How to Apply for a South Korea Tourist Visa for Filipinos (Updated October 2016)

How to Apply for a South Korea Tourist Visa for Filipinos (Updated October 2016)

UPDATED: 6 October 2016

I was nervous about this at first. The plane tickets and accommodations for our upcoming Seoul holiday had already been paid in full, so I was worried about the possibility of my application getting rejected. On top of that, it’s been years since I’ve had to apply for a visa directly at any embassy. Memories of long, snaking lines and ornery agents flashed through my brain, making me the dread the whole thing even more.

To my surprise (and relief), the application process for a South Korea tourist visa turned out to be one of the smoothest and least painful that I’ve ever had to endure. It was so organized that I must have spent no more than 45 minutes there total. Seriously, it took me much longer just to drive to the embassy and back!

There’s little to worry about provided that all your documents are in order. Single-entry tourists visa are good for 3 months from their date of issue, so I suggest applying 1-2 months before your trip. Here’s how you apply.

Step 1: COMPLETE BASIC REQUIREMENTS

Here are the documents that all applicants need to file.

  1. A completed handwritten visa application form. Don’t leave anything blank. Just put N/A if not applicable. You can download it HERE.
  2. 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm colored passport photo against plain white background. Paste it on application form.
  3. Philippine passport. Must have at least 6 months remaining validity. Submit without jacket or cover.
  4. Photocopy of passport bio page (page 2).

Step 2: PROVIDE ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Depending on your employment status, these are the additional documents that you’ll need to provide.

A. FOR EMPLOYEES

  1. Original certificate of employment to be printed on your company’s official letterhead. It must contain your position at the company, date hired, salary, office address, HR landline number (cell-phone number is not allowed), and HR e-mail address.
  2. Photocopy of income tax return (ITR Form 2316). Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourists to OECD member countries within the last 5 years are exempt from submitting an ITR.
  3. Original personal bank certificate. It must include account type, current balance, account opening date, and 6 months average balance (ADB).
  4. Original or certified true copy of bank statements / passbook for the last three (3) months.
  5. Original and photocopy of valid visa(s) and arrival stamps to OECD member countries within the last 5 years. Valid visas to OECD member countries will greatly increase your chances of getting approved so be sure to submit these if you have them. CLICK HERE for a list of OECD member countries.
  6. If invited by a Korean national, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of your invitor’s passport or ID card.
  7. If invited by a company in Korea, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of the Korean company’s business permit.
  8. Copy of PRC or IBP card (if applicable).

B. FOR BUSINESSMEN

  1. Photocopy of business registration from SEC or DTI.
  2. Photocopy of business or mayor’s permit.
  3. Photocopy of income tax return (ITR Form 2316) with personal TIN number. Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourists to OECD member countries within the last 5 years are exempt from submitting an ITR.
  4. Original personal bank certificate. It must include account type, current balance, account opening date, and 6 months average balance (ADB).
  5. Original or certified true copy of bank statements / passbook for the last three (3) months.
  6. Original and photocopy of valid visa(s) and arrival stamps to OECD member countries within the last 5 years. Valid visas to OECD member countries will greatly increase your chances of getting approved so be sure to submit these if you have them. CLICK HERE for a list of OECD member countries.
  7. If invited by a Korean national, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of your invitor’s passport or ID card.
  8. If invited by a company in Korea, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of the Korean company’s business permit.
  9. Copy of PRC or IBP card (if applicable).

C. FOR UNEMPLOYED SPOUSES

  1. Spouse’s original certificate of employment printed on company’s official letterhead. It must contain spouse’s position at the company, date hired, salary, office address, HR landline number (cell-phone number is not allowed), and HR e-mail address. If spouse is self-employed, you must submit photocopies of his/her business registration from SEC or DTI as well as their business or mayor’s permit.
  2. Spouse’s original bank certificate. It must include account type, current balance, account opening date, and 6 months average balance (ADB).
  3. Spouse’s original or certified true copy of bank statements / passbook for the last three (3) months.
  4. Photocopy of spouse’s income tax return (ITR Form 2316). Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourists to OECD member countries within the last 5 years are exempt from submitting an ITR.
  5. Photocopy of NSO-issued marriage certificate.
  6. Original and photocopy of valid visa(s) and arrival stamps to OECD member countries within the last 5 years. Valid visas to OECD member countries will greatly increase your chances of getting approved so be sure to submit these if you have them. CLICK HERE for a list of OECD member countries.
  7. If invited by a Korean national, you must also provide an invitation letter and copy of your invitor’s passport or ID card.
  8. If invited by a company in Korea, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of the Korean company’s business permit.

