South Korea · Visa

How I Got my South Korean Visa (Tips and FAQ)

I blame my love for korean dramas for wanting to go to South Korea. Luckily, Cebu Pacific had a piso fare and I was able to book my round trip tickets for only 4200 pesos. I picked November 30 because it was a holiday then.

I got very excited because finally!!!! K O R E A!! But then it dawned on me, Filipinos need a visa to enter South Korea. This would be my first time to apply for a visa so I panicked. I searched online for the documents that I needed and tips in applying for a South Korean visa.

The list of documents could be found here.

If you are going to apply as a student, here are the list of required documents.

Tourist Visa Requirements for Filipino Students

1. Application Form
2. 1piece of Passport size colored picture
3. Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6months)
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
5. 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)
6. Original School Certificate*
7. Photocopy of School ID
8. Photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate of an applicant
9. Parents’ Financial Support Document**
– Original Certificate of Employment (or DTI or Sec and Mayor’s Permit)
– Original Bank Certificate
– Photocopy of ITR or Form 2316

*For the school certificate, it depends on your school, but for UP students you just need to approach the college secretary and ask for a certificate of enrolment. The usual certificate of enrolment indicates that you are currently enrolled for the semester and it usually comes with a dry seal. Our certificate of enrolment takes 10 working days to be released.

**I passed my dad’s certificate of employment, their bank account and BIR exemption

If you are applying as an employee here are the requirements

Tourist Visa Requirements for Filipino Employees

1. Application Form 
2. 1piece of Passport size colored picture
3. Original Passport (should be Valid for More than 6months)
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-Page (Page 2)
5. 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)
6. Original Certificate of Employment (with Contact number / address of S & Company and date of issue)*
7. Original Personal Bank Certificate (NOT Bank Statement)
8. Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316
*Make sure that the number of your company is included in the COE because the embassy really do check whether or not you are really employed in that company. If you can, ask the HR to indicate the number of allowable leave 🙂

T I P S 
1) Please have your passport with you when you pass your documents. This will be needed and will stay at the embassy until the date of release so don’t schedule any international trips on the dates you will pass your application and include the waiting time in the count.
2) Have a clean application form. The 2nd page of the application form contains directions on how to fill it out. Please read and follow.
3) Please put an exact reason why you want to go to South Korea. Do not put “to travel” as there are people who got denied because of purpose of entry. I wrote “To experience winter in Korea <3” yes with a heart sign. “To experience Korean culture”. You can also write specific things and places such as “Go to Nami Island.”, “Go to Petite France”. But please refrain yourself from writing “To stalk Lee Min Ho and Kim So Hyun”.
4) Submit complete documents and arrange them according to the order of requirements mentioned.
5) Do not leave a space blank. Write “N/A”.
6) For employees, please check if your TIN is correct 🙂 there are cases wherein the tin was incorrect and visas were denied.
7) Please have consistency in your documents. If someone is sponsoring for your trip, in my case my dad, if you pass your dad’s COE please pass only your dad’s bank statement and vice versa. If you pass a joint bank account, include both your parents’ COE if they are both working.
8) Do not forget to tell the HR to include the company’s contact number as the embassy is verifying whether your COE is legit or not. Also tell the HR that the embassy will call.
9) There are 3 windows at the embassy. Get a number at the desk and tell if you had previous travels to OECD countries (Japan, Europe and USA to name a few) because this will determine which window you will pass your documents.
10) If you have previous travels, especially in OECD countries, the chances of your application being approved would likely be high.
11) I do not advise getting a travel agency for this. The requirements are relatively easier to get compared to having to prepare for a Schengen visa. The chances of your application will not change anyway if you hire a travel agency or not. PS. The visa application is totally F R E E.
12) Your bank account should be proportional to your salary. How could you have 500k in your bank account if your salary ranges from 15k-20k a month and you are only working for a year or so? Dubious right? The consul might think like this as well if you try to ask money to be deposited in your bank account just to prove you have enough savings for a South Korea trip.
13) Students get a high chance of approval just because they need to go back and finish their studies. Just make sure your parents’ profile is enough to support your trip 🙂
14) In my opinion (this is based on the countless posts i’ve read on South Korea visa section on PEx), your COE and ITR is a lot more important than the amount in your bank account. The embassy wants to be assured that you are returning to your country. This will be proven if you have a job to go back to. The longer you are in a company, the better.
15) Travel history (none-OECD countries) quite add to chances of getting approved. But this is not an insurance.
16) After passing the requirements, P R A Y hahaha jk and keep the claim stub.

17) READING IS YOUR FRIEND. If the tips and FAQ portion of this blog will not be able to answer your queries, I suggest go to the PEx site and ask the experts there. But please try and read first so people would not get annoyed for questions that can be answered by reading 🙂

18) Last but not the least, hope but don’t expect. 
After 7 excruciating days, (7 because Saturday and Sunday are included in the count), I finally got my visa!!!!! Image
“LEE MIN HO HERE I COME!!! LEE DONG WOOK ARE YOU READY FOR ME? WE WILL BE BREATHING THE SAME AIR SOON!” Were my thoughts after I opened my passport and found a visa inside.

