South Korea is a popular destination among Filipinos. However, a prior visa is needed before one is allowed entry to mainland South Korea. On the other hand, no visa is needed if one is only visiting Jeju Island.
Many say that it’s not easy to get South Korean Tourist Visa because of the strict requirements the Korean Embassy imposes. Perhaps. On the other hand, if the applicant possesses all the requirements to support the visa application, I think, there will be no problem.
I personally have secured three (3) South Korean Tourist visas already. My first visa was a Single Entry Visa valid for 59 Days. The second visa was a Multiple Entry Visa valid for 1 year with a maximum of 30 days stay per entry. And my current South Korean Visa is a 5-Year Multiple Entry Visa with a maximum of 30 days per entry.
In all instances I applied for a Tourist Visa, I only submitted these basic requirements:
- Valid Original passport and a photocopy of the bio page
- Original Bank Certification
- BIR documents
- Employment documents
- Ticket Reservation
- Hotel Reservation
- Photo copy of other visas in the passport
- Duly accomplished application form with attached ID picture
Let’s discuss the requirements one by one.
The embassy requires the presentation of the applicants’ original and valid passport. Hence, ensure that your passport is valid for travel – at least 6 months prior to date of travel.
As a proof that the applicant can support his/her stay in South Korea, the Embassy requires the presentation of original bank certificate and bank statement. Both bank certificate and bank statements are required. Sometimes, the embassy also asks for the original passbook. Now here comes the big question: How much money should I have in my bank account? There is no rule on this. However, ensure that the figures appearing on the bank documents must be sufficient enough to support your stay. So make sure you can personally decipher what is meant by “sufficient money.” If the applicant is a student, submit the bank/ financial documents of your parents and a duly notarized Affidavit of Support. If the applicant is unemployed, submit proof of sources of income, say, remittances from someone living abroad or your sponsor.
BIR documents are supplementary to bank documents. If employed, submit photo copy of Tax Withheld. If self-employed, submit BIR Annual Income Tax Return, Audited Financial Statement, Business Permit and DTI/SEC Registration. If student, submit the documents of your parents.
Employment documents include Certificate of Employment and Leave of Absence. If you are a government employee, include in your application your duly approved leave form. If self-employed, the DTI/SEC document replaces this requirement. If student, submit original and photocopy of the following: enrollment form of the current semester and School ID. If un-employed, proof of remittances from someone abroad or sponsorship letter duly supported by the sponsor’s financial documents.
Ticket and Hotel reservations must only be reservations and not a paid one. Do not finalize your ticket and hotel yet. What the embassy is very particular of is the address of your accommodation in Korea and your contact number. Now comes the question, should the hotel address you indicated in the visa application form as shown in your hotel reservation be the actual hotel you will use when you get to Korea? My answer is yes. However, if you are granted a multiple entry visa and goes to Korea for the second time or so, you may use other hotels. As regards to the ticket reservation, you may change it as you wish.
Well traveled applicants get better chances of having their visa application approved. Sometimes, all the visa officer do is check your travel history as shown in your passport. The more travelled you are, the more chances you get an approved visa. If you have Japan, US, New Zealand, UK or Schengen Visa, you can be certain that you will be granted a South Korean Visa. In the application form, you are asked to list the countries you have visited in the last 5 years. To support this, photocopy your other visas and attach them to your application documents.
Lastly, applicants must properly fill-up the visa application form with passport size ID picture. Answer all items and place N/A for items that you do not have an answer. Download the visa application form here.
Applicants need not personally apply. Visa application is from 8:30 am to 11:00 am while releasing of passport is from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm Mondays to Fridays. The Embassy of South Korea is located in 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. In Cebu, the South Korean Consulate is located at the 12th Floor of Chinabank Corporate Center, Lot 2, Samar Loop Cor. Road 5, Cebu Business Park, Mabolo, Cebu City.
So what is the likelihood one is granted a South Korean Tourist Visa? Check your requirements. From there, you can get an idea.
Categories: South Korea