D. FOR STUDENTS / MINORS

  1. Original school certificate.
  2. Photocopy of school ID.
  3. Photocopy of NSO-issued birth certificate.
  4. Parents’ supporting financial documents – Original certificate of employment (or DTI / SEC / mayor’s permit), original bank certificate, original bank statements / passbook, photocopy of ITR or Form 2316, photocopy of NSO-issued marriage certificate. Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourists to OECD member countries within the last 5 years are exempt from submitting an ITR.
  5. Original and photocopy of valid visa(s) and arrival stamps to OECD member countries within the last 5 years. Valid visas to OECD member countries will greatly increase your chances of getting approved so be sure to submit these if you have them. CLICK HERE for a list of OECD member countries.
  6. If invited by a Korean national, you must also provide an invitation letter and copy of your invitor’s passport or ID card.
  7. If invited by a company in Korea, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of the Korean company’s business permit.

E. FOR RETIREES

  1. Photocopy of senior citizen ID.
  2. Original personal bank certificate. It must include account type, current balance, account opening date, and 6 months average balance (ADB). If bank certificate is under another family member’s name, then proof of relationship must be submitted. (ie photocopy of marriage contract for spouse, birth certificate for child, etc.)
  3. Original or certified true copy of bank statements / passbook for the last three (3) months. If bank account is under another family member’s name, then proof of relationship must be submitted. (ie photocopy of marriage contract for spouse, birth certificate for child, etc.)
  4. Original and photocopy of valid visa(s) and arrival stamps to OECD member countries within the last 5 years. Valid visas to OECD member countries will greatly increase your chances of getting approved so be sure to submit these if you have them. CLICK HERE for a list of OECD member countries.
  5. If invited by a Korean national, you must also provide an invitation letter and copy of your invitor’s passport or ID card.
  6. If invited by a company in Korea, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of the Korean company’s business permit.



Step 3: SUMBIT YOUR APPLICATION AT THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA EMBASSY

Once you’ve compiled all the requirements, you can proceed to the embassy (address and driving directions at the bottom of this post). No need to make an appointment. Just proceed to the embassy and file your application between 9-11 AM, Mondays to Fridays. If you plan on staying in Korea for 59 days or less, then the application is FREE of charge. For stays of 60-90 days, the fee is PHP 1,800 (at the time of this writing).

Frequent travelers and holders of valid OECD-member visas will be directed to window 3, while first-time travelers will be asked to proceed to windows 1 or 2. After they’ve called your number and reviewed your documents, they’ll give you a claim slip with a tentative release date for your passport (hopefully with visa).

The entire process — from the moment I logged in to receiving the claim stub — took no more than half an hour. Very efficient system they have here.

Step 4: PRAY THAT YOUR VISA GETS APPROVED

Once you’ve submitted your application, there’s little else to do but wait and pray for the best. The processing time for applicants with valid OECD-member visas is 3 business days, and 5 business days for those without. Releasing time is from 2-4 PM, Mondays to Fridays.

Before you claim your passport, be sure to write your name and contact number at the back of your claim slip. Depending on the strength of your application, you may be asked to provide additional documents and/or be subjected to an interview. Thankfully, my documents were in order so I was in and out of there in 10 minutes with my newly minted South Korea tourist visa. Gangnam style, here we come! Woohoo!

For a smooth application process, be sure to provide all necessary documents and check the embassy’s WEBSITE for news and updates. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

Republic of Korea Embassy in the Philippines

122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 1634
Tel: +632 856-9210
Fax: +632 856-9008
Website: embassy_philippines.mofa.go.kr
Email: philippines@mofa.go.kr
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30AM-5:30PM
Filing: Mon-Fri, 9-11AM
Releasing: Mon-Fri, 2-4PM

HOW TO GET THERE:
Going southbound on C5, veer right soon as you pass SM Aura. You’ll see a Petron/Jollibee shortly after. The exit to Upper Mckinley Rd will come immediately after this, with the embassy almost at the start of the exit. Parking around here is hard so ask someone to drive you if possible. If not, then the nearest parking is around half a kilometer away at the Tuscany complex.