F R E Q U E N T L Y // A S K E D // Q U E S T I O N S 

1) When can I apply for a visa?

– Once visa is approved, it will be valid for 90 days, so make sure that once you get your visa released, it will cover your intended stay. You can apply 3 months at most before your travel date. For example if you plan to leave on May, earliest month to apply is February. You cannot apply on January because if the visa is approved, it will only be valid until April. So remember, 3 MONTHS AT MOST 🙂 If you plan to cram lol safest latest date would be a month before your travel date. Why do I say safest? What if you passed the wrong document and you have to get the correct one? Most documents needed in visa applications take time to be released. A month before the trip will give you ample time to get the correct documents. BUT PLEASE DO NOT CRAM YOUR APPLICATION 🙂 

2) How do I go to the Embassy?

– Option 1 (cheaper option): Ride the MRT up until Guadalupe station. Exit at the northbound side, go inside the mall, find your way to the exit and there are jeepneys in front of Jollibee. The signage for the jeep says “T3”. Ask the driver to drop you off at McKinley. Once you arrived at McKinley, walk straight, look for 7/11 and wait for the free shuttle. The last stop would be at the embassy.

– Option 2: Ride the MRT up until Guadalupe/Ayala station. Take a cab. This is faster and the cab ride will just be around 100 pesos or less.

3) How much money does my bank account have in order for my application to be approved?

– Scout the internet and most of the people will tell you “i don’t know”. Which is true. Just make sure that you have enough to cover your trip and there would still be enough money left after your trip. The safest would be 50k – 70k in my opinion. Some people I know got approved with 30k in the bank. It really depends.

– PS. Make sure that what you earn will reflect your savings account. For example, if your salary is around 20k and you are working for about a year, it would not make any sense if you have 500k in your bank account.

4) What if i’m an OFW, I do not have an ITR.

– My dad is an OFW and we were able to get a BIR tax exemption. I cannot remember the exact documents needed for this but I remember him passing a barangay clearance and a certificate from our subdivision (I do not exactly know what this is called). He applied at the BIR branch which covers our barangay.

5) I am currently unemployed. Can I apply for a visa?

– No. One of the requirements needed is a certificate of employment, if you don’t have any certificate of employment the people at the window will not process your application if you lack the required documents.

6) In relation to number 5, what if I am a recent graduate?

– I am not sure about this but some people were able to apply by passing a TOR and a diploma. But again i am not sure, I just read this at the South Korean visa thread at PEx.. Based on what I witnessed at the embassy, the girl was not able to apply because she was a recent grad and she had no certificate of employment and ITR to pass.

7) What if I own a business. What documents do I need to pass?

– You need to pass your business registration as well as the Mayor’s Permit.

8) Do I need to book a flight and reserve a hotel before I can apply for a visa?

– No. You can apply for a visa without these. These will not be asked 🙂

9) In relation to number 8, what if there is a seat sale?

– Im a risk taker so I would say YES. But before you do, please assess your profile first. Are you employed? Will you be able to pass an ITR? A certificate of employment? Do you have money in the bank to support your trip? If you answered no to at least one of these questions, I suggest no. Please do not get excited with the promo fares. Your hard earned money would be put to waste if you book that flight and not be able to apply for a visa.

10) Do I have to personally submit my application?

– Nope. You can have other people pass your documents. Same with claiming of your passport, just don’t forget to give them your claim stub. But I highly suggest that you pass it yourself because there are cases wherein the people at the window will ask questions and it would be best if you will be the one to answer.

11) Do I have to claim my passport on the exact day of release?

– No. I was late during the release of my passport (Friday) so I went back on a Monday. But I think it is better to get your passport on the exact day 🙂

12) Do I need to have previous travels to increase my chance of getting accepted?

– No. My friend had no previous international travels when she applied. She was a med student tho.

I hope this blog post was able to answer and help anyone who is preparing and thinking of applying for a South Korean visa. Just remember to be honest and have a complete set of documents. As long as you have no plans of being a TNT there, do not be afraid to apply 🙂 If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and I will try my very best to answer them 🙂


164 thoughts on “How I Got my South Korean Visa (Tips and FAQ)

  1. Hi! Regarding claiming passport on date indicated on claim stub, you said you were late. Did it take you longer waiting in line when you went back the next day? I won;t be able to claim my passport, and have no representative to pick it up for me. Planning to claim it the day after. Will that affect the issuing of my visa? How many day/s after are we allowed to claim our passport after date on claim stub?

