked for the certificate, too. Talk about another thing to worry about! The lady assisting us began speaking in Korean, and based on what I picked up from the conversation, she was a bit annoyed that we lacked a few documents; documents that were not listed as required in their website.
After giving us the claim stub, I politely spoke in Korean, “I apologize, we did not know about it (additional requirement, i.e. birth certificate). We will keep that in mind next time. Thank you.” I think that got me some brownie points. The lady actually smiled a little bit. I guess she didn’t expect that I could speak in Korean (and that I maybe picked up on what she was saying to her colleague). I think talking to the Korean Mart owner near our place helped a bit!
Claiming Our Passport
- Passports are released in 3 to 5 days.
- Please come on the date stated on your claim stub. Excluding Korean holidays, you can claim your passports between 1:30pm to 4:30pm.
- Write down your name and contact number at the back of the claim stub.
- Fall in line to get your number by the door.
I love the fact that they are always on time. When the clock at the embassy striked 1:30pm, the staff started calling out numbers. My mother and I were both nervous and excited. When our number was called, I fell in line by the window and waited for my turn. I think my birth “day” is lucky. I was #21.
Some said that there’s a paper inserted inside a passport when it has been denied a visa. I don’t know if that is true, but when I saw that ours were just passports, my heart was filled with joy! I somersaulted inside my head!
A Few Itty-Bitty Info
- There’s no set amount for what’s in your bank account. Ideally, your money should be enough for your length of stay.
- Do not take selfies inside the embassy. Taking photos and eating inside the embassy are prohibited.
- If you get denied, you can reapply after 6 months.
If you’re applying as a family, you are most likely to be approved. I believe that the Korean embassy is encouraging family trips to their country. As first time applicants, we were very lucky to be granted visas . Good luck!
IMPORTANT REMINDERS FROM THE EMBASSY:
- For family applications, documents for proof of relationship is a must. (eg. Marriage Contact, Birth Certificate)
- A representative of the family may file the visa applications of all family members.
- Validity of visa is only 59-days from the issue date. Scheduling your application date is crucial.
Korean Embassy Location
122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city 1634, Philippines
Tel. nos : (63-2) 856-9210 visa local no. 270, 500
If you have any questions, let us know by leaving a comment below! Please note that we will entertain questions that we only know the answers of, as we can only base our answers from our experience.
Check the comments section first. Chances are, your questions may already have answers.