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
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)*
8. Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316
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 🙂
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 🙂