  2. Hello po! I would just like to ask. I’m employed in our family business it is registered under my dad’s name. Nagpplano po akong magpa korea next year. My dad who’s also my employer will sponsor my trip. ITR and bank certificate na ba ni papa ang isusubmit ko? Kasi siya naman magbabayad ng trip ko. Wala po kasi akong ITR. Thank you. Hoping you’ll reply. Hehe

  3. Hi,
    Your vlog is indeed helpful, thank you.
    I have a question or question/s tho, if you don’t mind hehehe I’m just confused.
    Post graduate student po ako so gagamitin ko po yung student privilege ko, however eto na po yung concern ko, yung parents ko po ay self-employed, yung isang business nila nakapangalan sakanila may business permit pero di po ata SEC or DTI registered, then yung isa sa older brother ko nakapangalan. Okay lang po ba na Business permit lang ipasa or may alternative documents in case na walang DTI or SEC documents?

    Next question, is it okay na tito ko (kapatid ng mom ko, retired nurse from US, nag hihintay na lang ng monthly pension from US) ang mag fund sakin or kailangan immediate family member? If uncle is okay na mag fund ano po documents na need i-attach?

    Thank you so much and God bless! 🙂

  4. Hi! I’m just wondering if it’s okay to use my cousin’s bank certificate since she will be the shouldering the expenses of the trip? and also my parents don’t have a bank account. Do I still need to submit my parents ITR and COE? Thank you so much!

  5. Hi! I applied for korean visa just this week, the consul wanted me to present my dad’s CEO, my dad is an ofw in Kuwait. I told her that my aunt will sponsor my whole trip, I have accomplished all the necessary documents needed to prove that she’s capable enough to be my sponsor, besides, it’s her grad gift for me. I even submitted a notirized affidavit of support. My problem is, my dad can’t send his ceo right away because it’s ramadan period in Kuwait, and it will take 2 months to process. My flight will be this July. My dad sent me a copy of his contract, that includes his position, date hired, salary, hr contact details. (those are just the things needed for the ceo right?) What to do?

  6. Hi! I’m in a complicated scenario. My sister and I already booked our flight to SoKor on December 12, 2017. Our father is an ofw, but unfortunately he doesn’t have a savings account there, but he has payroll account given by the company. We are still students. But in this scenerio, we can’t use his payroll account since he withdraw all his salary at the end of the month. It’s impossible for him to retain some money there since he needs to send money here in the Philippines. My mom can’t be served as our support since she’s not using my father’s surname, and has different name in their marriage contract and also unemployed. We really don’t know what to do. We already booked since it’s promo. Is it possible to use my sister’s bank account? but we will still include our dad’s payroll. She will be the one to receive all the money that my dad will send to us. Can we do that? We will gather all the proof of remittances just to prove them that our dad will shoulder all our expenses. I’m worried, how about me? What will I include in my documents since the remittance is under the name of my sister not mine. She is still a student and unemployed. Who will support me? Thanks! Hope you will reply! 🙂 God bless!

    1. Pass your dad’s payroll account and sister’s bank account. I think magrereflect naman na yung pumapasok sa sister mo eh yung sweldo ng dad mo? And provide na lang din dad mo ng affidavit of support tapos ilagay sa letter na lahat ng sweldo nia pinapadala sa bank account ng sister mo 🙂

  7. Hi B,

    I’m really worried, the korean embassy just called in our office, sadly there is a problem in our phone so we need to cut the call and we were hoping for another call (for the whole day, but nothing happens). Is there any chance for them to call again? also I we are travelling for 4 and the 3 of us are employed to our mother’s business and we will travel with my mom. However, she has low banks statement (since she use it as an emergency) and I have bigger bank statement that so bothers me. Also she will guarantee my sister. What will I do? is the risk of denied visa is higher?

  8. Hello, I was wondering if you could help me with my cousin’s visa application. She’s still a student; I’m a Canadian citizen and I’ll be shouldering all the expenses of our trip next year. I’m planning to make an Affidavit of Support to attach to her application. Do u think I need to submit my bank statement as well? And she still needs to submit her parent’s COE, bank statement, and ITR right?

    1. If you are sponsoring her trip, you should pass your documents, not her parents. But if her parents have ample money in the bank and are not a minimum wage earner, I think their support would be okay too.

  9. Hi! I’m a 4th yr college student and planning to go to South Korea, my father will sponsor me so other than my documents, I’m going to pass his certificate of employment, ITR, bank cert and statement, my problem is he’s a minimum wage earner, I called the embassy to ask if it’s better for my sister who is working abroad to support me but they told me na it’s better if sa parents kung working pa naman, I’m getting worried if its okay kung minimum wage earner lang siya and yung nasa bank niya is 60k with adb of 30k coming from his savings?

    1. I think it’s better if sister mo magsponsor sayo 🙂 immediate family pa din naman sya. Actually you can provide both naman na half dad half sister 🙂

  10. Hi! I’m 23 years old and have been working for 3 years. However, I’m going to apply for a KR VISA with a joint bank account (me and my mom’s), my mom is working overseas. In relation with the bank account alone, do I need to provide other docs or is having my name there enough?

      1. Pero would they require na magpresent ako ng affidavit of support (because joint account ang ipepresent ko?) kahit working na ako? 🙂

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