Disclaimer

I’m not an expert on South Korea tourist visas. Like you, I’m just a traveler. I’ll try to help as much as I can but please understand that my knowledge is finite and limited to my experience only. Unless otherwise noted, all requirements listed above were valid at the time of my application. Please be sure to check the embassy’s WEBSITE for updates. If you need answers to any pressing issues, then it’s best that you call the embassy directly.

CLICK HERE for more on this website’s terms of use.

For travel tips to Seoul, check out our First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Seoul, South Korea.

The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Seoul, South Korea

JB Macatulad

JB Macatulad

JB is one half of Will Fly for Food and its chief itinerary maker.  He's the one to blame for all the crappy photos and verbal diarrhea on this blog.  Don't listen to him.
JB Macatulad


There are 1,013 comments for this article
  1. JB Macatulad at 10:53 am

    Hi Mary Grace, do you work in Vietnam? If so, then it’s best that you apply from the embassy there since your requirements may be different.

  2. Len at 11:27 am

    This comment is a “Thank you” for this and all the other posts you made that helped me so much! Regards to you always and safe travels all the time!!

  3. Jec jec at 4:02 pm

    Hi ask ko lang kc kukuha ako tourist visa sa korea dpat po ba yung bank account na hinihingi is talagang galing sa bank kc my account po ako kaso sa st.jude coop pero my passbook nmn sya saka malaki n din savings ko dun.. requirement dw kc n dapat ng bank account atleast 6mons..thanks you po’😊

  4. Riley at 8:58 pm

    Hello, JB. Is it possible to fill up my application form by computer and hindi handwritten? And should it be stapled afterwards? Thank you!

  5. Siam at 7:41 pm

    Hi, Have you tried na po ba using the new Visa Application form with 5 Pages? before kasi yung nagamit ko lang na application form is 2 Pages. Mag apply kasi ako on thursday for my Visa medyo na confuse ako sa Page 2 ng New visa application form which has

    2. 사증발급인정서 발급내용 / DETAILS OF VISA ISSUANCE CONFIRMATION
    ※ 대한민국 출입국관리사무소·출장소에서 사증발급인정서를 발급받은 사람만 기재
    (Section 2 is only for those who possess confirmation of visa issuance issued by the Immigration Office of the Republic of Korea)
    2.1 사증발급인정번호
    Confirmation No.
    허가번호 표시
    2.2 발급일 Issue Date
    발급일 표시
    2.3 여권번호 Passport No. 2.4 여권만료일 Passport Expiry Date
    ‣ 사증발급인정서를 발급받은 사람은 12번(서약)으로 이동하여 작성한 후 신청서 제출(3 ~ 11번은 기재 생략)
    Those who have confirmation of visa issuance must move to section 12 (Declaration) to complete this form (Those
    with visa issuance confirmation must not fill out section 3~11).

    may Idea ka po ba kung ang ilalagay dyan eh OLD Visa Details na na issue sayo?

    Hope to hear from you soon

    Thank You

  6. JB Macatulad at 8:28 pm

    Hi Riley, I think it needs to be handwritten. On the form it says: “You must write in block letters either in English or Korean.” No need to staple all the pages together. If I remember correctly, they staple it themselves after reviewing each page.

  7. JB Macatulad at 8:36 pm

    Hmm, not too sure Siam. I googled it and it looks like that might be only for people who want to get a visa related to commercial activities or long-term stay. You can check THIS PAGE for more information.

  8. ALVENTURE at 7:52 pm

    Hi JB, thank you so much for your blog. I am traveling to Korea with my husband and son, we acquired a bank certificate for our joint account. Is this bank certificate enough for the 3 of us and the one attached to my husband’s form is the original and then the one for me and my son will be photocopies?

  9. JB Macatulad at 8:14 am

    Hi Alventure, I think so, since you’re all applying together as a family. You may want to call the embassy to confirm.

  10. Eyna at 6:35 am

    Hello. For the bank requirements, what if wala kang passbook, ATM savings account lang, ok na po ba yun?

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