Ever dreamt of seeing your K-Pop Idols in person? Or you just want to go shopping at Myeongdong Street? Whatever your reason is, Korea should definitely be on top of your travel destination list!
There’s one problem though! YOU DON’T HAVE A VALID TOURIST VISA YET.
Beginning last year, the Korean Embassy made an announcement concerning the application of tourist visas for Philippine passport holders. Before, to apply for a tourist visa, Filipinos would spend half-day queuing outside their McKinley office. Now, the Embassy decided to course all visa applications through accredited travel agencies just like Japan.
Made our lives easier right? Now all you have to do is to follow this step-by-step guide on how to apply for a South Korea Tourist Visa:
Step 1 –
Fill-up the application form (you can download the form here). Unlike Japan, if the information does not apply, just LEAVE IT BLANK. DO NOT PUT N/A. Also, make sure to have your form typewritten. The Korean Embassy do not accept handwritten forms.
Here’s a sample of a properly filled-out form:
*NOTE: Size of document for application should be A4 size only. Do not staple pages and/or ID photo.
Step 2 –
Complete the requirements below.
For those who doesn’t have an income tax return (ITR), you will have to submit an explanation letter that details the following:
- Personal information
- Reason why you can’t submit an ITR
- Nature of work/business
- Purpose of visit
*NOTE: All documents should be three (3) months valid from date of application.
Step 3 –
Submit your documents to your trusted travel agency.
Step 4 –
Wait. The usual processing time takes 7-10 working days, depending on the travel agency where you submitted your application. If you have already been issued old/new visa(s) from OECD countries (Japan, Canada, US, etc.), your application will be processed much faster than others who do not have any.
And as I always say, pray.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. How much should I have in my bank account to have higher chances of approval?
Unlike Japan, Korea is much stricter in approving visas for Philippine passport holders. Bank statements are even part of their requirements! Thus, it it important that you submit a bank certificate that is consistent with your bank statements, whatever the amount is (this is better than opening a “dummy” bank account for the sole purpose of visa application because the Embassy will look into your average daily balance (ADB) for the last 6 MONTHS). I also advice that you should have not less than Php 100,000 in your bank account.
2. Do I have to have a travel history before applying for a South Korea Tourist Visa?
No. I have clients who have been granted a single-entry visa without having been to any trips abroad. For as long as you’ve proven your purpose of visit to Korea and that you’re financially capable to support yourself abroad, I think you’re good.
3. Do I have to book plane tickets and/or accommodation before applying for a South Korea Tourist Visa?
No. This is not a requirement. It is better to apply for a visa first before buying plane tickets. But again, just like any trips abroad that requires visa, if you’re up for a risk and you want to save more, of course, you could always book your tickets/accommodation in advance.
4. How long is the validity of a South Korea Tourist Visa?
It depends on what type of visa you are granted. Single-entry visa is valid for 59-90 days three (3) months after date of issue. Double-entry visa is valid six (6) months after date of issue. Multiple-entry visa, on the other hand, is valid for (30 days) for 1/3/5 years.
5. Will I be granted multiple-entry visa if I have huge amount of money in the bank? or if I have been to several trips abroad? or if this is my second time to visit South Korea?
No. This is not necessarily the case. The immigration is considering a lot of factors in granting multiple-entry visas to Filipinos – financial capacity, travel history, personal background, etc. I have clients who have applied for a South Korea Tourist Visa for the second time but was not granted a double-entry nor a multiple-entry visa. There are only two ways for one to be qualified for a multiple-entry visa: frequent visitor & bank promotions. I will blog about this on a separate post.
So there you have it! There may be a lot of requirements compared to applying for a Japan Tourist Visa but I hope this post made it easier for you to comply.
If you have further inquiries, feel free to comment below.